I self-host a lot of web applications/services out of my home - including this site. One of the services that I have been running for years, with various iterations, is a VPN (Virtual Private Network) server.
Basically, a VPN lets me act as though all my internet traffic from a connected device (client) is actually coming from my home network. A few benefits:
- I block website ads for my whole home network - when I connect my phone via VPN, I don't get ads while browsing the web!
- I can access things that are connected to my home network. I could print to a networked printer, for example.
- My internet traffic is encrypted - I can connect to a public wireless network with little concern that anybody can see my traffic, it's as secure as being at home.
- I can access the sites I'm used to using from home without being blocked by geographic or network restrictions. When I travel, I still get my same Netflix choices.
I have a very fast home internet connection, so my c0nnection speeds are rarely any slower using my VPN - often faster, since I don't load any ads. If you're running a homelab or have a home server and are looking for useful things to host, I highly recommend setting up a VPN!