The Beginner’s Guide to Setting Up a VPN on Any Device
A VPN protects your data from hackers and your internet service provider from prying into your browsing history. It’s a must-have for anyone who wants to take privacy seriously.
Most VPN services come with dedicated apps that require no manual configuration. However, devices that don’t run apps – such as gaming consoles and smart TVs – need more effort.
Download the App
Most VPNs offer native apps that are easy to download and set up on most devices. Some have apps for multiple operating systems, making it even easier to surf the web safely on your laptop or smartphone, no matter where you are. Depending on your VPN, these apps feature advanced settings, diagnostic tools, and more to give you the ultimate internet experience.
Regardless of your device, the first step is to visit your chosen VPN service’s website and subscribe to their services. Once you’ve done that, head to the VPN’s download page and download the software for your operating system. Once the app is downloaded, please open it and sign in with your account details (username and password).
Once you log in, hit “Connect.” The software will find the closest server and establish a connection. As an alternative, you can choose the server location by yourself. For a more personalized VPN experience, you may also alter the encryption protocol and other parameters. After that, you’re set to go!
Install the App
How do I get a VPN? While VPNs may sound complex, the truth is that they’re super simple to set up. Most good VPN services offer apps for all major devices that only take a few minutes to install.
The app must be downloaded via the App Store, your provider’s website, the Internet, or both, and you must then use your account credentials to log in. After logging in, click Connect after choosing a server location. You can switch off the VPN whenever you want after you’re connected.
Aside from computers and mobile phones, you can also get VPNs for some smart TVs and gaming consoles. They may require a slightly longer setup process, but this method gives you more control over your VPN experience and allows you to install a VPN on every device in your home. If you’re concerned about the security of your Wi-Fi network, this can be helpful.
Configure the App
If your device is compatible, using a VPN is as easy as installing the app and tapping a button. Some apps will automatically configure your connection to be as secure as possible; others will let you dive into the settings and features.
Manual configuration can be more involved, but it typically is easy. Most VPN services have detailed guides for connecting the app to your specific devices and operating systems, and it’s a good idea to consult these whenever you experience problems.
For example, your device slows down while using the VPN. This is often due to accumulated removable files that eat into the system’s available memory, and rebooting the device can clear these and feed it new programming instructions.
You may also want to turn on a kill switch feature that stops all Internet traffic if the VPN connection drops even for a few seconds, which can prevent your real IP address from being exposed to third parties. And use a router that isn’t natively compatible with VPNs. You can often enable this by installing custom firmware that supports your particular router’s make and model.
In order to prevent prying eyes from seeing your online activities, a VPN encrypts the data you send over the internet. This is crucial since accessing public Wi-Fi networks risks your data privacy from hackers.
It also helps you bypass firewalls at work, school, or home and those imposed by the country’s government where you travel. And it can help you access communication tools when they’re restricted due to political or social unrest.
Setting up a VPN manually is more involved than using an app or extension, but it allows for various configurations and settings. Here’s how to do it on a Windows computer, Mac, or Android device.
Open the settings menu on your device and select “VPN.” Enter a connection name and choose a location for the VPN. Then, click Connect. You may need to enter a password or other sign-in information, depending on the VPN you’re using.