VPNs have gained their global popularity just after the 2016-17 era. But not for the original reason for which they were created. They were surely around but only used by businesses to make sure their remote employees could connect to the internal network of the company.
After the 2016-17 era, the primary reason for which the VPNs were created in the first place has been changed and this tool has become more of a door-opener to locked or geo-restricted websites on the web. It is important that you know how to use a VPN and for what reasons you need it.
- Choose a VPN provider and select a VPN subscription plan which best suits your needs.
- Pay for the VPN subscription by providing your name, email, and account details.
- Download and install the VPN software on your device and launch it.
- Sign in with your username and password.
- Use the quick-connect button to connect to the fastest server or manually set a location and connect to your VPN.
What Is A VPN And How Does VPN Work?
VPN (Virtual Private Network) creates a secure bridge from which your internet traffic passes, it encrypts your data while you perform your online activities on the internet, hiding and securing your online identity.
When you connect to a VPN, your original IP address is masked with a VPN server’s IP address which is assigned to you. With this, everything you do on the internet remains anonymous. Your online identity is secure and your location is tweaked from which no one is able to trace or track you.
If you are not using a VPN, you are browsing with your original IP address, which is a risk. As you connect to a VPN, all your traffic goes through a secure tunnel. Even your ISP or the government won’t be able to track you.
So it is necessary to use a VPN if you want your online identity to be safe.
How to Use A VPN?
The first thing you need to do is to decide why you need a VPN. If you hardly use a VPN to access the internet then you can go for a free VPN. But if you want to use a VPN on regular basis, you should probably get a paid VPN.
There is a humongous number of VPN providers available in the industry competing to offer the best deals for customers. You just have to figure out which VPN service best suits your needs. Do some research, read reviews, or the best option is to test a VPN provider yourself by availing of their 30-day money-back guarantee offers so you can have a clear picture.
Follow the steps to know how you can set up and use a VPN with ease.
Decide A VPN Plan
You have to get a subscription plan first. VPN providers usually have three kinds of plans to fulfill the needs of all kinds of users. There is always a one-month plan, a three-month or six-month plan, and a one-year or two-year plan.
Choose a VPN plan according to your needs. If you are still not convinced that the VPN provider you’re choosing is not worth it, then go for a one-month plan and do all kinds of tests so you can be sure.
Moreover, choosing a longer-term VPN plan can save you a little money if you are a regular VPN user. But the catch is that you have to pay the money upfront for that plan.
After choosing a VPN plan, you’ll have to sign up for the VPN plan. You’ll need to provide your name, email, and bank account information. After completing everything, the amount will be deducted from your account and you will be provided with a username and password on your email.
After signing up, download and install the VPN software on your device. Launch the VPN software and enter your username and password.
Set Location and Connect
You can either use the quick-connect button and connect to the nearest fastest VPN server or you set a location by clicking on ‘Location’. You can manually set up your VPN on your device or directly to your router too.
How to Use A VPN In Android?
Setting up your VPN on your android device is easy, the steps can be different but the approach is the same. It is advised to the users that if you can’t find a section on your android device, simply use the search bar to avoid scrolling through menus.
Follow these steps to set up and use a VPN on your Android device.
- Go to Settings and then head to Connections.
- Tap on VPN.
- You will find the already installed applications. Find the option to add a new VPN connection and tap it.
- You will be required to fill in the VPN Name, VPN type, and VPN server. Tap save after filling in all the information.
- Go back to the list of already installed applications and you will find your VPN name. Tap on it, type your username and password, tap connect.
How to Use A VPN In iOS?
- Go to your iOS device’s Settings and head to the General tab.
- Tap on VPN and then tap on Add VPN Configuration.
- Choose a VPN protocol by tapping on VPN Type.
- Fill in all the information which is required in the description of the profile.
- Turn on your VPN and connect to it.
How to Use A VPN In Windows?
You can use the built-in VPN in Windows 10 by setting up a VPN profile and use it easily on your computer. Follow these steps to know how to use a VPN in Windows.
Create A VPN Profile First
- Go to Settings and then head to Network.
- Click on Virtual Private Network (VPN) and click on Add a connection.
- Select Windows as your VPN provider.
- Enter a name in Connection name which is easier to remember.
- Type the address of your VPN server in the Server name or address.
- Choose the type of sign-in info, it can either be a username and password, smart card, or a certificate.
- Save your settings.
Connect to VPN
- Click on the Network icon in your Windows taskbar.
- Choose your VPN connection, it will be displayed with the name you provided while setting up the VPN profile.
- Type username and password, connect to your VPN.
How to Use A VPN In macOS?
- Go to System Preferences and head to Network.
- In the Network window, click on the (+) sign.
- Click on the drop-down menu and select VPN to create a new VPN connection.
- Choose a VPN type and type the VPN name in the Service name.
- Click on Create.
- Now fill in the Server address, remote ID, and local ID (All provided by your VPN provider).
- Fill in your username and password and connect to your VPN.
Why Do I Need A VPN and What Are Its Benefits?
VPNs have become one of the most necessary tools to have. Check out why you need a VPN and the benefits you can have if you use a VPN.
Get Access to Geo-Blocked Content
Many countries block certain websites and online services, especially if you are connected to the internet from outside. Even if you can access the internet, you won’t be able to access sites or social media that may not exist in a foreign land.
A VPN provides a way around this problem by providing an anonymous IP from which you can easily access any geo-blocked website.
Access Safely On Public Wi-Fi Networks
Identity theft is a serious risk when using public WiFi. Most people do not want to be in the vulnerable position of having their data picked up by cybercriminals. VPNs are one way of protecting your data from spying eyes while traveling overseas, as well as anywhere around the world!
Avoid Website Tracking
As we mention products on social media and in private messages, websites are tracking our internet activity to target us with advertisements that show up shortly afterward.
Websites actively monitor your online behavior, track what you like on Facebook or discuss privately, then sell that information to advertisers who place ads based on your recent Internet activity.
When you use a VPN, Google and other websites can’t see who you are. That means they can’t store data on your activity, searches, private messages, or anything you do online. With a VPN, annoying ads will be eliminated for the foreseeable future.
Avoid Price Discrimination By Websites
Each time a person visits an online store, price tracking cookies set by that site can “remember” that information and use it to determine which personalized deals to show them on their next visit.
Whether it be airline ticket booking or online clothes shopping, the prices may change because of which, you end up paying more for a product or service, which you could’ve gotten in a cheaper price tag. CBC posted a research article describing how companies can use your personal data to charge you differently.
With a VPN, websites are unable to track you or target you. You can even change your region to compare the prices of different regions so you can get your item at the cheapest price.
You can easily get caught on the internet if you are not using anything to secure your original IP address. In order to stay safe while torrenting, it is recommended that you always use a VPN. You will also be protected when using a shared P2P network, such as BitTorrent. With a VPN, you can easily torrent your favorite movie while being anonymous on the web.
Gain Access to Geo-Blocked Libraries Of Streaming Platforms
Streaming platforms like Netflix, HBO Max, or BBC IPlayer restrict certain movies or TV shows to specific regions. If you are in Australia but your favorite show is only available in the Netflix library of the US, then you need a VPN. With a VPN, you can connect to regions having the largest Netflix libraries like the US, or Japan.
What To Look For While Choosing A VPN?
There is more than one factor to look out for while choosing a VPN service to make sure you are paying for the right VPN. Here are some of the most basic factors to traverse your eyes through while choosing a VPN.
What VPN Protocols Are Available?
It is necessary to look out for the encryption protocols available in your VPN service. A VPN protocol is a set of rules or instructions which decide how your traffic is routed. In addition to encryption, it plays a role in how well your VPN protects your data.
OpenVPN is generally considered the best choice because it’s both modern and compatible with a wide variety of operating systems.
How Many VPN Servers It Has?
It’s important to research and consider the number of servers a VPN company offers as well as the locations. This is important for several reasons including supporting many users without slowing down, having access to web content from other countries, and avoiding censorship or other Internet restrictions in various regions.
How Many Devices You Can Connect Simultaneously?
A single person on average can connect three devices, which include laptops and mobile phones. But what if a single VPN subscription is being used by more than one person in a household. So it is important to check out the limit for simultaneous connections.
Some of the VPN providers offer unlimited simultaneous connections like Surfshark VPN. Other than that, you can always set up a VPN on your router to cover all your devices with a single subscription.
Do They Have Flexible Payment Methods?
One of the many reasons to look out for is how flexibly you can pay for your VPN subscription plan. Go for a VPN provider which accepts a wide range of payment methods to ease the efforts of a user.
Most trusted VPN providers even support payments made through cryptocurrency methods which just shows the advancement and innovativeness of that VPN service.
Does It Have A Kill-Switch Feature?
In order to keep you secure by accidentally exposing your original identity on the web, a kill-switch is a feature that terminates your internet connection in case your VPN connection fails and stops working.
It is very rare that a VPN connection fails if you choose the best and top-rated VPN providers, but still, a kill-switch feature is necessary so you don’t ever get exposed on the web.
Does It Log User Data?
One of the most important factors while choosing a VPN is to make sure and be clear about their logging policies. Most VPN providers log user activities and sell that data to third parties in order to analyze user behaviors on the web.
Only choose a VPN that has strict logging policies. Most trusted VPN providers even get themselves audited by third-party firms to ensure their users about their policy transparency.
Wrapping it up!
A VPN is literally a door-opener to lots of things on the web and everyone should have it. Although it is not rocket science to know how to use a VPN but make sure that you are making the most out of your VPN subscription. Always list down the pros and cons of the VPN service you’re finalizing for and always analyze all the factors.