How to Set Up and Use a VPN?

Updated on: 11 March 2019 HOW TO

In this guide we will be describing and explaining the steps you will have to take in order to install and run a VPN client.

If you have no idea how to use a VPN, then this quick guide will clear everything up for you.

Before we start, you’ll need to choose VPN service you want to use. We have many great guides on how to decide which one to go for, such as Best VPN for Android if you’re looking for a mobile VPN, or if you’re a Mac user, try here. Otherwise, take a look at “Best VPN for” at the top of this page.

1. Download the VPN client

In order to run and use a VPN client, you will have to go to the VPN service’s website and download it.

You will then usually find the dowloaded application in your “Downloads” folder.

If you are using a VPN on a mobile device, then instead of downloading it from the service’s website you will have to either download the corresponding application from the Apple App Store or Google Play.

2. Install the application on your device

Once the application is dowloaded, you will have to install it to your device. VPN apps are usually only around 50MB to 100MB, so installation should be very quick.

If you are using a mobile device, then the application will automatically be installed to your device once you acquire it from the App Store or Google Play.

3. Launch the application

Once the program is installed you will have to launch it like you would do in the case of any other program installed in your computer.

If you are on mobile, then you’ll just open it like you open any other app with a tap on its icon on your screen.

4. Select the country you wish to be connected to

Once you have opened and launched the VPN client, you will usually see a control panel with several options. Most commonly you will see a list of available countries to which you can open a connection.

Here, you simply select the country from which you want your IP to be from.

In many cases if you have pressed or double clicked on the country in question, it will already open a connection to a server in that country.

5. Connect to the selected county

In some cases you will then have to press a button that will effectively establish your connection to the server in that country.

If you are using a good VPN client, then making the connection should not take more than 5 to 10 seconds.

After that, the application will tell you that your connection has been established and your IP appears to be now in the country of your choice.

6. How to make sure that the VPN is actually working?

In order to make sure that your IP is actually being masked you can go to Google and type in a search such as “my IP” “what’s my IP” or “my IP location”.

This will then display your current IP address and show you search results with websites where you can check in what country your IP address is located in.

If you are seeing your normal IP or your location to be in the country you are actually located in, then the VPN connection was not correctly made.

This should however never be the case if you use a reputable and popular VPN service.

Checking my IP and location every time in Google before actually using the VPN for the purpose I intend to is just a habit I have developed.

7. Visit the website or service you want to access though your VPN

Once all this is done and you have verified on Google that it’s in fact your new IP in the selected country that is showing up, you can now go ahead and access the website you wanted to visit through the VPN.

Once you open the website in question, you will now see the content that was meant to be seen only in the selected country. In case the website in question was blocked in your home country, you will now be able to see it without any problems.

And that’s it.

It’s really that simple to set up and use a VPN.

Written by: Joe Robinson

Data privacy and cyber security writer. Joe has been working in the VPN field for over seven years, and has a passion for analysis and debate. He loves learning new technologies and software, and regularly uses everything from Kali Linux to Pro-tools. When not writing about digital security, Joe helps businesses improve their website usability and spends his free time playing guitar and reading about data science, IoT, and ethics.

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