How to Use a VPN on Your PC (Windows 10)

In this modern-day and age, more and more people are leveraging the internet to perform their daily tasks or run their business operations. While this paves the way for convenience, as well as for more efficient processes, the internet can also bring about certain security concerns.

Like in real life, you should prioritize your safety and security in all your online activities. One of the most viable means to do this is by using a VPN service. This article tackles how to use a VPN on your personal computer (PC).

VPN in Brief

Before delving into the use of a VPN service, you first need to familiarize yourself with what it is, as well as what it can and cannot do for you. A VPN or virtual private network can ensure your online security and privacy. It essentially creates a data tunnel between the local network that you are using and another server. In this case, the tunnel can mask your actual location. The address that appears on the sites you access will be the address of the server on the other exit node of the tunnel.

Apart from masking your actual location, a VPN service can also help you encrypt the data that you are sending and receiving online. As soon as information enters the tunnel, it will be kept secure because the data will no longer be readable to those who are not authorized to access it. In this case, you are free from the prying eyes of those who may be eavesdropping on your internet activity.

VPN Privacy

A VPN service can ensure your online privacy because it can hide various types of information that you may not want to share. For instance, it can hide your browsing history, which is often used to detect your IP address. It follows that a VPN service can also hide your IP address and location, allowing you to search anonymously. From there, you will have the capability to access geo-restricted content such as those offered by streaming services only for a particular location.

A VPN service can also help protect your devices from the prying eyes of those with malicious intentions on the internet. Best of all, you will be able to maintain internet freedom with a reliable VPN service. Just keep in mind that even with a VPN service, you should not forget security basics such as the installation of antivirus software. Even if certain VPN services can block malware, a standalone solution is still better when it comes to providing you with utmost security against cyber attacks.

Choosing a VPN Service

Before you get into setting up a VPN service for your computer, make sure that you choose the right one that suits your needs. In this case, make sure that you take the time to explore various VPN services. When you search online sources, you may come across that lists down some of the best VPN options that you have for a Windows operating system. The key is in looking into the qualities of each of the VPN services for you to be able to ensure that the key features match what you need.

In choosing a VPN service, you also need to check which devices are compatible with it. While most support the main operating systems, some VPN services are not available on certain platforms. Alongside this, make sure that you go for a VPN service that provides an intuitive and easy to use interface to ensure that it will be effortless for you to configure it later on. From there, you need to decide on a payment plan that suits your budget. It will help if you go for one with a money-back guarantee to ensure that in case you are not satisfied with the service, you don’t have to continue paying for it.

Setting up a VPN Service

●     Launching the VPN Software

One of the primary things that you need to do to set up a VPN service on your computer is to download and install it. As soon as you have installed it, you will most likely find it in your Applications folder, Taskbar, or Desktop. To launch the software, you only need to click on it from your Taskbar or double click on it if its icon is on the Desktop.

●     Configuration

As soon as you have launched the VPN software, the next thing that you need to do is to follow the instructions. In this case, there will be a couple of prompts that you need to follow to finish the setup of the service. Just keep in mind that VPN services may vary, with some not even requiring you to do anything else except to click on their icon. However, others require you to set up an account.

During this phase, some VPN services will provide you with the option to automatically connect your service during startup. Some may also provide you with the option for TCP overrides. In this case, if your internet service provider (ISP) throttles your connection, your VPN service will automatically transfer into a transmission control protocol (TCP).

●     Signing Up

The first time that you set up your VPN service, your may need to sign up to create an account first. In this case, you need to come up with your username and password that you will enter each time you log in. Keep your credentials to yourself to ensure your security. If you are using the VPN of your company, logging in using your credentials will allow you to access the network of your company.

●     Running a VPN Service

After signing up or logging in, you can already begin running your VPN service. You can update the settings of your VPN to automatically launch and connect to a random network if you have not yet done so. However, there is also the option for you to choose how you want to connect to the service.

In case you are leveraging a free VPN service, there is a great chance that your data use is only limited, or you may be restricted after a certain period of use. In this case, make sure to access only your VPN when you need to secure your IP address or when you must maintain your privacy, such as when you are utilizing public Wi-Fi, but not when you are at home.

●     Choosing a Server

Most VPN services will usually connect to a server that is nearest your location. In this way, you will experience better speeds. Keep in mind that speed and performance may degrade with a VPN server location that is farther from you.

Nevertheless, there may be instances wherein you may not want to be connected to a server that the VPN service recommends for you for various reasons. Fortunately, most VPN services will allow you to choose the server that you want to connect with. However, the manner of choosing a server may vary from one provider to another. For instance, certain providers allow you to click on a specific country in their interactive map. From there, a list of available servers that you can connect to in that country will pop up.

If you want to bypass government censorship, then you should go for a server that is located in a country different from your own. Similarly, if you want to access geo-restricted content, then you should access a server that is located in the country that is local to the content that you intend to access. Some providers even feature specific servers dedicated to streaming services.

●     Advanced VPN Access

The features that you can access on your VPN service may vary from one provider to another, as well as the plan that you have subscribed to. In this case, make sure to read through the documentation that your service provides for you to have a good idea of how you will be able to maximize the features made available for you. For instance, if your VPN service provider offers a kill-switch feature, then take the time to study how you will be able to leverage this. A kill-switch feature is beneficial, particularly when your VPN connection is disconnected or disrupted.

Usually, VPN services also allow their subscribers to select a protocol. For some people, this can prove to be intimidating because of the technical jargon that most of the time, they are unfamiliar with. Nevertheless, if you are interested in exploring VPN protocols and what they can do, make sure to go for open source solutions that work with most platforms.

Make sure that you are familiar with how a VPN works for you to be able to maximize its usage for your advantage. You should also take the time to choose the best VPN service that suits your needs and preferences. From there, make sure to follow the necessary steps to have it installed on your computer. Rest assured that once it is properly set up, you will be able to reap the benefits of having a VPN installation.

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