As internet-connected devices proliferate across homes and businesses, finding ways to secure them grows increasingly important. The Raspberry Pi single-board computer sees tons of versatile applications from media centers to network infrastructure controllers. Pairing the Pi with NordVPN’s encryption platform provides vital privacy and security to guard your usage.
First we’ll briefly introduce the Raspberry Pi hardware and NordVPN service for those less familiar. Then we’ll cover specifics on how to install NordVPN for protecting your nifty Raspberry Pi projects.
What is Raspberry Pi
This compact ARM-based computer packs impressive capabilities in a low-cost, low-power-consumption design. Models like the Raspberry Pi 4 provide quad-core processing, 4K video outputs, wireless LAN connectivity and ample I/O expansion all for around $100 or less.
Capabilities like media playback, file sharing, web hosting, home automation and network routing made Raspberry Pi a darling for hobbyists. It runs various Linux distributions providing software flexibility. Given connectivity to sensors, cameras, and actuators, the Pi can control robotics, security systems, environmental monitoring pretty much anything requiring a compact Linux box.
What is NordVPN?
This Panama-based virtual private network provider securely encapsulates internet traffic within encrypted VPN tunnels. This prevents snooping or interference by outside parties like hackers and internet service providers while browsing the web.
As one of the largest VPN services worldwide, NordVPN hosts over 5,500 remote servers spanning across 60 different countries throughout Europe, the Americas, Australia and Asia. Users can select VPN server endpoints matching their desired location.
In addition to hiding your identity and location online, NordVPN also unblocks restricted internet content like Netflix libraries walled off based on geography. For Raspberry Pi devices, their service encrypts traffic hiding project details and your identity.
Now let’s look at setup…
Why Use NordVPN on Raspberry Pi
Pairing the Raspberry Pi platform with NordVPN combinations delivers a couple great advantages:
Enhanced Privacy & Anonymity
VPN tunnels encapsulate internet communications securing details about Raspberry Pi projects which may deal with confidential research initiatives or commercial privacy goals when connecting Pi devices to external services. The encryption hides traffic patterns which could reveal behaviors of Pi-powered systems to outside observers or bad actors.
Bypassing Access Restrictions
Certain sites actively block access from perceived VPN provider ranges to discourage circumventing geographic restrictions. NordVPN offers specialty obfuscated servers that scramble communication patterns enabling successfully connecting to these difficult sites. This benefits Raspberry Pi projects relying on scraping data or accessing internet properties actively trying to shutout unwanted visitors.
In addition to enhancing privacy and overcoming access limitations, NordVPN also provides excellent speeds within their Linux infrastructure which translates well for Raspberry Pi platforms needing quality throughput.
How to Install NordVPN on Raspberry Pi
The Raspberry Pi OS distribution ships with OpenVPN software pre-installed making setup straightforward. Simply import the NordVPN OpenVPN configuration files and certificates to activate their VPN capabilities systemwide across your device.
1. Set Up Raspberry Pi OS
Start by imaging Raspberry Pi OS to your microSD card per standard procedures. The Linux distro works across all modern Pi boards including the latest Raspberry Pi 4 and 400 models.
Expand the file system and enable automatic login to streamline having VPN protection in place immediately on boot rather than needing to manually login to the command line first.
1. Expand File System
3. Boot Options -> Desktop/CLI -> Console Autologin
Reboot once to allow changes to take effect.
2. Install OpenVPN
Even though OpenVPN software comes standard with Raspberry Pi OS, it doesn’t hurt to confirm the package remains up to date:
sudo apt update
sudo apt install openvpn
3. Download NordVPN Configuration Files
Navigate to NordVPN’s OpenVPN config generator page. Select TCP or UDP protocol, then grab config and SSL certification files for your desired VPN server location.
Save the .ovpn, .conf, .crt and any supplemental files to the Pi user’s /etc/openvpn directory:
Repeat to add configurations for all locations of interest.
4. Connect Through NordVPN
With NordVPN credentials added to the OVPN file and certificates installed, connect via:
sudo openvpn /etc/openvpn/CanadaTCP.ovpn
Default routes now tunnel through NordVPN’s encrypted infrastructure hiding your Raspberry Pi’s internet presence and physical location!
Other VPN Options for Raspberry Pi
While the native OpenVPN client built into Raspberry Pi OS works seamlessly, two other popular VPN platforms see support as well – WireGuard and OpenVPN. Let’s briefly contrast them.
This relative newcomer on the virtual private networking scene offers key advantages over legacy protocols like OpenVPN and IPSec. Namely faster speeds, lower resource consumption and simpler configurations.
NordVPN embraced WireGuard heavily integrating it across clients with their own NordLynx VPN standard. Raspberry Pi users can certainly leverage WireGuard either through NordVPN’s NordLynx implementations or installing WireGuard directly.
The Pi Foundation adds official WireGuard support to Raspberry Pi OS distributions. So pairing WireGuard VPNs with the Pi makes for a very efficient encrypted tunnel option.
We already covered OpenVPN given its tight integration with both Raspberry Pi platforms and NordVPN’s network. For maximal compatibility across different Linux, Windows and mobile clients, OpenVPN remains a stalwart choice.
NordVPN offers legacy OpenVPN in conjunction with WireGuard/NordLynx for giving users options between cutting-edge protocol speeds and maximum endpoint support coverage leveraging OpenVPN.
As a low-cost, highly-capable microcomputer, the Raspberry Pi sees endless applications from embedded computing to network services. But being Linux powered, it remains approachable even for non-technical users. NordVPN greatly enhances privacy and even expands capabilities by bypassing geographic restrictions.
Following this guide, you can easily activate NordVPN across your Raspberry Pi systems taking advantage of leading speeds, technology integrations and protection capabilities offered by this industry-leading virtual private networking provider.
Check NordVPN’s site for added configurations not covered here like using NordLynx protocol, installing NordVPN apps directly or familiarizing yourself with their DNS resolver services. By leveraging NordVPN and similar platforms, you can deploy practical Raspberry Pi solutions without sacrificing security or restricting access to valuable internet resources.