A VPN is used to setup a virtual connection across another physical network connection. A VPN simply extends a private network across a public network and enables you to send and receive data across shared or public networks privately. OpenVPN is a software provided in the Ubuntu and Debian repositories by default. It is flexible, reliable and secure.
Ubuntu OS is developed by Canonical and the community under a talent/merit-based governance model. Canonical provides security updates and support for each Ubuntu release from the release date till it reaches its designated end of life date. Ubuntu is what we term as an open source operating system, making it quite popular especially in the present day community that just so happens to be technologically inclined. This Linux OS is believed to be used by the most on desktop environments.
In this time and age, ignoring our rights to online privacy and security results in serious implications such as identity theft, cyberstalking, legal surveillance etc. VPN gives Ubuntu, Debian and other Linux Distros an added layer of security and privacy.
History of Ubuntu
Ubuntu Linux is one out of a number of different distributions of the Linux operating system. Ubuntu is somewhat of a newcomer and in the relatively short time it has been available, it has rapidly gained the respect of both experienced and novice Linux users throughout the world.
The source code that makes up Ubuntu originates from another much older Linux distribution known as Debian. The name comes from its creators named Debra and Ian. Debian is still a widely respected operating system but came under criticism for infrequent updates and less than friendly installation and maintenance (though these areas have shown improvement lately).
A South African internet guru felt it was time for a more user-friendly Linux. He then took the Debian distribution to make it a more a human-friendly distribution which he called Ubuntu. He later went ahead to create a company known Canonical LTD to further establish Ubuntu Linux by garnering support. In addition, Suttleworth has formed and founded a foundation to guarantee the future of Ubuntu.
Ubuntu in ancient Zulu translates to “humanity to others”. The word was chosen because these sentiments precisely describe the form of the Ubuntu Linux distribution.
Reasons for using VPN for Ubuntu
Despite the fact that Ubuntu’s network manager contains the ability to create a VPN connection out of the box, being a free and open source operating system, it unsurprisingly does not include a free VPN subscription.
- For any security-conscious user, having a VPN is a must rather than a luxury.
- VPN connection encrypts and tunnels your internet traffic through another server usually one located in another country.
- VPNs are also essential for preventing your internet service provider (ISP) or other users on your network from snooping on what you are doing online.
- It is used to browse the internet while keeping your IP (Internet Protocol) hidden from prying eyes.
- Making secure transactions when using a public Wi-Fi or hotspot.
How to setup OpenVPN after installation?
- Download the full configuration file from here and install the required packages:
sudo apt-get install openvpn
To connect via the GUI:
- Settings: Click the network manager icon.
- Click the edit connection.
- Add the VPN connection, and then scroll down to import a saved VPN configuration.
- Click on the “create” icon and select the configuration file that has been downloaded.
- Check the default setting.
- Click on tab “VPN”. Tap advanced then check settings.
- Click on tab security.
- Click on the “TLS” tab for verification then click on tab “VPN”.
- Type in a username and password.
To connect via the CLI:
sudo openvpn --config /path/to/config.ovpn
Ubuntu Privacy Issues
One major concern to date with the unity dashboard potentially leaking information about searches to online retail giants. One option is to use another Linux distribution like CentOS or Debian or not use Unity.
Using a VPN, both inbound and outbound internet traffic is virtually hidden, protecting the privacy of your search queries from any middlemen that might stand to profit from knowing your interests.
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