About / FAQ

What is this?

Virtual Private Pi was designed as a VPN provider that allows one to host helium hotspots over a variety of connections without having to worry about port forwarding, carrier restrictions, or inbound network issues. To make it super simple, you get your own IP address that’s static and your helium miner appears to be behind it.

To date, this service has been tested and validated to work with the following:

  • AT&T Wireless 5G &LTE Hotspots
  • Verizon Wireless 5G & LTE Hotspots
  • T-Mobile 5G & LTE Hotspots (Including Inseego)
  • University Campuses (that do not require you to log in)
  • Tethered to an iPad Pro on Verizon LTE
  • Tethered to an iPad Pro on Verizon 5G
  • Tethered to a prototype device from TCL on TracFone Wireless
  • On a 10. that’s hosted by an enterprise
  • On a rotating IP address that changes every six hours

From there, this Pi can be obviously be used to host other traffic too, effectively acting as a data broker between your own private VPN provider and whatever devices you connect to the Pi Wirelessly.

How does it work?

For most people, the above situation is the norm. In this case, your home IP address is hosted on the Helium API so that other miners know where to look to “call” your miner.

The above is a diagram that shows how the VPN works. Effectively, the Pi acts as a router that routes traffic over your home internet to a virtual server running in a cloud service. As you can see, there are no open ports between the Pi and your home network – instead, there’s an encrypted connection to a server that has the opened ports. In the scenario above, the API stores your IP address as the virtual server’s address which then translates it back to the Pi then to the miner. The scenario above has three additional advantages over the first approach: more secure (IP isn’t exposed), guaranteed to have the same IP, health monitoring that I’ll be releasing soon.

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I have X number of Hotspots, how many Pi’s do I need?

Today, it’s one per Pi per connection. This is a limitation of OpenVPN unfortunately. Each Pi will have it’s own IP that’s statically assigned to the web with it’s own VPN server so you’d have to buy a gateway for each hotspot you want to do this with.

Why is it so expensive (and can I buy in bulk)?

Data isn’t free, nor is the hosting. It costs me around $15 per month to host this for you so I earn $5 per month per hotspot. The $5 covers the billing, site maintenance, Azure fees, and any other maintenance I need to do on the VPN servers for you.

I don’t offer bulk discounts as the setup fee ($20) includes about 15 minutes of my time to set up a single hotspot for you, and the other $20 covers the first month.

The good news is this is way cheaper than having a dedicated fiber line installed or getting a business plan with any provider.

Why didn’t you use WireGuard / (insert any other solution here)

Some of it was because they didn’t work. Wireguard wouldn’t properly forward the port and is nowhere near as compatible with various network solutions. Other parts of it is because I’m lazy and stopped researching once I found a solution.

How does this work?

Please check through the DIY Guide for more information.

Can I use this to cheat?

With the way I set it up, no. Additionally, anyone who’s caught cheating with my VPN services will have all services terminated immediately and will not be entitled to a refund.

But soon Helium won’t need 44158, this seems dumb.

There are other uses for this service, mostly security and privacy. In general, it’s best to use a VPN to protect your own home connection from nefarious actors. It will help protect you from your ISP from spying on what you’re doing and potentially canceling your service too (Comcast has explicit language stating that you are not to sublet your internet in your contract with them!). IP addresses aren’t exactly secret; however, anyone could easily DDOS you and make it difficult to use your network as expected.

I am also in the process of building out a full miner suite which allows automatic reboots in the event of an issue, reporting, monitoring, and remote management (even on devices that are IP Locked). More information will be coming on this soon, and most VPN devices shipped today are already preconfigured with the health tools!

What things do you log?

Currently, the pi’s will ping your miner and 8.8.8.8 every 3 minutes and run a health check. This is logged locally and will soon be sent to my server.

The VPN server keeps logs of connection times, length, and data transmitted overall. I do not know of any additional information that the VPN server logs by default. (If you do know of this and want it stopped, reach out to me!)

I do log which miner and VPN is yours, along with your name, email, and whatever information you put in the order form. This is so that I can bill you monthly and also reach out if there’s any issues with your miner.

Above all, I will always comply with any lawful government orders such as takedown requests or warrants if this service is used for illegal purposes. Furthermore, given the size of this company, I will not have the resources to fight back if it’s questionable. Abuse is not okay and I did not design this for it to be abused, so don’t do it and all will be fine!

Who are you?

The creator of this site is known as Proslasher on Discord.

Why are you charging $149 for a Pi?

The Pi comes with everything pre-configured and ready to go. You can absolutely do this project yourself for about half of what I charge (monthly and set-up fees), assuming you can order a raspberry pi.

What if your service (virtual private pi) becomes extinct?

You can easily use the hardware I ship you with your own VPN provider or a VM that you host on an Azure subscription. Once I have the guide written and published, you can do the same with the hardware! This service will not go extinct until at least six months after light hotspots go live.

What if I don’t pay?

I may give you a grace period, but ultimately your VPN services will be cut off.

Can I cancel my order?

Absolutely. Just send me an email to contact (at) dinskydoodles (dot) com

Can I get a refund?

VPN Monthly Service Fee: No

DIY VPN: Yes, if it hasn’t been set up.

Raspberry Pi: If you return it within two weeks of it being delivered to you in the same condition you received it in: yes (you will be charged the shipping costs and whatever the cost of your service was from the time it left my place until the time it comes back).

What about the monthly fees?

After you receive your device and have activated your free month, you will be sent a subscription page and will need to buy the monthly subscription moving forward.

What’s DinskyDoodles LLC?

My LLC that I operate under in the State of Georgia.

I have more questions.

Drop me a mail at contact (at) dinskydoodles (dot) com or ajkelly (at) gmail (dot) com.