The term Virtual Private Network (VPN) can seem intimidating to some. In fact, they’re not much more complex to use than any other app-based service. This VPN setup guide aims to give you an idea of how to get started once you’ve signed up for a service.
While most VPNs have their own unique characteristics, they are basically all similar service providers. The concept is to connect to a VPN server from your device and log in using your credentials.
Just like many other web services, VPNs are designed to be usable on many platforms. For the sake of brevity, we’ll show you how to install and configure a particular service on some of the available platforms.
Either way, the end result will be the same: your data will be encrypted and will transit securely to your VPN provider’s server. The manual method certainly takes longer to set up, but the benefits remain similar.
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Prerequisites For Configuring a VPN
Before you get your hands dirty, you’ll need a few tools, starting with hardware that is compatible with the implementation of a VPN. Luckily, modern OS all do. Even ISP Boxes are getting more and more involved.
Suppose you have an Android or iOS smartphone running a recent version, no worries. Ditto for a PC or hybrid under Windows 10. Manually setting up a VPN with MacOS is also possible. Let’s not forget GNU / Linux, the most widely used free system in the world. We will see in this tutorial how to configure all these devices.
But before that, there is one last prerequisite: VPN service and login credentials.
As a general rule, when you take out a subscription with a VPN provider, you will receive an email containing your credentials, as well as the parameters to manually set up the configuration of your VPN client. If this is not the case, you will have to request by email to your service provider.
Now is the time to get down to business. Rest assured, setting up a VPN manually isn’t complicated. Modern OS all have a VPN client that just waits for a few tweaks to work. Here’s how to do it.
How to Set Up and Use a VPN
1. Configure a VPN on Android
Android is the most popular OS in the world. The small drawback is that each manufacturer goes there with his modifications. The way to make the settings may therefore vary slightly from one smartphone to another. So do not hesitate to delve into the menus and sub-menus if you do not find exactly the same terms like those mentioned in this tutorial.
Here’s how to manually set up your VPN on Android: That’s it for Android, you can now surf safely with your favorite smartphone!
- Go to Settings.
- In the Network tab, find the VPN section.
- Tap Add VPN.
- Enter the information given by your provider: username, password, VPN server address, and the protocol used.
- If necessary, you can enter more information by pressing “Show advanced” options.
- Finally, give your VPN a name and validate.
2. Configure a VPN on iPhone
Apple’s mobile operating system is known to be the most secure in the world. But an extra layer of protection isn’t a luxury, knowing what dangers lurk in the vast digital ocean that is the Internet. We explain how to install a VPN on iPhone.
Here are the steps to follow to manually set up your VPN on iPhone: You are now protected and your precious data encapsulated in an encrypted tunnel.
- Go to Settings.
- Go to the General tab.
- At the very bottom is a tab named VPN, navigate to it.
- Tap Add VPN configuration.
- All you have to do is enter the identifiers and parameters given by your VPN provider.
- Validate and let iOS connect.
3. Configure a VPN on Windows 10
The settings of the VPN client for Windows 10 are very simple. With a few clicks, your computer or hybrid running the Redmond OS will be protected.
Here’s how to manually set up your VPN on Windows 10:
- As always, we go to the Settings.
- Select the Network and Internet section.
- A VPN tab is dedicated to client settings.
- Click Add VPN Connection.
- Fill in the appropriate fields with the parameters given by your supplier.
- Validate and navigate safely!
4. Configure a VPN on macOS
Apple’s operating system is always oriented towards simplicity. A few clicks in the interface of your Mac will allow you to configure your VPN.
Here are the steps to follow to configure your VPN in macOS: Your connection is now secure thanks to the encryption used to encapsulate your data.
- Open the Apple menu, then click System Preferences.
- Then open the Network tab.
- At the bottom of the list, click on the + symbol and choose VPN in the window that appears.
- Select the type of VPN, then enter the information given by your provider.
- All you have to do is validate and let MacOS establish the connection to the VPN server.
With so many devices connected to the web these days, you really need to set up a VPN connection on each of your devices. Most VPNs will allow a certain number of simultaneous connections per account. ExpressVPN, for example, lets users connect to five devices at the same time.
This is even more important for mobile device users because these are the ones you will be taking with you outside. Public Wi-Fi is notoriously insecure, so these are the best situations in which a VPN can come in handy.
Some VPNs also work with Smart TVs, allowing you to connect to otherwise restricted regional content services like Netflix. The versatility of VPNs gives them a large number of use cases, so in all fairness, there’s no excuse for using them to their full potential.