At home, you can set up your VPN through your router, which takes slightly more steps but means that any devices connected to your router won’t need individual configuration; it can also slow down all traffic that goes through. However, for this article, we’re going to concentrate on VPN apps that you can load on your laptop or phone, so that you can use the internet safely away from your home base.
Most VPN apps these days support the OpenVPN protocol, making setup a simple matter of allowing the app access to configure the settings for you. (Stay tuned for our guide to the best services to try out.) But whether your device uses MacOS, Chrome OS, Windows 10, iOS, or Android, if you’d like to get a quick overview of what’s involved before selecting a service, or prefer to do a manual setup, we’ve broken down the steps into straightforward instructions for you.
Setting up a VPN in Windows 10
The first step is to create a VPN profile which you’ll fill this out with details from your particular VPN service.
- Click on the Windows button, then head into Settings > Network & Internet > VPN. Click on Add a VPN connection.
- In the fields on the page, select Windows (built-in) for your VPN provider. Give your VPN a name under Connection name. Enter the server name or address, the VPN type, and the type of sign-in info.
- Add a user name and password for extra security (this is optional, but recommended). You can choose to have the computer remember your sign-in info.
- Click Save
- To connect to your VPN, go back to Settings > Network & Internet > VPN. Click on your VPN name.
- If you want, at this point you can select Advanced Options to edit the connection properties, clear your sign-in info, or set up a VPN proxy.
- Select Connect and enter a password if you’ve set one.
Setting up a VPN in Chrome OS
To get set up with a VPN in Chrome OS, you can head into the Chrome Web Store to find a extension for your VPN of choice, go to Google Play store (if your Chromebook is set up for it) and get a VPN app from there, or download one from a VPN’s site. Either way, your VPN app should prompt you with instructions on how to fully set it up.
If you need to do it manually, you can. Chrome has native support for L2TP/IPsec and OpenVPN. To install a VPN that works with one of these formats: