VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks, can allow you to do things online that you couldn’t do before. Depending on where you live, you have had more or less online restrictions to deal with. You might have been subjected to your government’s surveillance through your ISP. In this text, we will see what are the benefits of using a VPN for Windows. Also, we will mention the dangers of not having this sort of protection.
Also, there were constant dangers from things like viruses and other malware. They pose a threat to your Windows, which is why you must seek protection. Not to mention annoying ads and a possibility that your online actions are being monitored by hackers and spies.
All of those dangers and similar issues are still very much relevant, and a threat to Windows users. Which is why more and more people turn to Windows VPNs. But VPNs help with more than just protection. They can also bypass geo-restrictions, and allow you access to premieres of TV shows that you are interested in, but can’t watch because of the region you live in.
These cyber security services allow you to do even that, and to do it privately, without anyone’s knowledge. If you are intrigued, and interested in learning more, just keep reading. We will explain in detail what they can do, which is the best VPN for Windows, as well as how to set them up on your Windows computer. Let’s begin.
Which VPNs To Use on your Windows?
The popularity of VPNs has brought about hundreds of different providers in the recent years. Even if you only target premium providers, it could take days or even weeks only to visit each of their websites.
However, that doesn’t make it any easier to make your choice. Not all of them are equally as good, and you have to know what you are getting into if you wish true safety. Checking them all out is bothersome, long, and we understand that you don’t have the time for doing it yourself.
Which is why we did it for you. And, after a lot of testing, trying out, and eliminating those that can’t provide good service we have a solution. Well, five of them, actually.
Five VPNs for you to check out and see which one sounds the best to you. Of course, you don’t have to go along with our recommendation, and you are free to look for your own choice. Still, if you can’t afford to do it, the ones we picked are guaranteed to do the trick. Those are:
Currently one of the best providers in the industry, ExpressVPN is bound to protect you and make you as anonymous as you wish. It has an excellent reputation, many happy customers, and great features that allow a lot.
For example, when it comes to its server network, it is spread out through 77 countries. It keeps no logs and has no limits when it comes to speeds or bandwidth. Next, it uses the strongest known encryption and allows you to choose from multiple security protocols. You can pay for it through PayPal, Bitcoin, or the majority of credit and debit cards.
And, if you decide that you don’t like it, you have 30 days to go back on the deal and get your money back. Its software is easy to set up, as well as to use. And yes, we know that you need it for Windows, but it also supports a majority of devices, as well as other systems. All in all, it is more than useful, and we definitely recommend it.
Next, we have IPVanish, and there is no better VPN for those who need speed. This is one of the fastest providers that you will find, if not THE fastest one. This is thanks to the fact that it owns its server network, instead of renting it. And that is quite a network, too.
IPVanish offers over 850 servers in 60+ countries, which is over 40,000 IP addresses in total. Apart from that, it keeps no logs, offers great encryption, as well as protocols, and it allows 5 simultaneous connections.
On top of all that, you have a simple and free software, as well as a week-long money return guarantee. It also works on many systems and devices, which is useful in combination with those 5 different connections.
NordVPN is as good as the previous two, but it may be even better when it comes to keeping you safe. This provider actually offers a double encryption. That means that your data will be encrypted twice. Even for a VPN, this is an insane amount of safety, and with it, you will always know that there is no way that someone can spy on you.
Apart from that, it offers 980+ servers in 58+ countries, which makes for a pretty good and wide server network. It is easy to set up and use, and its speeds are also more than decent. From extra features, it offers support for P2P, 30 days of money back guarantee, and also a kill switch.
This is a feature that we did not talk about before, and it helps with protecting you. Basically, if your protection ever drops for any reason, a kill switch will cut your internet connection. It might seem a bit rough, but it is the best way to protect you from exposing yourself.
PIA, or Private Internet Access, is another VPN with a pretty good reputation. It keeps no logs, has strong encryptions and multiple protocols. A number of its server is enormous, and it currently owns over 3190 of them in 24 countries.
The number of countries is smaller than what others on this list offer, but the servers are strategically placed, which means that you will get your access. Its speeds are also more than capable of helping you out.
Another thing about PIA is the fact that it has some of the cheapest prices in the VPN industry. For example, you only pay $3.33 per month if you decide to use an annual plan. Prices for a single month are a bit more expensive, and they go around $6.95. However, compared with others, this is more than cheap as well.
Another thing worth mentioning is that PIA’s interface is relatively bare, and not as ‘decorated‘. Some users may find that this bothers them, but if you are not one of them, then this is probably a perfect provider for you.
VyprVPN is a truly special one, and it offers a lot of features that we have already mentioned earlier. This doesn’t only include regular features, but the special ones as well.
For example, just like IPVanish, it also owns its server network, which allows them much better speeds than an average VPN can provide you with. This also ensures extra safety, since no 3rd parties are involved in your deal. Next, its prices are pretty much as good as what PIA offers. Which means that you have one of the fastest providers in the world for one of the cheapest prices in the world.
But there is even more! VyprVPN offers one of the biggest networks as well. It consists of 700+ servers in 70+ countries. If that doesn’t impress you, what about the fact that, in total, this VPN offers over 200,000 IP addresses?
And that is still not all since it offers a 3-day free trial, it stops your ISP from messing with your speed, and provides no restrictions when it comes to downloading capabilities, server switches, and alike. It has multiple protocols that are even masked to look like a regular traffic, it keeps no logs, has an amazing customer support (email + live chat), as well as great encryptions.
Basically, if there is such a thing as a security overkill, we have found it in VyprVPN. This one of the fastest, cheapest providers, with an enormous network, great security, and tons of features. Definitely, don’t skip over this one.
What Is Windows VPN?
Let’s start with what Windows VPN is. These are Virtual Private Networks, which are special services that can keep you safe during your online sessions. They allow you to hide your data flow, and also encrypt it, like an extra security measure.
Furthermore, they allow you to mask your IP address by giving you a new one. This new address belongs to one of many private servers that every VPN has. They have hidden somewhere far away, in multiple countries of the world. When you use VPNs, you connect to one of them. Then, it assigns you an IP address local to the area where the server is at.
As for other security measures, there are many of them, but they mostly provide aid to these three, which are the main ones.
As for why you need it for Windows, that is no secret either. Windows 10 is out for a couple of years now, and it is a lot better than it was when it first appeared. Many patches and security updates are responsible for this advance, but it wasn’t always like this.
When it first came out, there were a lot of bugs and different flaws and vulnerabilities. Many are already dealt with, but some smaller ones are still here, hiding and waiting for a hacker to find them.
Because of this, you need to enhance your security as much as you can. Windows will try to protect you, but there is no guarantee that it can manage to beat every threat. It is in your best interest to make sure that you and your device remain safe.
Also, there is the threat by Windows itself, which has left quite a number of options for them to discreetly collect info about you. All in the name of progress and convenience, of course. Still, it doesn’t change the fact that someone else is monitoring and recording your actions and preferences.
Because of this, you need a decent VPN in order to protect your privacy.
The Dangers Of Not Using A VPN with Windows
The biggest threat to you comes from your own government. Or, more precisely, from online surveillance.
There are many countries that are downright brutal when it comes to surveillance, censorship, and restrictions. Depending on where you live, you may have had the chance to feel it on your own skin as well. The internet was originally meant to represent a private and anonymous place where you can find out more about what interests you.
The governments respect none of that. They will spy on you, keep track of you, and often enforce content restrictions. Some countries have it worse than others, of course. However, in the last several years, many governments have started following the example of those other countries.
Eventually, the danger of surveillance will threaten to us all. For now, this threat is only starting, and governments have just ordered their ISPs to start recording users’ data. Some countries, like the US itself, don’t force ISPs to record the data. However, they also won’t stop them from selling your private information to advertisers. Information is the most important thing for a business today, and they are ready to pay well to find out about you.
Luckily, protecting yourself is relatively easy. The only thing you need is a VPN. You will have to pay to use them, that much is true. However, they will cost you less than $100 per year. Sometimes a lot less than that, depending on the provider you choose.
What Can You Do With A VPN For Windows?
Using a VPN, especially a good one, can allow you a lot of personal freedom online. It can also extend your online reach. Soon enough, you will realize that things like ‘This content is not available in your country‘ will go away forever.
With a Windows VPN, all you need to do is choose the right server. Do that, and any restriction that has made it a problem for you to access some content will go away. Changing your IP address can help with that because it lets you pretend that you are from another country.
Another benefit is that your real IP won’t have any connection to your online actions. Your real IP was given to you by your ISP, and they can monitor it closely.
We have already talked about spying on your actions and content from the government. Well, with a VPN, none of your data will stay without protection. Even the best spy agencies will remain blind when it comes to monitoring you if you use a VPN on your Windows.
Many Windows users are also torrent fans. However, they can’t use this method of acquiring files because their governments don’t support it. If they are caught using torrents, or P2P file sharing method in general, they could end up in trouble. But not with VPN, since your entire connection will have total protection.
Also, just think about how often are you somewhere out, and you need to consult the internet. Public WiFi is everywhere around you, but you know that using it is not safe. Well, with a VPN, you won’t have to live in fear anymore. Many providers allow you to protect multiple devices at once. That means that both computer and your smartphone can have total protection. It doesn’t matter if you are at home or somewhere out in the world, your Windows VPN will go with you.
Problems With VPN
VPNs do have their downsides too, of course. For example, they will slow your traffic down a bit. That can’t be helped, though. When you use them, your data is first getting its encryption, and then it travels to the remote server. Some limitations have to exist, and the further away the server of your choice is, the longer will it take for data to come back.
That is why it is important to choose a fast VPN for Windows. However, it must still stay safe and secure, so a good quality is a must-have too.
And of course, there is a matter of paying for the service. That is also something that you just can’t change if you want quality. However, they are really affordable and completely worth their price. And while we are on the subject of price, it is mostly around $10 per month or less. Annual accounts often have noticeable decreases, so there’s that.
Are There Free Windows VPNs?
The answer is yes, there are a number of free providers. But, the bad news is that you should really avoid them at all costs. They will attract you with the fact that you don’t have to pay for them, yes. However, their services are way too faulty, and you can’t rely on them.
The rule is simple, and that is that you will get as good as you pay for, which is not very encouraging when it comes to free ones. Just think about it. They have to earn money somehow because renting the servers is not free. And, if you aren’t providing money, someone else is.
By ‘someone else’ we mostly mean advertisers that want your private data. Which is why free VPNs will record your actions and sell them to these companies. It is all in their privacy agreement, for those who care to check them out.
Basically, these VPNs will count on the fact that you won’t read the privacy agreement and just blindly trust them. When you use them, they will collect your data, and then they can do whatever they want with it. Which defies the whole point of you using them, since you do it for safety and privacy.
No, premium providers are your only option if you want true safety. Sure, you have to pay a bit. But, at least you will know that you are truly safe. Having the illusion of safety, when you actually don’t have it, is the most dangerous thing online.
How To Set Up A VPN In Windows 10?
Now that you have a general idea about what VPNs are, what they can do, what they offer, and which one to choose, it is time to get to business. The reason why you are even here is to find out which one to use, as well as how to set it up.
And you are about to find out. Doing it is easy, and you can do it by following these instructions:
- Go to the VPN’s website, subscribe, and download the app
- Install and launch the app
- Log into it with your VPN’s credentials
- Choose a server, and you are ready to go
All of these VPNs will install themselves automatically once you have started the process. However, if you wish to do it manually, by yourself, it is easy. You can do it in only a few simple steps.
Still, you will need a couple of details from your VPN service. Those include the name of a server that you will use, or at least its address. Next, the protocol that you are going to use (OpenVPN is the best option), and finally, a username and password. This means that you still have to subscribe to the VPN. The only thing that you DON’T have to do is use their software.
So, let’s see what is it that you need to do next:
- Go to your Start button, and choose Settings.
- Next, find Network and Internet option, and click on that
- On the left side, you will find a list of other sections. Find the one called VPN, and open it.
- Click on the ‘+’ icon. It says ‘Add a VPN Connection‘ next to it.
- On top, you will see a ‘VPN provider‘ box. Choose Windows Default.
- Next box is the Connection Name. You can choose it yourself most of the time, but some providers want you to use a specific name. If that is the case, then do as they want, and get the name that you are going to use from them.
- The third box on this page will require you to type in an address or a name of the server. This is another piece of info that your VPN should have provided you with.
- And then, there is a VPN type. There, you should choose a protocol. PPRP is the most commonly used, so choose that one. If you face any issues later, you can always set it on Automatic, and Windows will detect a working one for you.
Set Up A Password
In order to increase your convenience, you can make your computer remember the sign-in information. That way, you won’t have to bother with your credentials every time.
After you have done all that, hit Save and go all the way back to Add VPN page. It should now have your VPN connection below the Add button. Whenever you click on it, you will get three options – Connect, Advanced, and Remove. Obviously, Connect is for establishing a connection, Remove is for removing these settings, and Advanced are advanced options.
How To Set Up A VPN In Windows 7
If you are using a Windows 7, then here is what you have to do to set up a VPN manually. Once again, you will need your VPN subscription and the same information from your provider as for the previous guide. When you acquire those, follow these steps:
- Go to the Start button, and type VPN in a search bar. Then choose ‘Set up a virtual private network (VPN) connection‘
- Type in the server’s name or IP address
- Select ‘Don’t connect now‘ if you only wish to set up the connection. If you do wish to connect, leave the field blank, and simply hit Next
- Now you will need your username and password. You can choose not to type it in now, but you will still have to do it later in order to establish a connection. Then hit Connect
- Click on the logo of Windows network which is located in the low-right corner of the screen. Under the VPN Connection, you will find Connect option. Click it.
- Find a connection box that says Connect VPN, and enter the domain, as well as your login credentials. Once again, click Connect.
- It is possible that you won’t connect at this point. If so, the problem probably lies in the server configuration. Check with your provider about which protocol they use, and then find Properties on the connect VPN connection screen
- Go to a tab with Security on it, and find a specific type of VPN from the list. Also, it is probably best to unselect ‘Include Windows logon domain’ option. You can find it in the Options tab. And then finally, click OK, and then Connect.
How To Set Up a VPN in Windows 8
Once again, for setting up a VPN connection manually, you will need the data provided by your VPN client. Next, follow these instructions:
- In your taskbar, find the Network icon, and right click on it. Select ‘Open Network and Sharing Center‘
- In it, find the option to Change your networking settings. When you do, hit Set up a new connection or network.
- Click on Choose a connection option, and then Connect to a workplace. Then click Next.
- Find ‘How do you want to connect’ option, and choose Use my Internet connection (VPN)
- Next, type in the server’s IP address or name in the Type the Internet address to connect to a field. Also, fill out the Destination name field,
- Click Create, and that is it.
Set Up OpenVPN In Windows 10
You can also use OpenVPN in combination with some VPNs. To do so, however, you will need an additional software. The majority of VPNs have some sort of such software custom-made and already built into their app.
Alternatively, you can get your own software from OpenVPN.net.
When you do, here are the steps that you need to take next:
- Install the software on your computer
- Right click on the OpenVPN icon, and choose ‘Open file location’ option
- Right click on the OpenVPN GUI, and select properties
- Find the Compatibility tab, and make sure to check the box that says ‘Run this program as an administrator’. Then click OK
- Next, you will need to get the configuration files for OpenVPN. You can get them from your VPN provider. Once you receive the files, unzip them into the OpenVPN’s configuration folder.
- Now launch the OpenVPN GUI. In your taskbar, you will notice a red icon. Right-click on it, select the server that you wish to use and Connect
Test Your VPN
Now that you are done with setting a VPN, it is time for you to see if everything is working properly. Also, if you use a VPN app from your provider, and did not set it up manually, you should still make sure that all works as it should.
The process is fairly simple, and you can visit testmy.net in order to conduct the tests. Make sure to pick a server closest to you, and check both your upload and download speed via Combined test.
Also, don’t forget to check without a VPN running as well so that you would know the difference. There is supposed to be a difference in speed, but nothing too drastic. Also, go to our free IP tool and check for leaks as well. Make sure that during your private sessions your real IP address doesn’t show and it is replaced with the one assigned by the VPN server.
Using a VPN for Windows is extremely useful, and doing so will allow you to stay safe and truly anonymous online. You shouldn’t settle for anything less. And, you definitely shouldn’t allow anyone to make money by exploiting your privacy.
In this guide, we have explained what Windows VPNs are, what they do, which ones to use, as well as how to set them up. You should now be perfectly capable of doing it yourself. Hopefully, all of your questions have been answered, and you will be able to use the web safely.