How To Set Up A VPN For Increased Security And Privacy

VPNs are what you need to safely access websites on the World Wide Web that are usually inaccessible in your location, with added security and privacy features.

A VPN or virtual private network is officially defined as an arrangement wherein a secure and apparently private network is attained with the use of encryption over public networks, usually the Internet.

VPNs can do a lot for Internet users. To enable a VPN, you must use VPN software. This VPN software provides protection for your information through masking the IP address of your device, encrypting data, and routing this through secure networks to servers in distant locations such as countries and states. Doing so hides your online identity, ensuring you can browse the Internet anonymously and securely. Aside from these, you can also use VPNs to change location.

Among the main benefits of this change location feature are securing yourself while connected to public Wi-Fi, privacy, eluding censorship, getting around restrictions on the firewall, and so much more.

But how can you set up a VPN for increased security and privacy? We will find out in this piece.

In your residence, you can set up the VPN using your router. This takes several steps and can slow down the total traffic that goes through. For this article, we will concentrate on VPN apps you can load on your phones or laptops, so you can safely use the Internet away from your home base.

How To Set Up A VPN In Windows 10

Before anything else, you will have to create your VPN profile and fill this out with details from your VPN service. Then, here are the steps.

  • Tap on the Windows button, then head over to Settings > Network & Internet > VPN. Then, click Add a VPN connection.
  • Choose Windows (built-in) for your VPN provider in the page’s fields. Name your VPN under Connection name. Enter your server name or address, the type of VPN, and the type of sign-in information.
  • Afterward, add your username and password for added security. This is optional, though. But once you choose to take this route, you can also let the computer remember the credentials.
  • Hit Save.
  • To connect to the VPN, return to Settings > Network & Internet > VPN. Tap the VPN name.
  • If you prefer, at this point, you can choose Advanced Options when you need to edit the properties of the connection, clear the sign-in details, or set up a VPN proxy.
  • Choose Connect and enter the password if you have indicated this.

How To Set Up A VPN In Chrome OS 

To begin, head over to the Chrome Web Store and look for an extension for your preferred VPN. Then, head over to Google Play Store (if your Chromebook has been set up for this) and obtain the VPN app from there. Or, download one from a VPN site. Either way, this VPN app should let you know instructions on setting it up entirely.

You can also do it manually. Chrome features native support for L2TP/IPsec and OpenVPN. Here are the steps.

  • Tap the time located on the lower right-hand side of your screen, then hit Settings.
  • Click Add connection. Then, on OpenVPN / L2TP.
  • Add all the necessary information. These include the username and password, server hostname, provider type, service name, and pre-shared key. You can likewise save your identity and password if you wish to. Then, click on Connect.

There are VPNs, especially those coming from a workplace, that demand a certificate. You will have to import this first. If this is something that is required, take a look at these steps.

  • Go to chrome://settings/certificates
  • Head into the Authorities tab. Look for the correct certificate in the list. Then, click Import.
  • You simply have to follow the above instructions to set up the VPN.

How To Set Up A VPN In macOS 

You can either do this automatically or manually with the help of apps.

  • To get started, go to System Preferences, then head over to Network.
  • From here, the process is pretty easy. Tap the Plus symbol button located at the bottom left, and make use of the Interface drop-down menu to select VPN. You will need the details from your VPN of choice to enter information such as VPN Type and Service Name.
  • Hit the Create button. From here, you will have to enter the server address, remote ID, and local ID in the provided fields. Then, click Authentication Settings.
  • Fill out the username and password for your VPN. These, you can set via the VPN app.
  • Tap OK and Connect.

How To Set Up A VPN In iOS

It is also fairly straightforward and simple to set up your VPN on iOS devices. Again, if you have downloaded an app from the App Store, it should be able to configure settings for you, automatically. To do it manually, these are the steps.

  • Go to Settings and hit General.
  • Scroll down to choose VPN. Right here, the iPhone will tell you whether you are connected to a VPN or not.
  • Hit Add VPN Configuration and then on Type to choose a security protocol. You must follow the instructions your chosen app has provided.
  • Return to the Add Configuration screen. Here, you will add the description, server, local ID, and remote ID of the VPN.
  • Enter the username and password. If you want, you can use a proxy too.
  • Tap Done. You will be redirected to the VPN screen. Toggle the Status switch on.

How To Set Up A VPN In Android

Like setting up the VPN on the other devices, you can also do things here automatically or manually. Here are the steps for the manual process.

  • Head over to Settings > Network & Internet > Advanced > VPN (look for a little key icon). If you are not able to see Network & Internet in Settings (which could happen depending on the overlay of your Android), perform a search within Settings for VPN. Tap the Add button.
  • Should you be setting this up using a new phone, or if you have not set a screen lock or password yet, Google will provide a prompt that you first set these for your phone. Do so.
  • This time, create your VPN profile. Add the name, type, and Server address. Tap Save.
  • At this point, you will get redirected to the VPN screen, where you can see the VPN name. Tap on this, and enter your name and password. You can also opt to save your account details, and you can turn the VPN on always. Tap Connect.
  • Enter the name, type, server address, username, and password of the VPN.
  • Then, save. You are done!

It is normal to see your web browsing not as fast as it usually is once the VPN is running, especially if you have configured traffic to go through another location, such as a country. More users connected to the VPN or stronger encryption can also slow down the speed of your Internet connection. Downloads may also turn slow, but these are nothing compared to the security you have added.

You have learned the various ways to set up a VPN for increased security and privacy. You can toggle it off anytime. You only have to remember the steps on how to do it.