VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks, have become widely used tools that help people and companies to securely access a private network and, also, to remotely share sensitive data through public networks. The main ideea is that VPNs can generate virtual P2P (point-to-point) connections, so-called encrypted tunnels, that will allow you to use the Internet as a medium for transporting data that will be hard to intercept and access by third-parties. Also, it will allow you to spoof your physical location, because your actual IP address is replaced by the VPN provider. Luckily, Windows 10 makes it easy for us to create, configure and use VPN connections in any way we see fit. So let us see how to make Windows 10 and VPNs work together.
What you need in order to connect to a VPN
In order to connect to a Virtual Private Network (VPN), no matter if it is owned by the company you work for or it is a custom connection that you have set up, you will need to know the following details:
- The IP address of the VPN server.
- The connection name and your VPN account details (username and password).
- Any custom technical configuration you might need to perform, in order to successfully establish a secure connection.
If you have all these particular details, then all you need is a proper Internet connection. This may come as a surprise, but it is impossible for you to connect to a VPN server if you are not connected to the Internet. If you managed to gather all the proper credentials, then feel free to continue on your journey towards using a VPN service with the help of this guide.
How t o create and configure a VPN connection in Windows 10
Before you can create a VPN connection, be sure that you have logged into Windows 10 with an administrator account. Then, you have to open the Settings app. If you have any problems in finding or opening this application, use this guide: 6 ways to open the Settings app in Windows 10.
In the newly opened window, click or tap the section labeled Network & Internet.
In the Network & Internet window, you will find seven subsections in the left-side column and you have to click or tap on VPN.
In the VPN subsection, click or tap on the option labelled Add a VPN connection.
You will then be asked to enter your VPN connection details. Normally, before you can start setting up a VPN in Windows 10, you will need to find a good service provider that you can use to secure your online presence. Depending on each particular provider, you will either receive an URL that is similar to any normal website (e.g. vnp.example.com) or numerical IP address. Still, you should know that VPN services greatly differ in terms of quality and price and you will need a lot of patience in order to find one that works well with your online habits and Internet connection.
Coming back to our tutorial and the VPN connection setup window, you will first need to choose a VPN provider. In the first field of the Add VPN connection window, that is labeled VPN provider , you should select the Windows (built-in) option from the drop-down menu.
Next, in the field labeled Connection name , enter a name for the virtual private network you are trying to create. It usually does not matter what you call it, but for the purpose of this particular tutorial we named it Free PPTP VPN , in an attempt to make it more descriptive.
Enter the VPN server address in the Server name or address field and be sure to check it matches exactly to the one offered by your VPN service.
We chose a PPTP (point-to-point tunneling) VPN, because this is the most commonly used method of implementing virtual private networks. As such, if you use the same method, you should select it from the drop-down list of the field called VPN type.
Any VPN provider requires you to use a predefined method of authentication in order to easily connect to their virtual private network. So, in the next field, Type of sign-in info , you should select, from the drop-down list, a method that matches the one offered by the VPN provider. The service we used for this tutorial supplies a username and password for its users, as such we selected this option from the list.
Still, you should know that the Username and Password fields are actually optional. This means that if you leave these fields blank, you will be prompted to enter your username and password each time you connect to the VPN service.