Today, when the internet is all reaching, data has become far more valuable than what people believe. Not only do big corporations buy and sell data, they even have specifically targeted products based on accumulated data. So in this all-encompassing framework, it is eminent that one shall safeguard his/her private online activities. Here’s where VPN comes in.
Although initially it was developed for business entities to reach out and connect to one another over the internet for private and secure access, the VPN today has evolved into a much more dynamic product. Not only can it help you access region-restricted websites but it also shields your online activities from prying eyes.
How VPN operates and how does it help you
In simple words, a VPN connects your device (be it pc, tablet, or smartphone) to a server (another computer) on the internet and allows you to browse the internet via this particular server’s internet connection. Thus allowing you to forgo various regional and internet provider restrictions and scrutiny. For example, if you are in country A and the server is in country B, then by using VPN it will be as if you are browsing the net via a location in country B. That way you can potentially access things that you normally couldn’t due to regional or provider restrictions.
A VPN can be useful for you in the following few ways:
- Bypassing geographical restrictions
- Streaming media from OTT platforms such as Hulu and Netflix
- Protecting self from unwanted snooping
- A modicum of anonymity by hiding your true location
Now that we know how helpful a VPN can be let’s head back to the topic i.e. how to access VPN on your Windows 10 device?
The easy way to use the VPN service
There are a few ways in which you can configure a VPN service on your Windows 10 device. Some take a few minutes and some up to 10 or so, but regardless of the option you prefer it is recommended that you do get a VPN service.
A lot of VPN service providers provide special software or desktop clients which can help you connect to a VPN with only a single click. You can get these software from the Microsoft store, just download and install, and you are ready to go. Although there are a few freeware desktop clients; they aren’t really up to the mark. The best choices for this option are the current market leaders like ExpressVPN, NordVPN, StrongVPN, Cyberghost or Tunnelbear, etc.
There are a few advantages to this method, as such, they are paid they do offer a full variety of services like different protocols, remote access, auto connectivity, kill switch, and a few more.
All in all, these are a bit more secure.
Installing VPN desktop client: a step-by-step guide
Installing a VPN service with a desktop client is absolutely easy. Just follow the below-mentioned steps and you are set to go.
- Create a VPN account: Choose a decent VPN provider and visit their homepage/website. Then select a subscription plan according to your need. After that, proceed with the purchase and register an account with the VPN provider.
- Download the desktop client: After creating an account, you can directly download the corresponding desktop client (VPN software) from the provider website or use can download it from the official Microsoft store.
- Install the file: After downloading the file, click on it and follow the steps to install it.
- Log in to the software: Using the username and password obtained from step 1 to log in to the software.
- Choose your desired server: After you log in to the desktop client you will find a list of available servers, choose one according to your need.
- Automatic connection: From here onwards, all you need to do is click the big “connect” button on your client, and you will be connected automatically.
Now for those who are a bit tech curious or those who have a VPN provider but do not have a desktop client, windows come inbuilt with a client using which you can manually connect to the VPN provider of your choice.
This method may seem a bit complicated but it’s not if you follow the steps mentioned below. All you need are 10 or so minutes and you can manually configure your very own VPN connection.
Before heading deep into the topic, I have to remind you about the two things you will absolutely need moving forward with this method.
1. You will need a VPN service provider
Be it your work or for private use, you will need a provider even If you want to configure a connection manually. Depending on which, you can access the list of servers you would have to connect to down the road. You will also need the right credentials, such as username and password. In case of work you can ask your employer to provide them and for private use you will have to look for the service provider.
2. Protocol choice
During the manual setup, you will be asked to select the type of protocol from a list. This basically determines the strength of the connection. The four common protocols are PPTP, L2TP, SSTP, and OpenVPN. Your VPN provider will inform you about the protocol needed.
How to manually configure VPN on Windows 10
- On the desktop, click on the start button and select setting.
- Select Network & Internet from the new menu that popped. Then proceed to click on VPN from the list of connections on the right side.
- Click on Add a VPN connection from the new popup.
- A configuration menu will open. Look for VPN provider, then click on the dropdown menu and select Windows (built-in)
- In the second box, you will have to write a Connection Name, write something easy to recognize.
- The third box will ask for the server name or address, so write the address obtained from your provider ex www.vpn2free.com
- The next box is a VPN Type dropdown menu where you have to select the desired Protocol, obtained from your provider.
- Next fill out the Username and Password (after selecting the username and password option from the dropdown menu as most providers use this method of login.)
- Click the save button, now you have your own VPN client.
- Return to the Network & Internet page and select VPN on the right side, now you will see your recently configured VPN there, just click on it and click Connect and you are good to go.