Today we’re delighted to announce a preview of uProxy cloud servers! Do you need access but don’t have anyone who can share with you? Or do you just want a uProxy buddy who’s guaranteed to be online whenever you need it?
With a uProxy cloud server, instead of relying on a friend to run uProxy at the same time, you set up your own personal server in the cloud with which only you (and those you share it with) can connect. Keep it just for yourself, share it with friends or family, or create one for your whole organisation—whatever works best for you!
During this early-availability phase, we recommend running uProxy on DigitalOcean. DigitalOcean is a major provider of cloud servers and we like them because they have some of the best pricing, offer servers in many locations, can accept PayPal, and have good support for tools we use. While the cheapest monthly plan we currently recommend is, at $10, a bit more expensive than some commercial VPNs, we believe the performance and reliability of a dedicated server—which can support several concurrent users—will surpass that of many commercial VPNs. We're planning to make uProxy cloud servers easier to deploy and cheaper to operate as we get closer to releasing full support for cloud.
To preview cloud support you currently need to follow some advanced steps, including using SSH and the command line. Soon, we’ll automate the process of creating a cloud server right from within uProxy so less technical users can create cloud servers too. In the meantime, this post serves as a guide for advanced users who want to try this feature today.
Experts will realise that it takes only a few small changes to these steps to get a uProxy server running on almost any Docker/Linux system with a public IP address. We'd love to hear about your experiences with other cloud computing providers.
Without further ado, let’s dive in!
Create a server
- Log into DigitalOcean. If you don’t already have a DigitalOcean account, click Sign up and follow the instructions for creating an account and adding payment information.
- Click the green Create Droplet button in the top-right corner. This will take you to the Create Droplets page. (“Droplet” is DigitalOcean’s term for a cloud server.)
- Under Choose an image, click One-click apps. Select Docker 1.12.6 on 16.04. Note: When a new version of Docker is released, Digital Ocean will update the default version number accordingly so if you see a higher number, you should use that.
- Scroll down to Choose a size. At a minimum, choose the $10/month option. This should work well for at least three people using your server at the same time. Choose a more expensive plan if you need higher capacity.
- Scroll down to Choose a datacenter region. The closer you are to the server, the faster your connection to it will be, so choose the region closest to you. For example, if you are in the Middle East, choose Amsterdam. If you are in Asia, choose Singapore.
- Scroll down past the next two sections to Finalize and create, where you’ll see a box labeled Choose a hostname. A hostname is like a username for a server. You’ll see something like "docker-1gb-...-01” filled in for you, but you should replace this with something you'll recognize, like “uproxy-cloud-server.”
- Your server is ready to be created, yay! Click Create and behold your cloud server come into existence. When the process is complete, we will install uProxy on your new server.
- Now that you have a DigitalOcean server, the next step is to log in and execute the command to install uProxy. You should have received an email from DigitalOcean containing the login details. Find this email and log in as per these instructions. Note that the very first time you log in, you will be prompted to confirm the authenticity of the server (enter “yes”) and then you will be prompted to enter the password DigitalOcean mailed you, and then to choose a new UNIX password (after first entering the current password again).
- Once you’ve successfully logged in, copy/paste the following command (after pasting, press enter to run it if it doesn’t start running immediately):
curl https://raw.githubusercontent.com/uProxy/uproxy/master/install-cloud.sh | sh
- Get some coffee: in our testing, this command runs for approximately ten minutes. Once complete, you’ll see a very long sequence of random letters and numbers as the last thing output to the screen. This is actually part of a very long “invitation URL". You’ll probably have to scroll up to get to the beginning of (look for a line beginning with
INVITE_CODE_URL:—the URL will be on the next line and will start with https://www.uproxy.org/invite/). If necessary, resize the window so you can select the entire invite code URL, then copy/paste it into a file and save it somewhere you’ll be able to get to it in the future. You’re done setting up your server, so you can type exit (and then press “enter”) to log out. In the next section, we’ll use this URL to access your new cloud server.
UsageYour cloud server should be now ready to use! But first let’s explain the long URL from the previous step. This URL is an invitation to administer your uProxy cloud server and provides anyone who knows it with administrator access to it. Therefore, think of it as a password: keep it safe and don’t share it with anyone.
Proxy through your cloud serverPaste the invitation URL you saved in the previous step into your browser. uProxy will pop up and prompt you to accept the invitation. Click Accept and, after a few moments, your cloud server will appear in the
Once you’ve got access, you can try going to geoiptool.com to verify that you are connecting through your new server. If the marker it places on the map is in the region you chose for your DigitalOcean server, and not your current location, you know it’s working.
Share your cloud serverAs the owner of a cloud server, you can create non-administrator invitation URLs for other users. Share these URLs with your friends, family, or members of your organisation as you like. To issue an invitation, switch to the
Note that, since you’re the only one with the administrator invitation, you’re the only one who can invite friends to use your uProxy cloud server; friends you’ve invited via a non-administrator URL can’t invite their friends. Also, it is currently difficult to revoke invitations you’ve already sent. We will make this easy in the future, but for now, be careful to only invite people you can trust to use your server in the ways you intend them to.