Using a VPN is a simple approach to increasing your online privacy. A VPN can prevent people from seeing what you do online when enabled on your phone, tablet, or laptop.
For instance, your internet provider is not permitted to reduce your connection speed depending on your online activities, nor is it permitted to sell your information to organizations that might target you with intrusive advertisements.
Today, commercial VPNs with attractive apps and competitive pricing are currently quite popular and easy to use.
When should you use a VPN?
What you want to do with a VPN will determine when you utilize one. You'll most likely wait to turn on your VPN until you're ready to stream if all you're doing is attempting to access region-locked content.
If privacy is a priority for you, you should generally always have your VPN active. Perhaps you use your VPN when you travel if your main concern is rogue Wi-Fi networks.
Anytime you use a network you don't own or manage, especially a public Wi-Fi network, you should, at the very least, use a VPN. However, don't scold yourself if you need to turn your VPN off since it's producing issues.
Using a VPN on an Android or iPhone can be problematic, especially if you constantly switch between cellular coverage. The VPN must reconnect each time you lose and restore data connectivity, adding to the unpleasant delay.
Additionally, although researchers have demonstrated that it is possible, it is less probable that malicious parties will be able to intercept your cell traffic. The majority of gadgets immediately join any Wi-Fi network that seems familiar. You may find it convenient, but pretending to be a Wi-Fi network is quite easy.
Without your knowledge, your laptop or phone may connect to a digital honeypot. By definition, this and other unusual attacks are rare. Knowing what hazards exist still helps you make decisions about what to do.
How to set up and use a VPN
Whatever device you have, you'll probably be able to configure it with a VPN. This is because most VPN providers provide specific software for Windows, Linux, Mac, Android, and iOS. To put it another way, your chosen VPN should work flawlessly on both desktop and mobile devices.
However, there's nothing to be concerned about if you don't know how to use a VPN. You can find a complete explanation of how to get a VPN, set it up on your device, and use it below.
Choose the right VPN
First of all, you must select a VPN service provider. The top VPNs available right now include quite a few different items. They all offer activity-specific capabilities, even though they encrypt your traffic and alter your virtual location. Which one is best for your needs, then, is the key question.
In this situation, you must decide why you require using a VPN. Is it online privacy, gaming, or streaming? Once you have the answer, it will be simple to compare the features, speeds, unblocking options, and security features provided by different VPNs and select the ideal one.
For instance, if you require a VPN for streaming, it should have a sizable server network, quick download and upload times, and the ability to unblock the most widely used streaming sites.
On the other hand, if you want to use a VPN to remain entirely anonymous online, seek features like top-notch security, rigorous no-logs policies, and powerful encryption.
Pay for a VPN subscription and sign up.
After selecting a VPN service provider, you must buy a membership plan to use the services. Most providers have various plans depending on how long the subscription will last.
We advise choosing the longest subscriptions to obtain the best rate. The best savings are typically found with 2-year contracts, allowing you to acquire premium VPN services without spending too much money.
Once you've decided on a subscription plan, you'll be taken to the checkout to choose your mode of payment. You can always use a credit card to pay, such as a VISA, MasterCard, or American Express.
Alternative payment options, such as PayPal, Google Pay, UnionPay, AmazonPay, GiroPay, WebMoney, and others, are supported by some VPN providers. Others go so far as to accept digital currencies such as Bitcoin.
You'll need to register when you've finished paying. To complete the process, you must enter a legitimate email address that you will use to access your VPN account.
Download the VPN app
Once the payment and registration processes are complete, you can download the VPN app on your device.
Download the specific program from the VPN's official website if you wish to use it on a Mac or Windows computer. Use Apple's App Store for iOS or the Google Play Store for Android if it's a smartphone.
Some VPN service providers offer Chrome, Edge, Firefox, or even Opera browser extensions. The official website of the VPN service you have chosen will also let you download it. Open the program after downloading the VPN client or add an extension, then log in with your email address and password.
Set up and start using the VPN
Now you have reached the final stage of using a VPN. Confirming that the VPN's settings match your requirements before you begin using it is crucial. First, the tunnelling protocol should be chosen. WireGuard is the tunnelling technique that is currently the quickest and most secure.
If you want the fastest speeds and the strongest security, we always suggest utilizing it. If that's not a possibility, you can also utilize OpenVPN. OpenVPN UDP offers higher speeds, but TCP provides better security.
Then, look into the encryption. The majority of VPNs, by default, employ 256-bit AES encryption. Although it is a market standard and offers the highest level of security, some suppliers provide some flexibility.
For instance, you can select between 128 and 256-bit versions, CBC or GCM modes. In addition, AES-256-GCM is a great option if security is your top priority. Next, activate the kill switch. If your VPN connection disappears for a little time, this feature immediately disables all Internet traffic.
Your information is never exposed to outside parties in this way. A kill switch is also helpful while streaming geo-restricted content because it always hides your real IP address. At last, think of utilizing split tunnelling. Use the split tunnelling function if you wish to use a secure VPN connection exclusively with particular apps or websites.
For mobile banking apps, for instance, you can set up a VPN service to encrypt your traffic while maintaining a regular Internet connection while browsing.
You can now begin using the VPN after finishing the setup. Just choose a server in the location of your choice and make a connection. You will then receive a new IP address from that nation and be secured by a high level of encryption.
Consider obtaining a VPN that supports multiple simultaneous connections if you frequently use many devices at once (or want to share the subscription with others).
You'll often receive five, but other VPNs, like Surfshark, don't even place a cap on the number of connections that can be active at once.
Additionally, you have the option of installing a VPN right on your network. All of the router's connected devices, including those that don't support VPNs on their own, will be able to use the VPN connection in this fashion. Some VPNs provide you with specific router firmware to simplify the installation process.
Certain VPN companies also enable you to access the geo-restricted content on smart TVs and game consoles, which improves your streaming experience. SmartDNS is used to do this.
How to enable the kill switch in a VPN?
Many VPN providers have a kill switch that will prevent any data from being transferred via the internet connection if the VPN connection dies unexpectedly. To prevent your actual location from ever being "leaked," this helps to protect your privacy.
The kill switch is frequently turned off by default, so you'll need to access the settings of your VPN software to activate it. None of the VPN companies' apps may include a kill switch. Some don't provide a kill switch option because it is always on and cannot be turned off.
Keep in mind that if the kill switch is activated, all internet activity will cease (to protect you). However, there might not be a notification to inform you that this has occurred, leaving you to wonder why your phone has ceased operating.
Turn off the kill switch or detach and reconnect to the VPN to regain connection.
You could opt to use an "App Kill Switch" if one is offered. This enables you to choose which apps should have their internet access cut off if the VPN stops functioning while maintaining regular operation for all other apps.
You can select which apps utilize the VPN connection, and all other apps use the regular connection using a function similar to this one called split-tunnelling.
How to test if the VPN is working
To test your VPN connection, use a website like IPleak.net to verify that the VPN is functioning properly and that your true location cannot be determined. This will reveal your virtual IP address and geographic location.
Visit the website and review the information before connecting to the VPN. Your nation should be displayed, and it might even say who your internet service provider is.
Refresh the page by connecting to a VPN server in a different nation. You should now be able to see that both your DNS address and your IP address identify you as being in the nation of the server you selected.
There is an issue if your own country is still displayed for either your IP address or DNS address. If not, the VPN is operationally sound.
A VPN is a useful tool to help you access geo-restricted content safely, improve your online security, and accomplish other things.
Using a VPN will unquestionably make it more difficult for your ISP and other parties to monitor your web traffic. Additionally, they can assist in getting access to restricted streaming content and hinder internet tracking.
Even though it seems like you need to have some sophisticated IT abilities, setting up a VPN on your device and becoming familiar with how to use a VPN are quite simple tasks.
Most popular OS systems are supported by user-friendly apps offered by high-quality VPN service providers. You must pick the VPN that best suits your requirements, download the relevant app for your device, and then connect to a server in your desired region.
Do you value your privacy online?
Use VPN Surf and surf safely and securely in the open waters of the internet.