Virtual Private Networks are becoming a staple of modern life in many parts of the world, allowing people to spoof their IP so that their device appears to be somewhere else in the world. Depending on what you use these for, they may be against the terms of service of programs you may be using, but there are many, many legal uses for VPNs which can save money or increase quality of life. VPNs are available on almost every device, from mobiles to computers to game consoles, but it is very hard to have an entire house and all of its devices using the same VPN, until Raspberry Pi.
Many things in modern life are limited geographically, and many people believe this should not be the case. The most popular use of VPNs for many people is to get access to other national libraries from services such as Netflix. Netflix limits a shows availability depending on where the user is located, so that people in the UK only get around 25-50% of the library available in the US. This is due to licensing agreements, but most people still believe this to be unfair, and using a VPN set to an American IP entirely circumvents this problem.
One of the best uses for a VPN is to save money on flights. Travel companies often base their prices off of where a customer is located, so some places pay a higher rate than others for the exact same service. This is not acceptable, and is easily avoided through a VPN. This is especially present in the US, where some national flights can cost over $150 less depending on where your IP says you made the query from.
Some devices do not allow VPN services, such as older PlayStation consoles, so their content is limited geographically. Fortunately, having a ‘VPN Gateway’ before the internet reaches the device is a great and cost effective option. Raspberry Pi Arduino circuity can be programmed for free online (See GitHub SourceForge etc.) and the total cost of the device needed is £5-20; a small investment which can save alot of money.
The device can be attached directly to the home router, and used to spoof the IP address of the entire household, not just the end device. Arduino is incredibly easy to set up, and requires no programming knowledge, just following the step by step instructions available online.
The Arduino can then be easily customized to spoof directly to a set IP (purchasable online or free ones available) or to a VPN service. If using a VPN service, it’s worth spending the extra £2 a month to have a secure connection from a private service, as any public ones can be used for phishing. It’s not much of an investment, but the payoff is huge. The main advantage here is that the IP cannot get banned from services such as Netflix, as when that does happen it simply moves on to the nest available one.
There is virtually no downside to using Raspberry Pi to VPN your house; it’s easy, cheap, and will save money. Even just having access to sites from other countries is invaluable to many people, such as accessing a library system from another country for academic purposes. VPNs are great, and having your house fully covered is alot easier than filling every device with a different service, which may or may not be filled with bloatware.