I am not usually using VPN, but some very rare occasion, I will need to use one. So buying a monthly subscription or yearly subscription of any VPN provider is not ideal. I tried to search for some script or way to create my own VPN via any server, but it takes a lot of works, sometime, it a headache to try to comprehend the script or debug when it is not working.

Fortunately, I discovered Outline, a tool to set up VPN with just the simple of click via GUI, and integrate with famous VPS provider like DigitalOcean, AWS Lightsail, Google Cloud. The advantage is the simplicity of it, you don't need to remember anything, just click the button and it will take care of the rest. After done of being used, you can just destroyed the VPN, the cost will be minimal since server of VPS provider is being charged by hours. For example, the cheapest one of digital ocean is just $0.00595.

Create VPN via Outline Manager

First, you will need to download the Outline Manager app, it is available on Linux, Windows, and MacOS, choose your own version here: Download link

After having Outline Manger installed, we can now create the VPN, in the example below, I will using Digital Ocean as the VPS for VPN, the location of the VPS will be the location of the connection.

Step 1, Set up with Digital Ocean

The first step is to authorize the app to use and create doplet on the Digital Ocean on behalf of us. Open Outline Manager, click Set up in the Digital Ocean, login and authorize in the browser as they pop up. After being authorized, you will see the button Create server and your account email as the screenshot below:

Outline Manager interface after authorize DigitalOcean

Step 2, create VPN server

Press Create server and choose the location that you want, in this example, I will choose in San Fransisco, US.

Outline Manager create server screen

Then click the top Set up outline button, and then wait as it is creating everything for you under the background.

Outline manager is creating server

After around 60 seconds, the process will complete and display as follow:

Outline manager successfully create the server

Notice the access key above, we will use it in the next step.

Using the created VPN with Outline client

To be able to use VPN created by Outline manager, we will need to install the Outline client, choose your platform and download the application in this link: Download link

Who are using MacOS will see it is opened in the top here

Outline client on MacOS

The next step is to copy the access key from the Outline Manager and add them to the client.

Outline Manager copy the access key

Now switch to outline client, click on the plus icon to add a new access key, it will recognize and display as a server

Outline client listed servers

Now you are basically done, when you want to connect via the VPN server, just click Connect, when you want to use you default connection, just click Disconnect.

The same process to connect to VPN can be done via your mobile device, the screenshot below is for my mobile phone using Android:

Outline client on android

Destroy the server when you don't need it anymore

It not always the case that we need to use VPN, so when you don't need it anymore, just destroy it in the dropdown at the top right corner of the server.

Outline Manager destroy server


So, this is a very easy way to spin up a VPN server with minimal cost, with just several clicks. It is very handy for those who already own a server or using any cloud provider like AWS, GCP, DO or any servers and just want to self set up a quick VPN.

I hope you find this useful, peace.