Custom VPN on a VPS side business project - need advice!

bronymous

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Hello everybody.

I've been looking over at a possibility of doing some small scale side hustle, by setting up VPN tunnels for regular people over in the countries with restrictive internet access, such as China, Turkmenistan, Russia and so on. The idea is not new, and I've seen some freelancers openly promote their services to set up custom VPN for a ranging sum. Purchasing couple dirt cheap VPS, setting up Wireguard or any other VPN technology and then giving out access to the clients seems easy.

But of course there should be a bunch of "gotcha's", so I would love to hear about them from people who had their foot in this game.
Or from whoever likes to weigh in on the issue!
Or anyone, really... I'd just like to hear anybody's thoughts :)

So here's my questions:
1.) Competition from major VPN providers.
Seems like big players like NordVPN or Surfshark are everywhere with their constant marketing campaigns, aimed at mainstream users. I can see maybe one reason why a regular person might wanna go with a custom VPN connection, instead of using these providers. Setting up a custom VPN might leave the client out of the spotlight of the suppressing regime, making it harder for them to ban certain subnets. Could pricing be another reason to use custom VPN? Some of these VPN providers really do go low in their pricing, which leads me to another question...
2.) Project network setup.
My first gut reaction was using a VPS with a VPN installed, however I wonder - is this an ideal setup for the job? Like, how many users could I potentially have running on the same VPS, considering bandwidth most hosters allocate is usually around 100 mbit/sec. I'm not even wondering about different users potentially compromising the IP address of the VPS, for now I'm just wondering about how many users could be using just one VPS as an exit node comfortably. Or would you set up individual VPS for each user, and sell it as a premium service with guaranteed bandwidth? Some mainstream VPN's seem to offer higher speeds at cheaper prices, too, how do you compete with that?
I would love to hear thoughts on this question, especially!
3.) Getting payments from clients.
I wonder about this issue, since most of the clients will be most likely from different countries with their payment options hindered. How do you accept the pay in that case? Crypto? Wouldn't using it scare off regular users from your business? Or should I get involved with every client's specific situation and try to find an optimal method with each one of them? Seems like the only way to go really, would love to hear how people deal with this issue.

Again, I'm not aiming at any huge amount of users - I would love to get around 50 clients to start.

You're welcome to come and bring me back to reality with some harsh truths and facts regarding this idea, or refer me to similar discussions/resources! But I would love to get some info from people who's done some of this work already and some of the challenges you guys faced. Thanks!
 

Fusion Arc Hosting

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Hi Bronymous,

Excellent question.

Setting up a VPN service for people in countries with restrictive internet access is a noble idea, but it also comes with several challenges. Here are some insights to your questions:

  1. Competition from major VPN providers: As you mentioned, major VPN providers like NordVPN or Surfshark are already present in the market with their marketing campaigns. While they do offer lower pricing, custom VPN services can offer a more personalized service, especially if they can provide more specific support to users in restrictive countries. Moreover, as you also pointed out, a custom VPN service can fly under the radar of government surveillance, making it a safer option for some users.
  2. Project network setup: The number of users you can comfortably host on one VPS will depend on the VPS's resources and bandwidth, as well as the type of VPN technology you use. Generally, it is not recommended to have too many users on one VPS, as it can affect performance and security. One possible solution is to use multiple VPSs and allocate a set number of users to each VPS. This can also help with IP address management and reduce the chances of IP address blacklisting. However, it also means more resources and expenses. As for competing with mainstream VPNs, you can offer faster speeds and more reliable connections as a premium service with guaranteed bandwidth.
  3. Getting payments from clients: Accepting payments from clients in different countries can be challenging due to different payment options and regulations. Crypto is one option, but it may not be suitable for all clients. You can also consider other payment options like PayPal or international bank transfers, but it may require more effort to set up and verify accounts. Another option is to use a payment gateway service that supports multiple payment methods.
Overall, setting up a custom VPN service requires careful planning and consideration of various factors such as network setup, pricing, and payment methods. It is also important to comply with local regulations and ensure the privacy and security of your users.
 

bijutoha

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Setting up a VPN service for people in restrictive internet-access countries is a great way to help people access the information and services they need. However, it would be best to remember a few things before starting.

First, you need to make sure that your VPN service is secure. You don't want to put your customers at risk by using a weak or insecure VPN. You can do a few things to ensure your VPN is secure, such as using strong encryption and keeping your software up to date.

Second, you need to make sure that your VPN service is reliable. You don't want your customers to be unable to access the internet when they need it most. You can do a few things to ensure your VPN service is reliable, such as using high-quality hardware and having a good backup plan.

Finally, ensuring that your VPN service is legal would be best. In some countries, it is illegal to provide VPN services. Therefore, you must ensure you are familiar with the laws in the countries where you will provide your services.
 

radwebhosting

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Good luck with Turkmenistan! They will blacklist any IP within a week.
 
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