PiVPN Makes It Easier than Ever to Gain Secure Remote Access to Your Raspberry Pi

A VPN (virtual private network) is one of a few different ways you can access a remote computer. Two other common methods are SSH and remote desktop. SSH is traditionally used for sending simple terminal commands, though SSH tunneling allows more complex interactions. Remote desktop allows you to see and use the actual desktop of the remote computer, though that can be done more securely through a VPN.

A VPN essentially extends your private local network onto the internet, and when it’s setup properly it’s very secure. Unfortunately, that setup can be a tad complicated for the inexperienced. PiVPN removes that complexity on your Raspberry Pi by providing an installation and configuration process that has been automated into a single command:

If your Raspberry Pi is running Raspbian Jessie—that’s it! That one command will install OpenVPN, configure it, and tweak the settings to improve the server’s security. Don’t worry advanced users: the pivpn command will launch a configuration interface if you have unique requirements that aren’t covered by the standard installation.

The uninitiated among you might be curious what you can do with your shiny new VPN. On the most simple level, it’ll allow you to access your Raspberry Pi’s file system from anywhere—so you can open your documents, music, movies, and so on. If you’re traveling abroad, you can also access the internet through your Raspberry Pi at home, so you can avoid country-specific restrictions. Basically, you can do anything you’d do at home, but remotely from your smartphone, laptop, or public computer.