Setting Up a Free VPN Server in AWS: A Step-by-Step Guide

In this hands-on guide, we’ll walk you through the process of setting up a free VPN server in Amazon Web Services (AWS). A VPN (Virtual Private Network) allows you to secure your internet connection and protect your online privacy. By the end of this tutorial, you’ll have a functional VPN server running in your AWS account.


  • An AWS account with appropriate permissions.
  • AWS CLI (Command Line Interface) installed and configured on your local machine.

Step 1: Sign in to the AWS Management Console

  1. Click on the “Open Console” button to access the AWS Management Console.
  2. Leave the Account ID as default; never edit or remove the 12-digit Account ID.
  3. Copy your User Name and Password from the Lab Console to the IAM Username and Password in the AWS Console.
  4. Sign in to the AWS Management Console.

To set the default AWS region using AWS CLI:

aws configure set region us-east-1

Step 2: Launching an EC2 Instance

  1. Ensure you are in the “N.Virginia” Region.
  2. Use AWS CLI to launch an EC2 instance with the following command:
aws ec2 run-instances \
  --image-id ami-xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx \ # Replace with the AMI ID for OpenVPN Access Server
  --instance-type t2.micro \
  --key-name MyVPNKey \
  --security-groups MyVPNSecurityGroup \
  --subnet-id subnet-xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx # Replace with your subnet ID

Note: Replace ami-xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx and subnet-xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx with the appropriate values.

Step 3: SSH into EC2 Instance

  1. SSH into your EC2 instance using the provided key pair:
ssh -i MyVPNKey.pem openvpnas@<instance-public-ip>

Step 4: Initialize the VPN Server

  1. Follow the prompts to initialize the VPN server. Press “Enter” for default options.
  2. Set a password for the ‘openvpn’ account.

To initialize the VPN server using AWS CLI:

ssh -i MyVPNKey.pem openvpnas@<instance-public-ip>
sudo passwd openvpn # Set the password

Step 5: Connect to the VPN

  1. Open a new tab in your browser and access the VPN User Page using the instance’s public IP.
  2. Log in with the username “openvpn” and the password.

Step 6: Validation Test

  1. Click on the “Validation” button on the left side panel to verify the successful completion of the lab.

Step 7: Delete AWS Resources

  1. Terminate the EC2 instance to avoid incurring additional charges using AWS CLI:
aws ec2 terminate-instances --instance-ids <instance-id>


Congratulations! You’ve successfully set up a free VPN server in AWS. This VPN server can help you secure your internet connection and protect your online activities. Remember to terminate your AWS resources to avoid ongoing charges.

Note: Free VPN servers may have limitations, and for production use, you should consider using a paid VPN service or configuring advanced security settings.

By following these steps, you’ve gained valuable experience in deploying a VPN server in a cloud environment, which can be a valuable skill in various IT and security roles.

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