DigitalOcean free credit

Date: 17 Aug, 2015
Posted by: admin
In: backup|hints & tips|internet, web design & development|linux, open source & software

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Help me get credit by taking a DigitalOcean trial plus making it in to a VPN using sshuttle.

Have your own server

From $5 per month

DigitalOcean logo

Give $10, Get $25

Everyone you refer gets $10 in credit. Once they’ve spent $25 with us, you’ll get $25. There is no limit to the amount of credit you can earn through referrals.

So, sign up for DigitalOcean using my link and get 2 months of server time for free. If you then decide to keep the server after a few more months I’ll get a credit. Stick around and I’ll tell you how you can use this to run a basic sort of VPN …

Cheats VPN using SSH

Install sshuttle

Now you can set up a SSH connection that allows you to tunnel traffic over the connection or you can install sshuttle and have it do all the technical gubbins for you. So, I used sshuttle, it’s in the Ubuntu repos:

sudo apt-get install sshuttle

Run from a command line

Then to use it you want to do

sshuttle --dns -r root@X.X.X.X 0/0 --exclude # start sshuttle

  • –dns will send DNS requests over the transparent SSH proxy connection too, that way you don’t leak these to your normal DNS provider (eg your ISP)
  • -r root@X.X.X.X says to use the remote IP address X.X.X.X, this should be the IP of your droplet (or other server)
  • 0/0 says which subnets to forward traffic for, basically this means all traffic gets sent over the proxy (see man sshuttle for more info)
  • –exclude says to not route local (to your sshuttle client) traffic over the VPN, so your normal network traffic is not sent away; I’m not sure if this is needed but you’ll want to tailor it to your local network, my router is on (yours may be on or another address)

There you have it. You’ll probably get some errors that can usually be ignored. To end your VPN session you simply kill sshuttle, Ctrl+C, and it sets your network back to the prior settings and traffic then gets routed over your connection as normal.

Uses for DigitalOcean server/VPN

You could use this to bypass traffic blocks from your ISP, may be torrent data? Or, you could use this to appear to be at one of the IP addresses of the DO (ie DigitalOcean) servers. You could set up a Minecraft or other game server (as a novice game server admin I found I needed to use at least a 1G RAM server to get the necessary resources). Or, you could use your server to host webpages, an email server, backups, database, or just to learn different types of server administration.

Bring up a server in seconds

Once you have an account with credit, you’ve set up a public-private key system (PPK) then you can bring up a new SSD-based server on DO in one of their regions – US-NY, US-SanFran, Frankfurt, UK, Amsterdam, Singapore – with a couple of clicks. If it’s for short term use (like as a transparent VPN proxy using sshuttle) then you can pay for only the time you actually need and then destroy or stop the server; they do secure data wiping too so you could use this for tunnelling proprietary data for work or whatever.

$60 a year for your very own server? You’d be mad not to, surely …



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