How to Set Up a VPN: A step-by-step tutorial

VPN Setup TurtorialA lot of VPN services promise ease of use: they say “Install a client and follow our tutorial, and you will be ready”, but in reality, things turn over to be much more complicated. When you start working with VPNs, various setup and configuration issues pop up, and they aren’t always covered by official websites and their FAQs. Let’s find out how to setup a VPN regardless of the software option you use. We will cover the process on installation step by step.

What is VPN?

Before we learn how to setup a VPN, let’s find out what VPN is. The virtual private network is a technology that allows creating a “tunnel” between user’s browser and visited websites so that the data transferred be encrypted and 100% protected against third parties. That means that nobody (neither provider nor government) can intrude into the communication channel and violate your privacy. Besides, VPN hides your real IP address and allows visiting websites that are blocked in your region. For this reason, the private networks are often used to access foreign websites and make their servers think you’re located in a completely different spot.

How to set up a VPN correctly

These simple comprehensive steps will help you to establish VPN connection without problems and make sure that everything works correctly.

Prepare your PC

The golden rule is to use one VPN client because several software solutions can conflict with each other, especially desktop ones. If you prepare the system before installing a new VPN, you will avoid problems.

  1. Uninstall active VPN software that you don’t need anymore. You can leave things as they are, but using several VPNs increases the risk of failures and issues.
  2. Think about network configuration. Complex setups, for instance, systems that go online via several methods simultaneously (Wi-Fi, wired connection, or 4G) can only confuse the VPN clients. If you can simplify the connection process, for example, disconnect a modem that isn’t used, do it: you will avoid troubleshooting problems further on.

Install a VPN client

How to setup a VPN server quickly and easily? The simplest way is to install a client. Before you do it, make sure that the provider offers solutions for the chosen platform: some companies offer Android VPNs only but don’t offer software for Mac and Windows. If that’s your situation, install a custom client first, even if you don’t plan to use the platform for long.

Why using own client? The service will be working properly as soon as you confirm your account. Even if the client doesn’t let you log in or establish the connection, you won’t need to set up other devices. Besides, if you contact the support team, you won’t need to report whether you’ve configured the things correctly.

VPN Security

Check for an Instruction

If you’re not a tech-savvy user and don’t know how to setup a VPN on Android, or how to setup a VPN on Windows 10, you should search for manuals offered by VPN provider. If there’s scarcely any information, look for the guidance on VPN that uses the same protocol. For instance, if your device supports the L2TP protocol, you need to find a tutorial that offers setting up instruction with Android L2TP connection (for instance, this tutorial can be of help). When manually configuring your VPN, don’t forget to replace the details with your own ones. With the instructions below, you’ll learn how to setup a home VPN on different devices.

How to setup a VPN: Windows 10 step-by-step guide

  1. Click on the taskbar and type VPN.
  2. Select “Change VPN”.
  3. Click “Add a VPN connection”.
  4. Type the details of VPN connection, and select Windows (built-in) VPN providers.
  5. Scroll down and you’ll see fields to type in your login and password (these are provided by your VPN service). Save and close the settings.
  6. Click the Wi-Fi on the taskbar and choose your new VPN connection.

This scheme works for simple VPN connections like L2TP and PPTP. However, if you’re going to use IKEv2, you’ll need to install a root certificate. How to setup a VPN certificate? Download it to your computer, click Install Certificate, select Local Machine, then “Place all certificates in the following store…” and you’ll see a folder tree. Choose Trusted Root Certification Authorities, get back to the installation window, click Next and Finish.

How to setup a VPN: Windows 7 tutorial

  1. Click the Start button and choose Set up a virtual private network connection.
  2. Enter the IP address of the server you want to be connected with.
  3. To set up connection without actually connecting choose Don’t connect now, click Next.
  4. Type your username and password. You can skip this step and specify login credentials when establishing a connection.
  5. Open Networks and choose to Connect under the logo “VPN connection”.
  6. Enter the domain and your login credentials, if needed.
  7. If you cannot establish a connection, the server configuration can be wrong. Check what type is used, and specify Properties.
  8. Go to Security section and choose “Type of VPN” from the list. Unselect Include Windows domain, then click Ok and Connect.

How to setup a VPN: Mac Tutorial

When it comes to tutorials how to setup a VPN, Windows 7 appears to be among the easiest tasks. But what about Mac computers? If you use a VPN that has an application, the steps are the same as described above. But if you need to connect to a VPN without application, do the following:

  • Sign up for a VPN and create your account.
  • Go to System Preferences →
  • In the drop-down menu, select VPN and choose the type and service offered by your provider.
  • Click Authentication Settings.
  • Specify your username and password.
  • If you want to secure 100% of data transfer, choose to Send all traffic over VPN connection.

Now you’re done.

How to setup a VPN on Android?

The easiest way is to install VPN client because you will simply need to click “Connect” in your application. But how to set up a VPN on Android manually? Android devices support different types of connections, including PPTP and L2TP (though both have some security issues).

  1. Open Settings → Wireless and Networks.
  2. Choose VPN.
  3. Specify the details, including the server and its address.
  4. Type in your username and password.
  5. You will see the icon “VPN Activated” on the notifications bar.

If you want always be connected to VPN, choose “VPN Always on slider”.

Bottom Line

If you don’t know how to setup a VPN, Windows 7 will be the best start for you to learn the principles of connection. Once you understand how things work, you will know how to setup a VPN on any other device.

With a virtual private network, you can be sure that your data is always protected against third parties, and you can access any website you want, no matter what kind of device is exploited. With our tutorials, you will know how to setup a VPN at home without the help of IT specialists. It’s easier than you think!

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