As the world becomes increasingly connected through the internet, more and more people are becoming concerned about their internet privacy —because the need for a secure and private online experience has never been greater. With news about data breaches and the dangers of big data, it only makes sense for people to seek security. In line with this, virtual private networks (VPNs) are gaining popularity.
VPNs create an encrypted connection between you and a server. This server then connects you to the rest of the internet. It serves as a middleman between your device and the internet. Since it routes all your data to a distant server, you get to hide behind a different location and IP address.
Instead of your own information, the rest of the internet only sees the information from the VPN server. Any software designed to track user information sees the VPN instead of you —thus providing you with a layer of protection. Your IP address and other device information remain hidden and secure.
There are a number of reasons why people are using VPNs among which include access to geo-blocked features & content, data privacy from ISPs & government, security while using public Wi-Fi, security while working remotely, staying anonymous while browsing, and smart saving, among other reasons. No matter the reason, it’s important that you find an affordable, effective, and trustworthy VPN.
There are a number of VPNs to choose from and some of these include NordVPN, ExpressVPN, Private Internet Access (PIA), CyberGhost VPN, Hotspot Shield, and Surfshark, to mention a few. They work on a wide range of devices be it your phones, computers, and tablets, as long as the device has internet access.
How do I then set up a VPN on my devices? Well, setting up a VPN on your device can be a simple process, depending on the device and the VPN service you choose. Here are some general steps that apply to most devices:
Step 1: Choose a VPN service
The first step in setting up a VPN is to choose a VPN service provider. There are many VPN providers available (like I mentioned above), and it’s important to choose one that is reliable, secure, has a kill switch, offers protocol support, and offers good customer support, among other reasons. You will find that VPN providers offer both free and premium subscriptions, to be on the safer side, we recommend using a paid version.
Here are some VPNs to opt for; NordVPN, ExpressVPN, Private Internet Access (PIA), CyberGhost VPN, Hotspot Shield, and Surfshark, to mention a few.
Step 2: Download and install the VPN client
Once you have chosen a VPN service provider, you will need to download and install the VPN client software on your device. The process will vary depending on the service and device you are using.
For example, if you are using a Windows PC, you can download the VPN client software from the provider’s website and run the installer. The installer will guide you through the installation process, and you will need to accept the terms and conditions and choose the installation location.
If you are using a mobile device, you can download the VPN client app from the app store and install it like any other app.
Step 3: Configure the VPN settings
After you have installed the VPN client software, you will need to configure the VPN settings. This will involve entering your login credentials, choosing a server location, and selecting the type of VPN connection you want to use.
- Enter your login credentials: To connect to the VPN, you will need to enter your login credentials. This will typically include your username and password, which you can find in your account information on the VPN provider’s website.
- Choose a server location: Once you have entered your login credentials, you will need to choose a server location. This is the location of the remote server that your device will connect to when you use the VPN. Many VPN providers offer servers in multiple countries, so you can choose a server location that is close to your physical location or one that will allow you to access content that is restricted in your country.
- Select the type of VPN connection: There are two main types of VPN connections: PPTP and OpenVPN. PPTP is an older and less secure protocol, while OpenVPN is a newer and more secure protocol. It’s recommended to use OpenVPN whenever possible.
Step 4: Connect to the VPN
Once you have configured the VPN settings, you can connect to the VPN by clicking on the “Connect” button in the VPN client software. The connection process may take a few seconds to establish.
Step 5: Verify the VPN connection
After you have connected to the VPN, you should verify that the connection is working properly. You can do this by checking your IP address and location to ensure that they have changed to reflect the VPN server location.
There are several websites that you can use to check your IP address and location, such as whatismyip.com or iplocation.net. Simply visit one of these websites before and after you connect to the VPN to verify that your IP address and location have changed.
Tips for using a VPN
- Choose a strong password: When creating your VPN account, be sure to choose a strong password that is difficult to guess. This will help protect your account from unauthorized access.
- Keep your VPN client software up-to-date: To ensure that your VPN connection is secure, it’s important to keep your VPN client software up-to-date. Most VPN providers release updates regularly, so be sure to install any available updates as soon as possible.
- Use the VPN on all devices: For maximum security and privacy, it’s recommended to use the VPN on all your devices, including your computer, phone, and tablet.
- Avoid public Wi-Fi: Public Wi-Fi networks are often unsecured and can be easily intercepted by hackers. When using a public Wi-Fi network, it’s recommended to use a VPN to encrypt your internet traffic and protect your data.
Setting up a virtual private network (VPN) on your device is a simple process that can provide many benefits, including increased security, privacy, and access to restricted content. By choosing a reliable VPN you can enjoy a secure and encrypted internet connection that protects your data from prying eyes.