Guide for setting up a VPN connection on Windows, either manually or through automatic programs
Often using PCs on public networks or corporate networks, we pay little attention to the data that can transit within it, convinced that we can navigate without anyone knowing what we do.
Unfortunately this is not the case: on corporate networks the use of certain sites or services could be limited or even prohibited, as well as on the public network some malicious user could spy on the traffic generated by our PC and infect it to obtain passwords and access data ( in particular with keyloggers).
To effectively protect our browsing we can use a VPN, a kind of “corridor” (or tunnel) protected with encryption that can isolate our device from any type of attack and to mask outgoing traffic without knowing the real destination of the data (useful for tricking filters and limitations).
Let’s find out in this guide how to configure VPN on Windows in a few simple steps.
Types of VPN
There are obviously several types of VPN that can be installed on the PC with Windows operating system, but we can enclose them in two big “groups” (the division is useful to understand which VPN service to contact):
– VPN via client: these services are the simplest to use because they have a program that acts as a pre-configured client; we just have to start it, enter the credentials and activate the VPN.
In order to be able to work correctly, they provide for the installation of a service and numerous processes, in order to divert all traffic generated by the PC to the VPN tunnel: as long as the program remains active, navigation will be safe and secure.
– PPTP VPN, L2TP or similar: these VPN services must be configured manually using dedicated programs or by exploiting the functionalities integrated into the operating system.
The best to configure VPNs without using other types of programs is definitely Windows 10, which has a menu dedicated to VPN connections.
For advanced connections, a program may still be required, leaving this only for users who chew network, systems and know exactly what they do (advanced users). Installing VPN via client For novice users or with basic computer skills, you can use a VPN via a client, so as not to get crazy in the configuration and get a good compromise between speed and security.
Here you will find the best VPN services with pre-configured client, so you can surf safe in a few simple clicks.
1) Avira Phantom VPN
One of the best free VPNs that we have tried is offered by the manufacturer of a famous free antivirus (Avira) and allows you to surf anonymously using up to 500MB of monthly data traffic, renewable by subscription.
Using this VPN is really very simple: you install the program, you log in with an Avira account (you can also create it on the spot), choose the country where you want to appear to browse anonymous and then click on Connect.
Automatically all traffic will be diverted to the VPN, including Windows connections (watch out for updates, better set up browsing for consumption when using VPN with restrictions).
The program can be easily reduced to an icon and as long as it shows the symbol of a lock on the network, we will surf anonymously without any problem.
To exit the VPN, we reopen the program, click on Disconnect to get back to the front without protection on the network.
You can download this program from here -> Avira Phantom VPN.
2) TunnelBear VPN
Another service that we can use to connect to a VPN via a convenient client is TunnelBear, which offers free accounts up to 1 GB per month (after sending a tweet to the service page), so you can surf protected and anonymous on any site blocked or with geographical restrictions.
This VPN is very fast, so much so that you will hardly notice the difference as you browse the pages!
To use it, all we have to do is install the client required by the program, choose the country in which you want to appear in the drop-down menu and turn the button on the left from OFF to ON.
All traffic will be routed to the VPN, so you can surf safely.
To deactivate the VPN connection, it will be sufficient to reopen the client and turn the switch back from ON to OFF.
We can download this VPN client from here -> TunnerBear.
3) Hotspot Shield
An unlimited VPN that works via a client can be obtained using Hotspot Shield.
This service displays discrete ad banners during navigation, so as to repay the service in some way (that’s why it offers connectivity without time or data limits).
To use the service open the client, choose the country where you want to appear in the Virtual location field, then click on Connect to divert all traffic generated by the PC to the VPN, so as to navigate in complete anonymity.
To deactivate the connection, simply reopen the client and click Pause Protection or Stop Protection (from the drop-down menu).
You can download this VPN client from here -> Hotspot Shield.
Configure VPN manually on Windows 10
If you use the latest version of Microsoft operating system you can manually configure the VPN connection, just keep your username, password, VPN server address (you can find this information in the instructions of the VPN service chosen) and the type of VPN used.
Let’s go to the Settings -> menu Network and Internet -> VPN and click on Add VPN connection.
Insert all the data in your possession in the window that appear in order to connect to the VPN service (if you want to use a corporate VPN, you will have to contact the network administrator in order to recover the right credentials).
Once all the fields have been completed, click on Save.
From now on it will be possible to connect to the VPN created by clicking on the network symbol on the bottom right and select the name of the VPN (it will be present at the top of everything, over WiFi networks or LAN connection); alternatively we can activate or deactivate the VPN using the dedicated key in the Windows 10 Notification Center.
It will be much easier to manage VPN services that do not have a client or that we want to manage more advanced.