A Virtual Private Network (VPN) extends a private network across a public network and allows users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if devices were directly connected to the private network. VPNs are great for when you want to block your network traffic from your Internet Service Provider (ISP) in cases where you don’t want them to know where you’re browsing (or downloading, uploading, etc.), or need to be confidential when handling work or personal data.
Whether it’s for work or personal use, however, it’s relatively easy to connect to a VPN on your Windows 10 PC (or Windows 10 Mobile device). First, you have to pick and create a VPN profile for Windows 10.
Picking a VPN
In order to set up a VPN in Windows 10, it is often easier if you can find a VPN in the Windows Store. Oftentimes, you’ll need to search online for the best VPN you can find to protect yourself. Preferably finding a free VPN is great, but if you want to ensure you are properly secured, it’s often best to find a paid version. There are two highly-rated VPN apps in the Windows Store: Hotspot Shield Free VPN, and VPN Unlimited.
If there is no app available in the Windows Store that you are satisfied with, you can always browse the internet for the best one you can find. Some browsers, like Opera, offer built-in VPN protection as well. However, setting up your own VPN can ensure that all your Windows 10 devices in your house connected to the internet are protected via your VPN. Once you’ve picked a VPN, you’ll need to go into the Settings of your Windows 10 PC and make some quick changes.
Create a VPN Connection
Create a VPN Connection by following these 5 steps:
- Select the Start button
- Select Settings (gear)
- Select Network & Internet
- Select VPN
- Select Add a VPN Connection
Once you are in Add a VPN connection section, you’ll need to add your VPN provider information.
Now it’s time to configure the settings for your VPN. For VPN provider, choose Windows (built-in); the only option. In the Connection name box, type a friendly name for your VPN connection profile. This is the VPN connection name to look for when you go want to connect. In the Server name or address box, type the address for the VPN server. For VPN type, choose the type of VPN connection you want to create.
You can use PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol) because it is easy to set up and has a fast connection. However, PPTP is not very reliable and less secure than other VPN server protocols. Choose Automatic and Windows 10 will select the best option for you.
At this point, you’ll need to know the VPN settings that your VPN provider uses in order to log in and use the VPN service that you registered. For “Type of sign-in info,” indicate the type of sign-in info (or “credentials”). This information can be in the form of a user name and password, one-time password, certificate, or even a smart card if you are using a VPN for work.
If you want your computer to be automatically signed in to this VPN, enter your username and password. When you’re finished, select Save. If you leave these fields blank, you’ll be asked to enter your login information every time you want to connect to your VPN. Leaving your username and password blank for a work VPN is helpful to keep away anyone unauthorized to view your work data.
In the future, if you need to use additional settings, like changing proxy settings for the VPN connection, select the VPN Connection, and choose Advanced options. Here, you can change your VPN connection properties, including connection name, server address, type of login information, username and password. Advanced options also allows you to change the VPN proxy settings.
Connect to a VPN
After you set up and save your VPN profile, you can now connect and browse the web using your VPN. Follow these steps to connect to your VPN.
- Select the Start,
- Select Settings, then Network & Internet, then VPN.
- Select the VPN connection you want to use, then select Connect.
- When or if prompted, enter your user name and password or other sign-in information.
If you want to check to see if you are connected to the VPN you just created a profile for, Select the Network icon on the far right of the taskbar, then check to see if your VPN connection indicates that it is indeed Connected (like the picture below).
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There are many VPNs services out there, so pick the one that best suits your needs and budget. Personally, I find ExpressVPN to provide the best speed and protection at a reasonable price. Any suggestions on the best VPN service? Let us know in the comments.Further reading: Microsoft, VPN, Windows 10, Windows 10 Mobile