How to Set Up a VPN on Windows, Mac, Android & iOS

As security has gained major significance, Virtual Private Network (VPN) is globally used for secure and reliable internet browsing. You can set up your own VPN connection on any device automatically or manually with the help of some guidelines.

First, you need to get a subscription plan for a reliable VPN service and download the VPN app. Then create a profile on your device, set the server name or address, set a VPN type by choosing a protocol and you’re good to go.

This guide covers all the information on setting up a VPN connection on the popularly used operating systems.

VPN Setup


Short on Time? Here’s a Short Summary of How to Set up a VPN.

  • A VPN or a Virtual Private Network is used to create a secure connection path between a user and a VPN Server.
  • You have to download and install the VPN app on your device from the VPN service’s website.
  • Then log in with your credentials and connect to a VPN server.
  • But if you prefer to do things manually then follow this guide.


The internet and the world wide web is running on data, every data has its value according to the hunters of those data present on the web. To make sure that the data which you are sending by making a request, filling in a form, or checking in a place on a social media platform is safe, you must know how a VPN works.

Encryption

VPN connections can hide your online identity just with a tap of a button. It can keep you safe on a public Wi-Fi network and you can even access geo-blocked websites.

When you are using VPN software, the data which you send out will have to cross several barriers before reaching its destination. When leaving from your end, the data is encrypted by the VPN server, preventing third parties to exploit your sensitive data, and when it reaches the destination.

By doing this, your original IP address is shielded by another IP assigned to you by the VPN server.

So you can perform all your internet activities with extreme privacy and anonymity. Even your internet service provider or government bodies will be unable to track your internet traffic.


How to Set up a VPN?

How To Set Up a VPN

Setting up your VPN connection can be a little tricky-ish, but it is no rocket science if you have proper sources to get the right VPN settings.

The concept of setting up a VPN connection is almost the same but the steps are different according to different devices and operating systems.

Every other device has a different operating system. For every operating system, you have to follow a different number of steps.

Keeping in mind, that you choose the best-customized VPN settings, Protocols play a vital role. You need to choose a compatible protocol for your respective task for which you are setting up a VPN.

This guide will tell you all about establishing a VPN connection on your Windows, Android, iOS, Linux, or ChromeOS as well as the widely used protocols.


How to Set up a VPN in Windows 10?

Since after being released on July 29, 2015, Windows users can enjoy the built-in VPN service which comes along with the operating system. You can easily set up your own VPN by creating a profile but remember that you should be subscribed to a trusted VPN service.

Creating a VPN Profile

VPN in Windows 10 1

  • Go to your Windows Settings and select Network and Internet, select VPN and add your VPN connection.
  • Add Windows as your VPN provider.
  • You need to type a name in the Connection Box in order for you to select that name when connecting to your VPN connection.
  • Type the address in the Server Address of the VPN server.
  • You have to choose a VPN Type for a connection you need to create.
  • You need to choose a type of sign-in information in Type of Sign-in info for different types of credentials you can use i.e. Username and Password, One-Time Password, Certificate, or Smart Card when connecting to the Windows VPN.
  • Save the settings.

Connecting to VPN

VPN in Windows 10 2

  • Click the Network icon present in the taskbar.
  • Select the VPN connection which you have set up and connect to it.
  • If required, enter the credentials which you have set up for the VPN.

How to Set up a VPN in iOS?

Changing your geo-location with your iOS device is merely not that difficult. You have to subscribe to a reliable VPN service. And if you have downloaded the VPN app from the App Store then the operating system should itself configure the settings for you automatically, but here are the steps for manual settings.

VPN in iOS

 

  • Go to the Settings> Tap on General.
  • Scroll and go to VPN (The phone may indicate and guide the user if he/she is connected to some VPN service already or not)
  • To add a VPN, select Add VPN Configuration.
  • Choose your desired VPN Protocol by tapping on Type.
  • Getting back to the Add VPN Configuration, fill in the information required i.e. Description, Server, Remote ID, and Local ID.
  • Connect to your VPN from the list.

How to Set up a VPN in Android?

Just like iOS, setting up a VPN on android mobile devices is not that complicated, but one has to keep in mind that the settings hierarchy is not the same for all the devices, but it is easy to find anything by literally using the Search bar in your Android Settings.

VPN in Android

 

  • Go to Settings> tap on More Connections.
  • Select VPN (You may see already installed VPN client apps on your phone in a listicle format).
  • Tap on Add VPN Network to add a VPN.
  • A screen will appear with the information need to be filled in (Name, VPN Type, Server), after adding all the information, click Save.
  • On being returned to the VPN screen, select the VPN name which you have added, type in the name and password, tap on Connect.

How to Set up a VPN in macOS?

In setting up a VPN in macOS, multiple apps can guide you through the overall setup process but you can always go for the option of doing it manually.

VPN in macOS

 

  • Go to System Preferences> Network.
  • The window for the Network is opened, click on the Plus Sign (+) on the left side below.
  • Choosing the drop-down menu, select VPN.
  • Fill in the information for the tabs VPN Types and Service Name.
  • Create your VPN and add the Server Address, Remote ID, and Local ID in the given spaces.
  • Go to Authentication Settings> Fill in the username and password which was previously set up for the VPN.
  • Tap on Connect.

How to Set up a VPN in ChromeOS?

ChromeOS is the latest Operating System introduced by Google for Chrome Devices. You can easily download and install a VPN from the Chrome Web Store and install the extension. But, if you have a habit of doing things manually, follow these steps.

VPN in ChromeOS

 

  • Bring your cursor to the clock on the bottom right corner and click it. You will find the Settings.
  • To add a VPN Connection, click on Add Connection and then select a VPN Protocol Type.
  • With a window being popped, you will be asked to fill in multiple fields including Server Hostname, Service Name, Provider Type, Username, Password, Group name, Pre-shared key. Fill in all the information and click on Connect.

How to Set up a VPN in Linux Ubuntu?

Linux is an Operating System preferred by Developers as no operating system has surpassed Linux in the area of security.

VPN in Linux Ubuntu

 

  • Go to Activities> Network.
  • In the Network panel, click on the Plus Sign (+) visible to add a new connection.
  • From the drop-down menu of the interface list, select VPN.
  • Select VPN protocol.
  • You have to add all the necessary details and click Add.
  • Go to System Menu> VPN off> Connect.
  • Type in the username and password.
  • The VPN is now connected, it can be verified from the icon present on the top bar.

How to Set up a VPN with Different Protocols?

A VPN protocol is a source of instructions that decides exactly how your data is to be routed through a network. Every protocol has its own specification.

For suppose, WireGuard VPN protocol ranks the speed higher to make sure the user does not have to face throughput speed issues. While L2TP VPN protocol focuses more on encrypting the data with a strong encryption method for privacy and security.

And if you go for a top-tier VPN provider like ExpressVPN or Surfshark, you may get to use their newly introduced protocols like Lightway or Shadowsocks.

These are basically a blend of two or more protocols that can further strengthen the encryption process.

In order for a secure connection between a device and a VPN server, protocols play a vital role. The widely used protocols are,

VPN Protocols

IKEv2 (Internet Key Exchange Version 2)

It is a universal protocol that is one of the oldest but still very reliable to use. IKEv2 is best when you need to connect to a server nearer to your location. It is a protocol that can be used on older devices.

OpenVPN

Not so popular for its speed but it is one of the most secure protocols to use. OpenVPN is best when you need to connect to a server that is far away from your location. Probably the best choice for the users who work on a desktop. With the services NordVPN is providing, you can check out OpenVPN, with TCP and UDP.

OpenVPN (UDP)

It can be useful when the essential quality the user needs is speed, it works best on the activities of Video Calls, Gaming, Streaming.

OpenVPN (TCP)

It is used when the user wants no interruption in his/her activities like web browsing or file transfer.

PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol)

It is a VPN protocol that has cross-platform compatibility, has a fast connection, and is proved to be very cost-effective having an easy configuration method. PPTP has a 128-bit encryption method for the protection of data and thus, it can easily be breached because of having a low-security factor.

L2TP (Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol)

L2TP has a 256 encryption method. It is more secure than the PPTP protocol. L2TP is widely popular for its advanced security as it allows remote access to its users to connect to a network. It runs on a UDP protocol which is fast, being firewall-friendly in nature.

Shadowsocks

It is a protocol in which you can have the stealth mode on by working under the radar. This protocol makes your ISP unable to track you and thus makes the user invisible. It is useful when a user is trying to access something while being connected to a restrictive network (Educational Institute or Hotel).

WireGuard

One of the latest protocols designed for its high speed and ability to work efficiently when the user has to switch a lot between WiFi network and Mobile data.


VPN Drawbacks

While VPNs are a great source of encrypting data, making you able to work under the radar, hide your traffic, and many more. But, at the same time, are there any drawbacks that VPNs have? Discussing those,

Slower Internet Connection

Slower Internet Connections

You might face the issue of having a slower internet connection while connected to a VPN. It takes place as VPN reroutes your traffic which results in a slower internet connection. One can dodge this problem by choosing a top-rated VPN provider like ExpressVPN or Surfshark.

Connection Drop

Drop Tunneling

While accessing the web with a VPN on, sometimes the VPN connection can drop with no warning to the user, after which the user has no knowledge of him accessing the internet without VPN and is exposed with the original IP address.

Make sure you choose a trusted VPN provider like ExpressVPN or NordVPN that provides a built-in kill switch feature.

Getting banned from Subscription Platforms

Getting Banned from Subscription Platforms

Some online subscription platforms like Netflix, Hulu, BBC IPlayer may not encourage the use of a VPN on their platforms, and doing it anyway can cause a ban penalty to the user for a specific period and he/she may not be able to use those platforms in the future. To avoid this, make sure you go for a reputed VPN service the next time you want to access Netflix’s international library.


Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

 

There is no exact answer to how much a VPN would cost an individual, as various VPN providers have different pricing plans. But it can range from $2 to $7.

There are different laws in different countries for setting up a VPN, check the policies of your country first and then go for a VPN connection.

You can use free VPNs but it may have limited usage and since it is free, there is a chance that the VPN company may earn by selling customer data to brands for marketing purposes.


Conclusion

VPNs have gained global popularity in the last decade as data has been identified as a source of doing things better with analysis techniques. With the emerging need to manipulate data, VPNs will gain more popularity in the coming years, and it is necessary to know how to set up a VPN and be aware of how they work.