In this era of modern technology, where everything is done via digital channels and the factor of security comes into the picture.
And to make sure you’re not exposed to malicious practices while browsing, VPNs can come in handy.
VPN or Virtual Private Network can hide your internet identity while you browse on the internet. It shields your real IP address by assigning you a VPN-generated IP address.
IP addresses are the unique identification of devices connected to the internet. It is your digital address. And once it’s compromised, your sensitive data is at risk.
VPNs make sure your identity is secure on the internet and also, they provide you access to the geo-restricted content on the internet by geo-spoofing your location.
But to enjoy the perks of geo-restricted internet browsing, you must know how to use a VPN. Using a VPN is easy if you sign up for a third-party VPN company.
You just have to sign up for a VPN plan, download and install the VPN app, log in with your credentials, and connect to a VPN server. That’s basically the gist of it.
One of the major benefits of using a VPN connection is that your data, including both search history and downloads, are sent through an encrypted server and you can securely access geo-blocked content on the web.
Now to tell you how VPNs work, it simply creates a secure bridge between a user and a VPN source. Now every activity of the user passes through this bridge making sure no third party can interfere in user activities.
Not even your internet service provider, government authorities, nor the people on the same Wi-Fi network can monitor your internet traffic.
How to Use a VPN?
All you need to do is get a VPN first, download the VPN app, install it on your device. Set your VPN according to your device’s operating system settings, connect it to a location you prefer, and voila! You can now access your favorite content easily.
Here is more in detail on using a VPN on your device.
1. Do Some Deep-Digging
To stay safe and secure on the internet, you need a VPN service with great online privacy and security. And that is only possible when you get to know the full picture.
You will need user experience data, reviews from various blogs, reviews from VPN testers. In short, you have to find everything you can for your intended VPN provider on the internet.
Go for a VPN service provider that can cover all your devices. Most VPN services offer 5 to 6 devices to simultaneously connect. But if you want unlimited options, then just create your own VPN service by setting up a VPN server on your router.
One more thing to take care of is that your VPN provider should work with transparency. VPN services that collect the log activity of the users are not recommended as it is a breach of privacy.
To make sure that your activity is not monitored, you should choose an authentic provider.
But not to worry, we have provided the best VPN options for you in this article.
2. Decide on a VPN Service and Plan
If you don’t want to pay for a VPN service, free VPN services are easy to find. But they usually have limits on how much data you can use in a day or a month. And also, free VPN providers can track your logs and annoy you with pop-up ads.
So choose a top-tier VPN company like ExpressVPN or NordVPN as they have a strict no-logs policy and you’ll enjoy the unlimited features they offer.
Now get a VPN plan that best suits your purpose, you can go for a monthly plan or you can go for a longer-term plan for which you’ll also get some discount.
3. Signing-up Process
Now sign up for the VPN plan you chose by providing your basic details like email address and bank account.
You’ll get a confirmation message on your email address with your credentials.
Now download and then install the compatible VPN client for your operating system and install it on your device. Download it from the website if you’re using a PC. For mobile phones like Android and iOS, VPN apps are available on App Store and Google Play Store.
4. Launching Your VPN
Launch the VPN app and fill in the required fields (username and password) to log in to your VPN account.
Now use the ‘Connect‘ button to automatically connect to the best default server available.
5. Set a Location
You can also connect to a different server location by tapping or clicking on ‘Locations‘. This option can be useful if want to unlock different regions of streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime Video.
Just connect to a location where your movie or TV show is available and you’re good to go.
How to Use a VPN in Windows 10?
Windows users can easily use the built-in VPN on Windows 10 by creating a profile and connecting to the VPN.
Here’s the step-by-step solution guide on using a VPN in Windows 10.
Creating a VPN Profile
- To create your built-in VPN connection in Windows 10, go to Settings –> Network and select Virtual Private Networks. Under the list of connections, click on Add a connection.
- Configure the Windows VPN Profile
- Enter a name in the Connection Box so that it is easier to select when trying to connect with your VPN.
- Type the address of the VPN server in Server Address.
- To begin the setup process, you will need to select a VPN type from the drop-down menu.
- To properly configure Windows 10 for VPN, you need to choose a sign-in type corresponding with the login credentials you used when signing in to the Windows VPN, and then save your settings.
Connecting to VPN
- Network icon is present on Windows 10 taskbar, click it.
- After selecting the connection, click on the connect button.
- If your VPN connection requires credentials, enter them and now you are connected.
How to Use a VPN in iOS?
Configuring a VPN on iOS is simple. Simply download the app from the App Store and the system should configure your settings automatically, but here are steps to set your VPN manually,
- Open the Settings app and navigate to the General tab.
- Open and go to VPN (If you are already connected to a VPN, the device will indicate)
- To add a VPN, select Add VPN Configuration.
- Tap on the Type icon to select your desired VPN protocol.
- Fill in the information required for setting up your VPN, including a description of the profile, where it will connect to, and what kind of host server you want to use.
- Enable your VPN by clicking the Switch On button.
How to Use a VPN in Android?
Setting up a VPN in Android is not difficult, but users should take note that the settings are nested underneath different sections across various devices.
To find what you need without scrolling through any menus, simply use the search bar located on your Android Settings page.
Here’s how to use a VPN when using an Android device,
- Open Settings > select Connections.
- To get to VPN settings, select VPN from the options on your screen and you may see a list of already installed apps.
- Tap Add VPN Network to add a VPN.
- A window will appear with the fields needed to be filled in (Name, Type, Server), after entering all of these fields click Save.
- Head to the VPN screen, select a VPN name and type in the password. Connect to your VPN.
How to Use a VPN in macOS?
In order to use a VPN in macOS, multiple apps can guide you through the overall setting up process but you can always go for the manual option.
- From System Preferences> Network, you can set your own VPN.
- In the networks window, click on the plus sign (+) to create a new profile.
- Click the drop-down menu and choose VPN.
- Create a VPN profile by filling in the tabs for VPN type and service name.
- Select the option to Create a profile. Fill in your server address, remote ID, and local ID with those provided by your VPN provider.
- You’ll need to enter the username and password for your VPN when prompted.
Best VPN Services For PC, Mac, & Phone
ExpressVPN is considered to be one of the best VPN services for unlocking geo-restricted content on the internet because it has a server count that goes up to 3000+.
The company’s monthly plan costs $12.95, but you can get a discount if you go for a longer-term plan as the six-month plan costs $59.95 averaging $9.99 a month and the one-year plan costs $99.95 with three extra months for free and averaging $6.67 a month.
ExpressVPN has the compatibility to run on all the widely used operating systems like Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, & iOS. Along with that, it has browser extensions for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.
It offers amazing features like SmartDNS (MediaStreamer), Network Lock kill switch, Private DNS, and Split-tunneling.
You can simultaneously use five devices with a single ExpressVPN subscription plan, no matter which device you’re connected to.
The company offers a 30-day money-back guarantee also. So in case you’re not satisfied with the services, you can just contact customer support on the ExpressVPN website and request a refund.
NordVPN is a great option for those who want to enjoy unlimited streaming services and unlock Netflix catalogs around the world.
It has over 5000+ servers in 60 countries and is considered one of the best VPN services with plans starting at $11.95 per month, and the longer-term plans of NordVPN also offer discounts that work out as low as 3 dollars per month!
It offers Military-grade encryption with its NordLynx VPN protocol which works on AES 256. Other than that, it has all the widely used protocols including IKEv2/IPsec and OpenVPN.
NordVPN is compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux. It also offers browser extensions for Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome.
Along with that, you can use NordVPN on six devices simultaneously.
You can use NordVPN on all popular devices like Chromecast, Roku, all TV sets, Xbox, and Playstations.
NordVPN also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and to claim it, you just have to contact customer support on their website’s live chat.
Surfshark is a VPN app that’s considered to be the most user-friendly by many.
It doesn’t have any limits on simultaneous users, so you can use it from as many devices without experiencing any decrease in bandwidth or speed.
Due to its CleanWeb feature, Surfshark protects against phishing attempts, malware, and trackers while blocking pesky ads that eat up your data plan!
With Surfshark, you can bypass any censorship and firewalls to watch videos from streaming platforms like Netflix.
The platform also has a built-in kill switch from which you can avoid exposing your identity on the internet when your VPN drops accidentally.
It protects the user with its master-class encryption methods that avoid hackers trying to steal information on public Wi-Fi networks.
Moreover, it offers features like Bypasser from which you don’t have to switch your VPN off and on again as you can set certain apps like internet banking apps, which don’t work properly on virtual private networks.
Surfshark offers a monthly plan of $12.95, a six-month plan which costs $38.95, and a two-year plan costing $59.76. All the payments are required upfront but you can get a refund if you’re not satisfied with the service by availing of the 30-day money-back guarantee offer.
Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs
What is a VPN and how do you use it?
How can I use a VPN for free?
Is VPN Worth Getting?
Are free VPNs safe?