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I have a vps which I run a website from. The website doesn't get much traffic so I'm not concerned about the available resources, but is this a bad idea for any reasons? If an additional ip address is added is this a safe option privacy-wise?

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  • Does the outgoing IP of your VPN match the IP of your website (depends on your VPS setup). Can one reach your website just via that IP, or does your VPS use a virtual host setup? If it's reachable via IP only, your VPN usage will lead to the website. And some people use VPNs to prevent that kind of thing. I don't know what you use it for.
    – dirkt
    Sep 14 '20 at 10:09
  • I was just looking into this. I think I'm going to add an additional ip address for the vpn, so no they will not match. rn I'm using nginx and the ip address does go to my server, but does not redirect to the actual site page, but pinging the page does give me that ip. Is adding an additional ip address a save option for privacy?
    – alrob
    Sep 14 '20 at 10:44
  • @alrob an additional IP address likely won't solve your problem unless you start mucking around with policy based routing - something that is likely to cause more issues then it solves here.
    – davidgo
    Sep 14 '20 at 11:45
  • @davidgo I don't understand why this wouldn't work. When I enter the main ip address, I reach nginx, but when I enter the additional ip it does not. Furthermore, the other ip is not linked to the main ip through any dns servers, so only I and my vps service are aware of the connection. Can you expand on which problems this will cause?
    – alrob
    Sep 14 '20 at 12:00
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    Each VPS would have its own routing table. This means that if there is an issue with the routing table for the VPN system it won't affect the web server if its on a different VPS. The chance of routing issues on a VPN exists because the VPN acts as a virtual network interface and adds its own routes to the routing table.
    – davidgo
    Sep 14 '20 at 18:55
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Its not a particularly bad idea, but it is not an ideal. If its an option, a VPN should be run on a router or dedicated box. Its not always an option though...

Things to consider (and these can all be mitigated) would be -

  1. A VPN - particularly a VPN client - can modify routes. If not set up correctly this could cause reach-ability issues for the website. (This can be mitigated by ensuring you don't broadcast a default route). Similarly, it could mean you can reach the resource across the VPN but it might not be working to others not on the VPN.

  2. Running a VPN is another service - so another thing that can be hacked or compromised. A lightweight, trusted VPN is not that likely to be an attack vector, but still, additional open ports, more code. More log files that can cause issues if it fills a disk.

  3. Its unclear why you are running the VPN. If you are routing through it it can slow down access to the website because it shares bandwidth with it.

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