Computer Science Department
BS in Computer Science
Consumers are increasingly relying on public wireless hotspots to access the internet from a growing number of devices. Usage of these hotspots has expanded from just laptops to everything from iPhones to tablets, which are expected to be internet-connected for full functionality. It has become common for one to check if there’s an open wireless hotspot connection available at places like coffee shops, hotels, restaurants, or even a doctor’s waiting room. The issue that arises is that these public connections present an inherent security risk, as anyone can connect and gain access to the network. For increased security, the use of a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is often recommended while connected to a public network, especially for sensitive data. Individuals can choose from a variety of VPN providers today, but are usually required to download a software client for each of their devices they want to connect to the VPN.
My project involves the use of a Raspberry Pi serving as a VPN router to provide secure internet access for connected devices. The Pi is connected to the internet via either a wireless or wired ethernet interface, and in turn provides a VPN connection through a wireless access point. When a computer or mobile device connects to the Pi, all traffic is routed through the VPN tunnel before reaching the internet. No software client is required for devices to connect as the Pi handles connecting to the VPN service and all required routing. Any number of devices with different operating systems can utilize the Pi’s secure network, as the process is no different than accessing a standard wireless access point.