Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) can provide an extra layer of security and privacy. Whether you're working on a public Wi-Fi network and wanting to avoid curious eyes, or you're worried about privacy in general, a VPN can offer many benefits.
In a nutshell, a VPN establishes a secure, encrypted connection between your device and a private server that conceals your traffic from being viewed by others. Of course, the VPN can still see your traffic, so you should choose a VPN from a company you trust. (A good rule of thumb is to avoid free VPNs, because if they don't charge a fee, they can make money in less desirable ways.) In addition, law enforcement can get your hands on your information through the VPN company. But for the most part, a VPN offers you a way to hide your online activity from others.
Please note that getting a VPN is just one of the steps you can take to make your web browsing safer. Others include activating two-factor authentication and using a password manager.
In addition to their security benefits, VPNs can be useful when trying to access sensitive information, or if you travel in Europe and want to stream Netflix or Amazon Prime titles are only allowed in the US. They can also allow you to jump firewalls in highly regulated countries like China, even if it becomes difficult.
At home, you can set up your VPN via the router, which takes a little more steps but means that all devices connected to the router do not need any individual configuration. It can also slow down all traffic that goes through. But for this article, we will concentrate on VPN apps that you can load on your laptop or phone so you can use the Internet safely from your home base.
Most VPN apps currently support the OpenVPN protocol, which makes the installation a simple matter of allowing the app to configure the settings for you. (Stay up-to-date for our guide to the best services to try.) But if your device uses MacOS, Chrome OS, Windows 10, iOS or Android, to get a quick overview of what's up to date before choosing a service, or prefer to do a manual setting, we have broken down the steps into simple instructions for you.
Configuring a VPN in Windows 10
The first step is to create a VPN profile that you fill out with details from your specific VPN service.
- Click the Windows button and then go to Settings> Network and Internet> VPN. Click Add a VPN connection.
- In the fields on the page, select Windows (built-in) for your VPN provider. Give your VPN a name under Connection name. Enter the server name or address, the VPN type, and the type of login information.
- Add a user name and password for extra security (this is optional but recommended). You can choose to have your computer remember your login information.
- Click Save
- To connect to your VPN, go back to Settings> Network and Internet> VPN. Click on your VPN name.
- If you want, you can now select Advanced Options to edit the connection properties, delete login information, or configure a VPN proxy.
- Select Connect and enter a password if you have set one.
Configuring a VPN in Chrome OS
To get a VPN in Chrome OS, you can access the Chrome Web Store to find an extension for your optional VPN, go to the Google Play Store (if your Chromebook is set up for it) and get a VPN app there or download one from a VPN site. Anyway, your VPN app should give you instructions on how to fully configure it.
If you need to do it manually, you can. Chrome has built-in support for L2TP / IPsec and OpenVPN. To install a VPN that works with one of the following formats:
- Click on the time at the bottom right of the screen and click Settings.
- Click Add Connection and then OpenVPN / L2TP
- Add all the information needed, which may include the server's host name, service name, vendor type, distributed key, username, and password. You can save your identity and your password if you wish. Click Connect.
Some VPN files, especially those issued from a workplace, require a certificate, which you must import first. If something is required:
- Enter chrome: // settings / certificate
- Go to the Authorities tab. Find the right certificate in the list and click Import.
- Then follow the instructions above to set up the VPN.
Configuring a VPN in macOS
As with the other formats here, there are apps that help you through the installation process automatically, but you can also do it yourself manually.
- Begin, go to System Settings and then dive into Network.
- From there, the process is simple. Click the plus symbol button at the bottom left and use the Interface drop-down menu to select VPN. You need the information from your VPN to the choice to fill in the VPN type and service name.
- Click the Create button. Fill in the server's address, remote ID and local ID in appropriate fields. Click Authentication Settings.
- Enter the user name and password for your VPN, which you can set through your VPN app.
- Click OK and Connect.
Configuring a VPN in iOS
Setting up a VPN on an iOS device is quite simple. Again, if you download an app from the App Store, it should automatically configure the settings for you. How to do this manually, however:
- Just jump to Settings and press General.
- Scroll down to select VPN (iPhone will say if you are connected to one or not).
- Tap Add VPN Configuration, and then tap Type to select a security protocol. (Follow the instructions from your selected app).
- Return to the Add Configuration screen, where you add VPN's description, server, remote ID, and local ID.
- Enter your username and password. You can also use a proxy if you want.
- Press Done You will then return to the VPN screen. Switch the status switch to.
Configuring a VPN in Android
As an iOS, it should not be too difficult to set up a VPN on an Android device. Here's the manual process if you don't let an app automatically configure things for you. (Keep in mind that some vendors can customize their Android versions, but your process may vary slightly.)
- Go to Settings> Network and Internet> Advanced> VPN (you'll see a small key icon). If you do not see Network and Internet in the Settings menu (which may happen depending on your Android overlay), then do a search within the VPN settings. Press the Add button.
- If you happen to set this up on a new phone, or if you haven't set up a screen lock or password, Google prompts you to first set one for your phone. Do so.
- Now create your VPN profile. Add VPN name, type and server address. Click Save.
- You will be taken back to the VPN screen, where you will now see the name of your VPN. Press it and enter your name and password. You can also choose to save your account information, and you can always turn VPN on. Click Connect.
- Enter VPN name, type, server address, user name and password.
- Then save. You're done!
Once you've got your VPN up and running, you may notice that browsing is not as fast as it used to be, especially if you have configured traffic to go through another country. Stronger encryption, or more users connected to a VPN, can also slow down your internet speeds. Downloads may slow to snail speed and your screen storage League of Legends may be absurd. But it's not a big problem compared to the security you've added.
And anyway, now that you know how to configure a VPN, it's easy to replace it in comparison. You just have to remember to do it.
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