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Tailoring Your Own Internet: A Comprehensive Guide to Tailscale

James Huang | 2024.03.17

Connect servers, VMs, and devices to create your own personal internet — a private network that you can share with friends and family, and access from anywhere in the world.

From my perspective, there are two methods (Easy/Advanced) and three paths (Apple/Android/Linux) to use Tailscale. In this post, I'll start with the Easy/Apple mode which is most suitable for beginners.

Easy Mode/ Apple Eco System

Step 1. Set up your Tailscale Account

Assuming you have your AppleID set up on your iPhone/iPad/Macbook, use Safari to register on Tailscale. Follow the steps to register your first device with Tailscale. At this point, you've created your own personal internet with a single device.

Step 2. Add more devices

Assuming you have your iPad/iPhone/Macbook ready, use Safari to log in to your previously set up account. Now, you can securely connect all devices via MagicDNS and private IP address.

Step 3. Set up an Exit-Node

You may wonder how the “VPN” works when all devices are connected to each other as P2P without reaching Internet. To accomplish this, you need to convert a device into an Exit-Node. The exit node feature lets you route all non-Tailscale internet traffic through a specific device on your Tailscale network (known as a tailnet). The device routing your traffic is called an “exit node.” Configure the device to “Run as Exit Node” from the UI.

Step 3b. Get an AppleTV (Optional)

The easiest way to set up a stable and always-on device at home is to use an AppleTV. This low power consumption device can serve as your VPN (Server) Exit Node.

Step 4. Allow the exit node from the admin console

Open the Machines page of the admin console, and locate the exit node device. Look for the Exit Node badge in the machines list. The route settings panel in the admin console has a section titled 'exit node' with a single toggle.

Open the Edit route settings panel from the ellipsis icon menu, and enable the Use as exit node option.

Step 5: Use the exit node You can now use the exit node from devices in your network. Each device must enable the exit node separately. Select the exit node that you want to use. To stop using an exit node, disable the one you are currently using or select None from the Exit Node drop-down list.

Step 6: Validate your setup

Turn off your Wifi on your iPhone, go to WhatsmyIPaddress and check your IP Address. The address showing should be your Cellular provider's IP address

Turn on your Tailscale and select your Exit Node. Refresh your driver, the address showing now should be different and should be the Exit Node IP address (a.k.a your home).

Easy Mode/ Android Ecosystem

This is quite similar to the Apple Ecosystem. However, you can utilize your Android and AndroidTV box to achieve it. I recommend using a Google Account to set up such an ecosystem.

Advance Mode/ Linux with Travel Router

Contact me and buy me lunch if you need complex setup.


Q: Can I set up the AppleTV/GoogleTV overseas as an Exit Node?

A: Absolutely!

Q: I still can’t access some Internet webpages after using Exit-Node?

A: In admin console, DNS, nameservers, add Global Nameservers and override local.

Q: Can I connect multiple AppleTVs to a single router?

A: Yes, you can!

Q: How much will it cost to run this?

A: The current Tailscale pricing is free. The estimated electricity cost for running AppleTV is a maximum of 10HKD per month.

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