What is VPN?
VPN or Virtual Private Network allows to hide your real identity and access the internet anonymously. Though proxy servers also do the same function, VPN offers highly secured and private connection to the network we use. VPN is a mandatory requirement for anyone who travels frequently or live in countries like China. Also people use VPN in schools and offices to access blocked sites like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc. Whether it’s your personal network or for work, VPN connection should be the priority for making safe payments and accessing the internet anonymously.
Windows 10 provides you a built-in service for VPN connection. So, with Windows 10 PC or laptop, you can connect to any VPN service provider without hassle.
How to Get VPN Account?
Before setting up a connection, you should have a proper VPN account or access to a server with credentials. Avoid using free VPN services as all network activities can be traced by the VPN company including the passwords you use for payments. To have a safe browsing, always go for premium VPN services like ExpressVPN or VyprVPN.
Building a VPN Profile in Windows 10
You can set up a work account or a personal VPN profile. If it’s for the personal use, as mentioned above you can purchase a service from any of the trusted companies. If it’s for work, then ask for the server credentials from your company administrator.
Follow the steps to create a VPN profile in Windows 10:
- Go to Windows 10 search box and type ‘Settings’. Press ‘Enter’ key to open Windows 10 ‘Settings’ app.
- Head over to the path ‘Network & Internet > VPN’ and click on ‘Add a VPN connection’ button.
- In the ‘Add a VPN connection’ prompt, choose ‘VPN Provider’ as ‘Windows (built-in)’.
- Type any easy name in ‘Connection name’, for example: MyVPN.
- In the ‘Server name or address’ field, enter the ‘IP address’ allotted from your company (Work) or from any website service you have purchased for personal use.
- In ‘VPN type’ field, it will be set to ‘Automatic’ by default. There will be many options and you need to set it according to your preferences. If you don’t know the type, ask your VPN service provider which kind of VPN types they offer.
- In the ‘Type of sign-in info’, select the type of sign-in info in this field. The type can be a smart card, username and password, one-time password or certificate.
- Now, enter the ‘User name’ and ‘Password’ in their input fields. If the VPN connection is for work then these might be given to you.
- Check on ‘Remember my sign-in info’ and click on ‘Save’. Your VPN profile is now ready to use.
In office networks, people generally call it as a ‘token’ and use USB or secure password generator to connect to the VPN server. And the setup is pre-configured by the network administrator. You may not have access to setup the VPN profile as explained above. Also learn how to setup VPN in iOS.
Connecting to a VPN Network
Once the profile is set up, it’s time to connect the VPN and use it.
- Go to the path ‘Network & Internet > VPN’ again in the ‘Settings’ app and you should be able to see your recently created VPN connection.
- Click on the connection name and choose ‘Connect’ for connecting to VPN. Click on ‘Remove’ to delete the VPN connection, if you don’t need it anymore.
- Or, click on the ‘Network’ icon on the bottom-left side of the taskbar. Click on your connection and connect it.
Configuring Advanced Options
The advanced options allow you to edit the current connection properties and set VPN proxy settings.
- Open your recently created VPN network from the ‘Settings’ app as shown in the previous section.
- Click on the connection name to expand the option and select ‘Advanced options’.
- First, you’ll see ‘Connection properties’, you can click on ‘Edit’ button to edit them again.
- You will see there are three options available under ‘VPN proxy settings’.
- If you have any proxy setting currently in your PC then the ‘Automatically detect settings’ option will detect and use them for the current VPN network. Click on ‘Apply’ button after choosing this option.
- If you choose ‘Use setup script’, then you will be asked to enter the ‘Script address’ here.
- The ‘Manual setup’ option ask you to enter the address, port and an exception for any specific address. Enter these fields then click on ‘Apply’.
Though this is a standard way to setup VPN in Windows 10 you have many other options depending upon the service provider. Nowadays, all providers offer browser extensions which you can install and connect from the browser. Also you can use separate VPN apps to connect which will basically configure the profile and connect through the app. You can modify the connection type, server location, etc. all within the app making your life more easier.