Custom VPN on a commercial VPS side project

Custom VPN on a commercial VPS side project

Hello everyone.

I’ve been looking into doing a side job on a small scale, setting up VPN tunnels for regular people in the countries with restricted internet access, like China, Turkmenistan, Russia, etc. The idea is not new, and I have seen some freelancers openly promote their services to set up a custom VPN for a variable fee. Buying a couple of very cheap VPS, setting up Wireguard or any other VPN technology, and then giving clients access seems easy.

But of course there should be a lot of “get you” so I’d love to hear about them from people who have had a foot in this game. Or whoever wants to comment on the subject! Or anyone, really… I’d like to hear someone’s thoughts. :)

So here are my questions: 1.) Competition from the major VPN providers. It seems like the big players like NordVPN or Surfshark are everywhere with their constant marketing campaigns, targeting core users. I can see maybe one reason why a common person might want to go with a custom VPN connection, instead of using these providers. Configuring a custom VPN could leave the client out of the suppression regime’s spotlight, making it difficult to ban certain subnets. Could price be another reason to use a custom VPN? Some of these VPN providers actually drop their prices, which brings me to another question… 2.) Project network setup. My first knee-jerk reaction was to use a VPS with a VPN installed, however I wonder: is this an ideal setup for the job? For example, how many users you could potentially have running on the same VPS, keeping in mind that the bandwidth most hosters allocate is usually around 100 Mbit/sec. I’m not even wondering if different users could compromise the VPS IP address, for now I’m just wondering how many users could use a single VPS as an exit node comfortably. Or would you set up an individual VPS for each user and sell it as a premium service with guaranteed bandwidth? Some mainstream VPNs also seem to offer higher speeds at cheaper prices, how do you compete with that? I’d love to hear thoughts on this question, especially! 3.) Get payments from customers. I am wondering about this issue as most of the customers are probably from different countries with their payment options hampered. How do you accept payment in that case? crypto? Wouldn’t using it scare off regular users of your business? Or should I get involved with the specific situation of each client and try to find an optimal method with each one of them? Seems like the only way to really do it, I’d love to hear how people deal with this problem.

Again, I’m not targeting a large number of users – I’d love to have around 50 clients to start with.

You are welcome to come and bring me back to reality with some hard truths and facts regarding this idea, or refer me to similar discussions/resources! But I’d love to get input from people who have already done some of this work and some of the challenges they faced. Thank you!

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