Set Up Your Own NordVPN Meshnet VPN Server

China great firewall is having a dreaded effect on my decision whether I should go visit. With a typical hacker fashion I decided to roll my own sleeves and take the matter under my own control – set up my VPN servers.

A long story short, two solutions emerge, OpenVPN and NordVPN meshnet. Both have some commercial backing. So it is not exactly under my own control in some sense, but the solutions are all free. This article talks about NordVPN meshnet.

Set up VPN Server on AWS Ubuntu 22.04

I mostly follow this page that describes well. Below are the the commands I used.

<register nordvpn account>  # max 10 devices are allowed

sh <(curl -sSf

nordvpn login --token
nordvpn set technology nordlynx
nordvpn set meshnet on
nordvpn mesh peer list

nordvpn mesh peer inv send <email>  # invite others

nordvpn mesh peer routing allow <peer node>  # allow others to connect and route

# to stop/disable nordvpn
sudo systemctl disable --now nordvpnd

# to uninstall nordvpn
sudo apt-get --purge remove 'nordvpn*'

Set up on Ubuntu Client

The primary source information is at this page. Below are commands I used

<register nordvpn account>

sh <(curl -sSf

nordvpn login --token
nordvpn set technology nordlynx
nordvpn set meshnet on

# accept invitation, if using other's server
nordvpn mesh inv list
nordvpn mesh inv accept <email of Server user, if needed>

# connect and route internet traffic via meshnet VPN server
nordvpn mesh peer list
nordvpn mesh peer connect <server node>

# status and disconnect
nordvpn status
nordvpn disconnect

Set up Android Client and Other Clients

  • install NordVPN Android app
  • Sign up and/or log into NordVPN account
  • (optional) If using others’ VPN server, accept their invitation first
  • Then follow this page to start VPN

Other platforms are most likely similar, but I have not tried them. See iOS page and macOS page. Note if you use someone else’s VPN servers, you will need to accept their invitation first so that you can see their servers on your peer list.

Also note NordVPN is mixing meshnet features with their own paid VPN services, which make the UI very confusing. Just follow this guide and steer clear from the paid subscriptions.

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