So, you have decided to use a virtual private network. As you probably know, a VPN uses a public internet connection to join a private network by creating a protected tunnel between your device and the network. This secures the data from being viewed or manipulated by third parties.
In other words, a VPN will allow you to browse the web privately. On the other hand, if you’re a business owner, your employees will be able to use a VPN to securely connect to a corporate network remotely. In this article, you will learn how to set up a VPN – whether for your Windows, Mac, iPhone, or Android smartphone.
How to set up a VPN on Windows
Connecting to a VPN on Windows is a fairly simple process:
- Download and install a VPN app on your computer
- Type ‘VPN’ in the search bar. The first option should be Change virtual networks; Alternatively, click on the Settings application and find Network and Internet – VPN
- In the topmost section of the screen in the Settings application, open Add a VPN connection
- In the next window, type in the details of your VPN connection; Inside the VPN provider section, open the drop-down menu, and choose the one you’re going to use
- Fill the Server name or address and Connection name Scroll down and you’ll find a section for entering your username and password for the VPN acquired from your VPN service; Once you type in the required info, click on the Save button and close the app
- In the end, you will need to click the Wi-Fi icon in the taskbar and choose your VPN connection, which should be at the top of the list
If all goes well, it should connect automatically and quickly.
How to set up a VPN on Mac
To set up a VPN for Mac OS, find the Apple logo in the upper left part of the screen and click on it. A drop-down menu should appear and from here, the process is pretty straightforward.
Open System Preferences at the top of the drop-down list. Then, open the Network pop-up screen – a purple, globe-shaped button in the center of the System Preferences window. Next, click the + button. You can find it below the Options menu on the left-hand side. A drop-down menu should appear on the screen.
Open the VPN drop-down menu. There should be a list of VPN settingsn the right part of the screen where you need to configure your VPN. Type in or update these settings:
- Server address – Type in or update the server address
- Configuration – Go to the drop-down box in the top corner of the screen, then choose a different config type (for instance, Default) in the drop-down list
- Account name – Type in or modify the account name that you will use for the VPN. This is typically the email address you were using when you signed up with your VPN provider.
By now you should have found the Authentication Settings – below the Account name field. You can configure the authentication settings by editing any of the following options:
- Machine Authentication – choose your VPN machine authentication option
- User Authentication – check the box in the left part of your selected authentication option (for example, Password) and type in the answer
Clicking the OK and Apply buttons will save and apply your VPN settings
How to connect to a VPN on Android
To set up a VPN on Android smartphones, you will need to find and tap the Settings icon. From there, head into the Network and Internet menu, select the Advanced menu and find VPN – a small key icon. If there is no Network and Internet menu in Settings, which is quite possible depending on your Android device, you should search for a VPN icon within Settings.
Now, click the Add button. If by any chance you’re doing this on a new smartphone or didn’t create a screen lock or password, Google will ask you to create one for your mobile. Follow through.
Now it’s time to create your VPN profile, which you can do by adding the VPN name, as well as the server address and type. After you do this, press Save. The smartphone will return you to the VPN screen, where you should see the name of your VPN. Click on it, and enter your name and password.
You can also select to save your account information and leave the VPN turned on. Press the Connect button and type in the VPN name, type, server address, password, and username again. Now you will just need to press Save to complete everything.
How to set up a VPN server on iOS
If you’re wondering how to create a VPN connection on your iPhone, read on. First, you will need to go to Settings. Next, scroll down until you find the General section and press it. Again, scroll to find the VPN button and press it – this one is at the bottom of the General screen.
Press the Add VPN Configuration icon. You can find it on the VPN screen just below the bottom-most VPN configuration. If there aren’t any VPN configurations, this option will appear at the top of the page. If you want to edit a current VPN option, press the icon that looks like a circle with the letter i that is on the right side. Then press Edit on the right part of the screen.
Now comes the part when you configure your VPN information. Enter or update the following information, but keep in mind that you may see more fields depending on your connection type.
- User Authentication – Tap it, then choose Username or Certificate to modify the authentication method
- Server – Type in or update the server address you will use for a VPN connection
- Type – Choose the type of VPN connection you want to use
- Password – Type in or update the password for the VPN account. This is probably the information you used to register with your VPN provider
- Username or Certificate – Type in or update the username or certificate you used to sign up for your VPN service
- Finally, you will just need to press Done to save your changes
How to set up a proxy server
Besides learning how to set up a VPN, in this article you will also learn how to set up a proxy server. Acting as an intermediary between your device and the internet, a proxy server can enhance your connection and let you access blocked websites. Proxy servers can be set up both on Windows and Mac OS.
Setting up a proxy on Windows
Configuring a proxy server on Windows is a quite simple process since the latest Windows software automatically detects any proxy settings. For setting up a proxy server on Windows 10, just go to your Settings page and click the Network and Internet menu. Then, press the Proxy icon and select from the list of available proxy settings.
Windows 8 users will need to go to the PC Settings window and press the Network Proxy icon. A selection of proxy servers will appear. There, type in the proxy’s URL and save your changes.
If your Windows network has trouble detecting your proxy server, you can configure it manually by typing the proxy’s particular IP address and its port number. If you’re using a business or private proxy, your proxy provider should send you this information.
Setting up a proxy on Mac
If you use a Mac, begin by going to System Preferences tab and tap on the Network button. Then, scroll down and press the Advanced icon. Then click the Proxy tab in the right part of the screen. A list of different proxy protocols will appear.
If you want your Mac computer to configure settings by itself, you can check the Auto Proxy Discovery box. For setting up a proxy manually, choose the type of proxy you would like to use and enter its corresponding address and port number in the open text fields. If your proxy has password protection, check the Proxy Requires Password box and type in the username and password in the boxes that appear.
Once you choose a proxy, type in the address and port number in the given field, press OK and you’re good to go.