A VPN appliance

The Raspberry Pi is so cheap and small that it can easily be used as an appliance. The Raspbian distribution is a full-fledged Debian, so you can basically use it for anything, which is pretty cool. And since it uses a micro-SD card as storage, you can easily swap out “functions” by swapping the card. So if one day you want to play retro games, you just put in a card with a RetroPie image and boot it up. And then if you want something else, just swap in the card that contains those programs, and off you go. Super convenient.
When you’re out in public and using your telephone, your laptop or a tablet, you want to use public wifi to preserve some of your precious, precious data cap for that month. But we all know that public wifi is a security risk: man-in-the-middle attacks are easy to execute like that. Russian-backed hackers are targeting hotel wifi, in order to get user credentials and to inject malicious payloads.

We’re going on holiday in two weeks. We’re staying at an apartment, and I don’t expect any hackers particularly targeting that apartment, but I’m not too fond of the idea of just connecting to the wifi there and then just seeing what happens. So, using this excellent guide, I set up a Raspberry Pi as an OpenVPN server. There’s an app for Android (for use on smartphones and tablets) and a Windows connector too (for use on the laptop). Really easy, and now we can use public wifi with confidence!

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