How to install OpenVPN on a Linux VPS

Reading Time: 4 minutes


OpenVPN has become the most widespread VPN (Virtual Private Network) protocol used by today’s commercial VPN providers.

However, did you know you can set up your own VPN service on a VPS (Virtual Private Server) which provides a closed environment situated as a physically remote server?

If you lease a VPS from 4GoodHosting you can do anything you want with it, such as installing any operating system, and basically treating the VPS as your own personal remote server.

If you are interested in running a VPN service on your VPS then this article will be helpful.

Using automated installation scripts, the process has become easier for the average person to use. The following is how to install OpenVPN on your own VPS server running Centos 6.x or 7, Debian (or Ubuntu) Linux.

- download an auto-installer for OpenVPN, such as this one openvpn-install
- Next: login to your VPS (as root) and run the following:
- wget --no-check-certificate -O; chmod +x;

If you are not logged in as root you type: sudo ./

The OpenVPN auto installer will execute and it will then prompt you for more information as follows:

1. The script will first autodetect your public IP address. (if you have multiple IP addresses on your VPS you can set it via the script to utilize a specific one.)

2. Next, type in the port number used for incoming OpenVPN connections (or use the default of “1194”). Any port can be used, any random one will likely do – as long as it is not in-use by other application server, or service. Select whether to listen on port 53 too; which is useful for covert connections.

3. Next, you will be asked for a name of client certificate. You can use anything such as “user1”, “anonymous”, “johndoe”, yourdog’s name, etc.

That’s all the OpenVPN installer needs to know. Subsequently it will download the packages, generate the encryption keys and certificates and then after that it will attempt to start the server. OpenVPN uses 2048bit RSA keys for authentication and the 128 bit Blowfish algorithm for data encryption.

If everything went smoothly, the auto-installer will notify you that the security client certificates have been saved into a .tar.gz archive, e.g. “ovpn-client.tar.gz”.

How a VPN works – then next, How to Setup your own VPN on a VPS

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If you are not currently using a VPN ( a “Virtual Private Network” [remote server connection]) to help restore privacy to your online world, then you probably are not aware that about 20% internet users worldwide in 2016 already periodically use a VPN to help them connect to the full global internet; especially in totalitarian countries that ban such services such as youtube.

People’s motivations vary from reason to reason (and there are quite a number of good reasons; many of them we’ll cover in this article). Reasons typically vary from a desire for privacy & increased anonyminity and general security, to overcoming censorship, and even *improving* their internet connection globally as some ISP restrict, limit (or as it is termed “shape”), connection speeds to certain websites – making them less attractive to use, some ISPs block p2p (peer to peer connection such as torrents) , and some VPNs supply data buffering to help even out slower, or shaped/moderated, connections.

How did VPNs come about? In this article we will go over the history of this technology of how VPN use has generally progressed over time. In a subsequent article we’ll go more into advanced topics such as encryption.

The Beginnings of a Secure Internet

In the late 1990s, PPTP (that is “Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol”) was developed. PPTP was the first internet protocol for creating virtual networks. This is one aspect of technology Microsoft was a leader (instead of a follower or hijacker in some cases) in pioneering; as much of PTPP was initially developed in-house at Microsoft. Microsoft saw the growing need to allow internet users to have a secure/encrypted connection to work effectively and securely from home – for companies to be able to provide a work-from-anywhere infrastructure. PTPP a big milestone event and henceforth set the stage for the birth and evolution Virtual Private Networks.

VPN Technology

Over the years, different types of VPN technology have come about. Today there are different types of VPNs (mainly Personal and Corporate) with different protocols (PPTP, OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, SoftEther, SSTP).

How does VPN security work?

A VPN is technically a WAN (Wide Area Network). the front end (that is, your browser or other connected application) retains the same functionality and appearance as it would your ISPs unsecured, point or origin, network.

You are probably wondering just how it all works. It can appear to be a complicated business, with unfamiliar words like ‘encapsulation’ and ‘tunnelling’. Don’t be scared though, using a VPN just requires a couple of mouse clicks, and sometimes, depending on your setup – a user name and or perhaps just a password to log into the remote VPN server.

You already know from having read the above, a VPN secures traffic to & from your computer straight through your ISP connection; so hackers nor creepy spies (creepies) will be able see your data or keyboard inputs while it is in transmission (and most importantly your IP address is changed to your VPN ip-address).

Why Shared Hosting Is Here to Stay

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4GoodHosting-shared-hostingThere has been a lot of buzz recently about “Cloud Hosting”. But how does that really relate to how websites are hosted, with the great majority of hosting accounts hosted in a manner known as ‘shared hosting’. Cloud offers distributed scale-out storage as well as virtualized infrastructure.

However, more than 9 of 10 websites out there are small business, personal or hobbyist websites – which see no visible benefit to the site administrators or the site visitor when served from a conventional standalone shared server compared to from a virtualized and distributed cluster of servers.

The benefits of a cloud or hosting based on a clustered arrangement of servers are recognized with larger scale websites, deploying enterprise level applications, or websites is expected to suddenly serve enormous spike in traffic at times – such as hosting a video conference with hundreds or thousands of participants.

At 4GoodHosting, we have been serving out thousands of long-term (and happy) hosting customers for well over a decade. Our servers today are state-of-the-art and powerful. About every two years, we upgrade our shared hosting server with new faster equipment, RAID hard-drive data redundancy, plus disaster recover servers, and also solid-state SSD storage for SSD-hosting customers.

Our up-time for the past year has been better than 99.9%; and besides infrequent server restarts, our shared hosting servers have been 100% reliable. Whenever a hard-drive, in one of our dozens of shared hosting servers, starts showing a sign of wear-and-tear (and we have special monitoring software for that), we replace it immediately with no downtime for our clients – due to our redundant RAID storage architecture. So, in order to keep our hosting consistently low, we plan to continue hosting our customer’s website on state-of-the-art stand-alone shared hosting servers.

We don’t see shared hosting or virtual private server (VPS) hosting going away, we see it continuing strong into the future.
Also, we believe in standard monthly pricing to give our customer’s more peace of mind; as we strive to keep our prices as low as possible across the board. Shared hosting and virtual private servers have traditionally offered standardized pricing which is not variable. In contrast, the cloud offers “elastic-pricing” or scalable buckets of compute and storage. However, our clients enjoy better peace of mind knowing exactly that their bill will the same each month, or year; so simple or proper budgeting can be made. It is simply better to know that one will be charged say $4.95/month for personal website hosting, instead of some variable between $2 and perhaps $20.

4GoodHosting isn’t a company that tries hard to upsell customers on new services and products. We only suggest a hosting upgrade when it becomes critically needed. We will open a support ticket showing our customers if and when their website is using resources beyond their current hosting plan, and that actually quite infrequently.

If your website is a start-up with applications or other services that might rapidly grow with demand, then our specialized server monitoring software will alert us if a particular domain account is approaching its resource allocation. In that case, it is a quick and seamless process for us to upgrade a customer to another hosting plan, a VPS, or perhaps even a dedicated server for high resource demand scenarios. From a pricing perspective, our goal has been to have a model that is easily understandable, easily fits into our client’s monthly or yearly accounting and doesn’t expose individual customer to unexpected variability in monthly costs.

Also, what we like to focus on is security, from various types of attacks on our customer’s account of servers. Cloud security is relatively a new frontier in server (and website) security. Shared hosting has been around for about 2 decades and has become very reliable and robust. We have protected our servers with hardware and software firewalls and we have tuned all settings to guard against all known attacks, hacking, spoof attempts, etc. This has made 4GoodHosting one of the top-most hosting customers in terms of reliability. Also our 24/7 support is excellent, as reflected in our long-time A+ BBB rating. We have become masters of support and website security.

Migrating Your Website to 4GoodHosting is as easy as 1..2..3..4..

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4goodhosting_website-migrationMigrating to a better web hosting company is so risky or difficult risky as you might think. 4GoodHosting makes it easy to migrate all of your data, domains, emails, and entire websites – with our *free* (that is; no hidden strings attached) transfer/migration service; while all you have to do is relax and trust our A+ BBB rating.

4GoodHosting’s server engineers, or admins/technicians are already in place to guide you through the process and ensure your migration is completed successfully to your full satisfaction. Our experienced professionals are expertly trained at transferring websites: your files, applications, databases, and email accounts.

Our service agents will guide you through all the typical steps, and we will begin your website transfer the very same day that you sign up for web hosting with 4GoodHosting! Note: If your previous host utilizes cPanel (control panel), then your website can be migrated seamlessly with zero downtime!

We’ve even have a special offer for those customers who are reading this blog and have decided to switch from a competitor! You just need to ask for it by writing us at support @ You will receive an extra complimentary month (for shared hosting accounts) with a year of pre-paid hosting (13 months – a baker’s dozen if you will). Note: we do require a yearly billing schedule and 1-year pre-payment 4 our free transfer service.

  1. Make the decision to signupfor hosting with 4GoodHosting

4GoodHosting has been dedicated to providing Canadian based web hosting solutions for small, medium & large scale businesses as well as hobbiest websites for folks from around the world. See our web hosting plans.

(link: )

Once you have signed up (and paid up), you will receive a 4GoodHosting welcome email in your inbox. Save this email as it will contain the login details for your cPanel (that is, control panel) – as well as 4GoodHosting’s domain name servers (DNS).

  1. Ready – Set –Transfer Your Site!

Now that you have an active account with 4GoodHosting, please then submit a support ticket for your transfer request from customer portal account. (or you can simply email us at

Just let us know how we can best help you, and a technician will reply as soon as possible to begin the migration. Our team will begin working on the migration and will handle everything related to transferring your files, emails, DNS settings, etc. When you submit your transfer request ticket – provide us with access to your current hosting providers control panel. If your current host uses cPanel we would need the login information. If your host does not use cPanel then we’ll need access to their control panel interface to download your files, email, and databases.

At some point during this process, you will receive an email asking to update the DNS on your domain to our name servers. Our super-duper friendly support team will detail to you exactly how to do this, step by step. Website transfers can take from 1 hour to 48 hours (average 4 hours) depending on the size of your website(s). 4GoodHosting will ensure your website is transferred correctly without any issues or downtime!

Periodically Plan for your Website’s Redesign

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Once in a while, about every 3-4 years of years, your website should be updated ensuring it has a fresh modern look; utilizing the latest and greatest web design methods.
A website which looks outdated can damage your credibility & ultimately cost you new customers. A redesign starts by planning what you want create from your existing website into the next finished upgrade.

Step 1 – Planning the project…

A good exercise is to list what you like about other websites that you have encountered and bookmarked. Consider how you can integrate the features that you like into your own website. While perusing through other websites you will also get a better feel for what your site already does well and where it doesn’t shine so well.
Before you begin, you have to work out what you want your website to do exactly. The goals should be realistic and specific.
Ask yourself: who and what is my website for ?

· A means to communicate with customers?
· To build brand awareness?
· Is it’s main function to be a sales funnel?

Every website has a slightly different purpose. Define what your website’s purpose is precisely.

At the start of your project you should create time-line of of what needs to be done; and when. If you have a project team of other people you should also include who is responsible for each part.

Step 2 – Design for building a high level of trust between yourself & your audience

Getting your visitor(s) to trust your brand should be the overall goal.
Mostly your website to be considered credible & trustworthy is to continuously update it with original high-quality content.
Original content helps customer prospects find you in search engines; and in turn establishes you as a thought leader in your market segment. Also keep in mind that you don’t want your visitors to see you as just selling something. The first goal should be to get your visitors to trust your website as an authority.
The other avenue to build trust with your customers is to create and maintain an active social media presence. Today’s consumers expect some communication interactivity before to forking over their money. With openly communicating with customers through Twitter, FB, Instagram, etc. then you paint a human face on your business. This also creates the perception that you are interested in hearing what your customers have to say.

Step 3 – Examine current analytics/metrics to better identify which parts of your website is worth keeping and what needs to be reworked.

4GoodHosting’s websites, through cPanel, have analytics applications installed, but it is a skill and passion to know how to leverage analytic data to increase traffic and sales.
While analyzing matters, identify on which pages are attracting the most hits – and which ones are keeping visitors around for the longest amount of time. Look into what is making those pages more successful than others.

Also focus on where your traffic is coming from and which of your marketing strategies have been the most successful in the past. This knowledge will help you further experiment to see what creates the best results.

What you learn should ultimately influence your redesign.
Key analytics metrics consider most: High bounce rates, High exit rates, low rime on page(s)
If you have any questions, on this topic or of any sort, always feel free to contact us at support @ 4

Creating and Publishing Localized Content For SEO

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Local business’ (with a website) should apply effort to create a particular kind of content that not only provides value to your readers, but also performs well in the search engines. This can be tricky as you need to appeal to two different things at the same time.

Logically, running a local business implies that choices for content topics will more limited compared to have a global scope, so you will need to be extra creative. Many local business owners end up boring visitors with content that doesn’t provide much useful information, or cause them to feel inspired. In this post we show you how you can produce readable (and useful) localized content which will simultaneously help your website rank higher.

Your Current Content

Have you already created much content for your website? Here are some useful insights to spruce this up. First, one of the quickest methods to see what content is performing best – is to use a tool from a website called Buzzsumo (link). The free version doesn’t give you a complete breakdown of every page or post. However, it will display to you the top performing content areas on your website. This way you can tell what content or presentation is getting higher content rankings on Google compared to other posts, then consider creating more variations on similar themes in order to attract more traffic.

Identifying Local Keywords with Decent Search Volume

Try out the Google Keyword Planner by typing in a couple of local keyword variations that you think local community members will be searching for. Of course, localized keywords will produce a search volume that will be much smaller than larger-scope keywords. The idea is to find local keywords that have a decent search volume.

With consistent content creation tailored for those keywords, your website will begin to rank higher associations. Also by using the Keyword Planner, you are validating that there is already relevant existing search traffic which is a measure of demand. If there isn’t much of a demand for your particular kind of service, you will have to then generate demand with some other marketing.

So once you have a list of good keyword choices, you can then combine them into keyword groups targeted at specific sub-topics. This will help you create a more comprehensive array and / or position more in-depth content.

A new trend for 2016: Flat Design for Websites

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4GH-FlatDesign.jpgSince about the beginning of 2016 a new simplifying trend in website design is coaxing website managers and businesses to rethink their web presence strategy. A significant number of websites have begun redesign sites that have visual depth and 3d-elements to flattened out plainer versions which project more “flat” “single-surface” experiences. “Flat design” is becoming one of the hottest trends in 2016 web design.

Looking into this trending web design model is, we can consider both the pros & cons. Here is a great gallery of flat design examples: (Make sure you give this a look to see better what is being talked about.)

1 step flatwards, 2 steps forwards…

There is an age-old theory that simply states that history repeats itself, – fashion trends, hairstyles, marketing campaigns. Flat design isn’t new. However in 2016 taken on a fresh modern flair; which appears to be resonating with “millennials” who are most tethered to their handheld computers.

Using smartphones by default demands bigger text and larger images; which happen to be key elements in flat site design. The advent of responsive design considerations for mobile screen necessitated a need for easily scrollable 2-dimensional designs which depend more on unique colors & shapes rather than realistic-looking 3d graphics and animated GIFs; popular on “skeuomorphic“ designs.

Efficient responsive design, with faster page load time along with with a sleek appearance, all which is great on on mobile devices, is the main advantage to flat design for websites.

Form & Function

What is a flat website designs? And what isn’t.

Flat designers take a minimalistic approach that values function over most everything, except the content itself. Today mobile-active consumers today are looking for responsive brands, mobile friendly and functional.

When online forms social share buttons first appeared, people were unfamiliar with these design elements and had to guided through the process. One example is fields forms. Before people needed to be helped by stating “Type your e-mail address here” or “Type First name”. Nowadays, the average person knows more intuitively about how to get around a web page or site; therefore the simplicity of flat design are became more popular.

With flat design there is minimal uses of familiar stylistic effects, Look for popular brands on your mobile device using color combinations and unique shapes to deliver a simpler and more streamlined web design; concentrated with value-added content.

How to Choose the Best Theme for your WordPress (or other CMS) Website or Blog

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After you have secured hosting and installed WordPress (or another CMS), it is time to pick out a theme. Figuring out which theme is best is definitely overwhelming at first because there are about 40,000, free and fee, templates and themes to choose from. In order to help you get through the process of theme selection, the most important things to consider while choosing a theme are listed below. If you utilize these tips, you will have an easier time getting started in the right direction.


One of the great things about themes is that it gives you a place to start and you don’t have to spend days or weeks of work to make it all look good. Another more expensive option is to hire a talented designer to create a personalized blog theme for you, but it’s also great to have some customizable options. This details include being able to alter the general color of your theme, being able to change the header image, and perhaps also the ability to tailor the theme code, that is – if you know what you are doing. The more options you have for customization, the better.

High Readability

A very important aspect of theme selection to consider is to make sure it provides for high readability. The main point of getting visitors to your website or blog is for them, not just to see colors and fancy graphics, but to actually consume and be influenced by your content. So you should choose a theme that utilizes a font which is easy on the eyes and consistent. Even if you think a particular font is cute – if it makes the word is hard to read; then skip that theme if you are unable to easily customize the overall font.

Some additional tips to increase the readability of your website/blog:

* The important of adequate amounts of “whitespace”. Try to find a theme that allows plenty of blank whitespace. Pictures, graphics, text and other design elements can go a long way – there also should plenty of whitespace, in between blocks, in order to give your visitor’s eyes a break.

* Line spacing. Another easy way to make your blog readable is to use line spacing to your advantage; use double spacing between your paragraphs rather than just indents.

* Font selection: Pick a theme with only one or two fonts that are easy to read. Arial, Courier, Verdana, and Times New Roman are always safe fonts to use.

On Current Web Standards

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In this article we will help bring you up to date with current website development standards.

HTML5 was a many year project that was launched in 2014; mostly as the concerted effort by the W3C organization. The plan was, from that point forward to continue to publish regular incremental updates to the HTML standard; but a few things didn’t happen as planned. Now a newly named organization, the Web Platform Working Group (WP WG) is working towards a HTML5.1 to be released within the next 6 months. The project centers around a general workflow; which means the group will be releasing a stable version of HTML, as a W3C recommendation, about once annually moving forward.

HTML Specification Goals

The core goals for future HTML specifications are to:
* match reality better,
* make the specification as clear as possible to readers,
* to make it possible for all stakeholders to propose improvements,
* and to understand what makes changes to HTML successful.

HTML 5.1 Timeline

The current schedule is to ship an HTML5.1 recommendation in September 2016. This implies they will need to have a Candidate Recommendation by the middle of June 2016, following a “Call For Consensus” based on the most recent working draft. The updated working draft is published approximately once a month; changes are noted within the specification itself.

They practice an evolutionary schedule of “rinsing and repeating”; making regular incremental updates to HTML that is relatively straightforward to implement. If you are interested you can see current chatter from the working group members @HTMLWG on Twitter.

Website Redecorating

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Truly a picture is worth hundreds or thousands of words. Often we do not apply that knowledge towards improving the quality of our personal and small business websites. Images are naturally better, in many cases, because they are much much more conducive at communicating emotion, setting a mood or creating impact. There are many different kinds of visual media: video, artwork photographs, charts, infographics.

Video is the new black

Wherever presentable, video is becoming a “must-have” media for almost any professional marketer. Amazingly, all you need today is a smart-phone. We have all become video camera men and women. It becomes easy to film a basic overview or any kind of video on your phone, and touch it up by utilizing many video editing software applications which make it ready to add to your blog or website.

Video can even create more engagement than static graphics; making it easier for you to allow your brand to shine. It can make it easier to explain the value of your products in a more engaging style and in more detail. People have limited time and limited attention span on the internet: so try to keep your video: smart, basic, and simple.


Today we have high definition cameras in our pockets and persons in the form of a smartphone. Ironically we still seem to find it a chore to present great or the best images for small business websites. If you’re not a DIY photographer, there are dozens of stock art websites. Here is our recent blog post detailing that: