Learning how to use a VPN seems challenging to new users. VPNs are preferred by people who want a secure browsing experience as it creates a secure tunnel between multiple devices.
VPNs are essential for protecting web traffic from censorship, interference, and snooping. However, the beginners don’t know how to use a VPN but we have a full guide to help you out!
How to Use a VPN – The Simple Guide
To begin with, you have to subscribe to the VPN that’s compatible with the device and set it up.
Once the VPN is set up, all you’ve to do is to select the server (the country you want to connect from).
VPN is a great way of staying safe online, especially if you are connected to unencrypted Wi-Fi.
In addition, it’s an apt way of unblocking geo-restricted websites. It can help bypass censorship and can be used to watch the geo-blocked content.
The VPNs can be used on all devices, including streaming devices, irrespective of the operating system.
Using it is pretty easy as you’ve to download a reliable VPN, set it up by using the account credentials, and tap on the “connect” button on the main screen to connect your device to VPN server.
However, the VPN setup is different for streaming devices – the majority of paid VPNs have dedicated VPN apps for streaming devices.
1. Selecting The Right VPN
First of all, you have to remember that the primary function of a VPN is to hide the real IP address of the device and encrypt the internet traffic.
However, you need high-speed internet to make sure VPN works.
Also, if you already have a slow connection, you can opt for a VPN with WireGuard tunneling protocol to ensure better speed.
In addition, you must go through the feature list to determine if streaming and browsing will be encrypted or if it will help access the geo-restricted content as well.
Lastly, you must ensure that the VPN is compatible with your smartphone, laptop, or streaming device.
2. Sign Up
When you select the VPN, you’ve to pay for the service to get an official account – the majority of VPNs accept different payment options, including American Express, MasterCard, AmazonPay, VISA, PayPal, and more.
In addition, some VPN services allow the users to pay with cryptocurrency as well.
Irrespective of which payment method you select, you must use a valid email address to register the account.
3. Download The VPN App
Once the payment has been completed, you can download VPN from the app store or official website.
When the VPN app downloads, just open it, add your account details, and start using it.
Some VPN services also have extensions for web browsers, including Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, and Opera.
4. Use The VPN
To use the VPN, you can open the app and go through the list of servers available – you can select whichever country you want to connect through and press the connect button.
In case you want to disconnect the VPN, just tap on the disconnect option.
The app also has settings from where you can select the tunneling protocol and change the encryption method.
Selecting Between Paid & Free VPNs
Finding a reliable and secure VPN is difficult, particularly when you don’t want to pay for it. There is an array of free VPN services available but they often lead to data leakage.
In addition, the free VPNs lead to never-ending ad popups. For this reason, it’s recommended that you use a paid VPN and check its features through a free trial.
Usually, the paid VPNs offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.
The Best Ways Of Using a VPN
The VPNs are extremely versatile, which is why they can be used for torrenting, streaming, and enhancing security and privacy during browsing.
People who know how to use a VPN regularly use it for streaming. This is because the majority of streaming platforms have different content in different countries or regions, which is unfair to the users.
In that case, you can use a VPN as it helps change the IP address to the location where the content is available.
Downloading torrents is legal but it still has some threats. This is because when you download files through the torrent client, the IP address will be exposed, which can be used by hackers to access your data.
In addition, the IP address can be traced by the copyright holders when you download the copyrighted content. For this reason, you can use a VPN to mask your IP address.
The VPN allows the users to protect themselves from threatening or untrustworthy networks during browsing.
In addition, it can be used while you are connected to public wireless connections to secure your browsing activities.
How to Select A Reliable VPN Service
With hundreds of VPN service providers available on the market, it gets challenging to select a reliable VPN service but considering the following features and functions will help you make the right choice;
There are various VPN protocols available. First of all, you should avoid using PPTP as it has weak encryption.
In addition, you can opt for L2TP/IPsec protocol as it promises better security but can slow down the connection.
For this reason, it’s recommended that you opt for OpenVPN as it’s the most secure VPN protocol and uses 256-bit encryption.
If you want to access American media sources, such as YouTube and Netflix, without geo-restrictions, it’s important to use the VPN service with the majority of nodes in the US.
Ideally, you should opt for a VPN that has servers in various countries and accept no less than 50 locations.
3. Concurrent Connections
If you have multiple devices that you want to use with the VPN service, it’s important to select the VPN service that supports concurrent connections.
Make sure that the VPN allows at least two to three concurrent connections to ensure your smartphone, laptop, and streaming devices are fully secure.
4. Connection Throttling
It’s common for people to use VPNs to overcome ISP throttling.
However, some VPN service providers have bandwidth restrictions and connection throttling, which not only slows down the internet but consumes more internet bandwidth.
For this reason, you must select a VPN that doesn’t have bandwidth restrictions.
Lastly, you must go through the VPN fine print to determine if they restrict the services or security protocols that you want to use, such as file sharing, streaming, and torrenting.
Some VPN services log the user data, which means their activities are monitored, which is an invasion of privacy.
For this reason, it’s recommended that you choose the VPN service with a no-log policy to ensure your activities and data aren’t stored on the VPN servers.
Depending on your location, you will have only a few payment options.
Ideally, you should choose the VPN that accepts credit cards, MasterCard, VISA, PayPal, and debit cards to make sure you can easily pay for the subscription plan.
In addition, if you are a crypto user, some VPN services accept cryptocurrency as payments as well.
7. Kill Switch
The VPN service you choose must have a kill switch system to make sure the connection is locked down if the VPN connection fails.
It will ensure that the computer doesn’t connect to an unsecured connection.
The Bottom Line
Learning how to use a VPN is quite easy if you know how to use a smartphone because the installation and setup are beginner-friendly.
However, you should always choose a paid VPN service to make sure it has advanced security features and encryption protocols.