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I'm using my Mac Mini 2018 for multiple uses right now, Plex server, iTunes sharing, Time Machine access, and I would like to setup a free VPN server to run on this machine.  I'd like to try setting it up and trying it out before deciding if I want to pay for a service.

Can anyone point me in the correct direction on how to set this up? I have been searching online and have found a couple things, but I'd hate to run through all the processes only to find out that it's an obsolete method.

Thanx

4 Answers
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Sorry, but it would be helpful if you could mention just how you envisage using this VPN so that advice can be better targeted.

For instance, your mention of "deciding if I want to pay for a service" would tend to indicate to me that you're looking to make sure your internet activity is hidden from prying eyes when you're away from home. Having a home VPN can provide that functionality but would more often be used to allow you to access functions/data on your Mac Mini when you're away from home - which a paid service wouldn't.

If you really do want to run a VPN server at home, and given that macOS Server no longer provides a nice VPN server GUI,  you might be better to use a different device with a built-in VPN function (such as Synology devices, or I use a Fritz!Box router).

Having said all that, there is mention that VPN Enabler for Mojave might do what you need.

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The migration guide helped me get the VPN server quickly up and running on Mojave. :)

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I mainly want to be able to connect my MacBook Pro to this server so that the prying eyes of my ISP are blocked for my web use.  This isn't something I need all the time, like I don't take my laptop to travel (I just take my phone and sometimes iPad). With this being stated, I can afford to lose some speed for those rare moments.

I'd rather not spend any extra money on other devices, so I am trying to take advantage of software solutions to this issue.

Thanx, I'll check into the link you provided.

Thanks - I think that confirms there is confusion...

Think of it this way: a VPN server allows protected INCOMING connections.

So, to hide the activity of your MacBook Pro when you are at home from the ISP who provides your home internet what you need is a VPN service provided by a 3rd party server that is somewhere else. ie. your encrypted internet traffic goes into THEIR server and then the non-encrypted happens on the "other side" of their server. As fas as the rest of the world is concerned you are located at their premises. That is the type of service that you see advertised everywhere.

Running a VPN server on a Mac Mini that is also in your house does not provide this functionality. The "other side" of the Mac Mini is still using your household ISP.

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Thanx, I hadn't really thought about that fact... I'm new to VPN. I knew a 3rd party allowed me to connect to their service and then it would only report that connection to my ISP but thought that a software based server on a second Mac would be able to simulate the same thing.  Basically the MacBook Pro connects to the Mac Mini and it tells the ISP that I was at X location instead of Y or Z through IP spoofing. But yeah, if I'm still using my own systems, connected to my ISP, they will still see what's going on since I have to have my system connected directly to them.

So now I have to decide if a paid service is worth the hassle and price for the access I want. ExpressVPN has a 15 month plan right now for $99.99 so I may go for that.

Thanx for the clarification and the prevention of the possible "oops" of trying the home server setup and failing lol.

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