The process of getting a VPN can be very simple if you just get online, download the first one you see, and install it. In reality, however, it is far more complex. Not only do you need to choose the right service to get the best VPN experience, you also need to know how to properly set it up for your needs.
Start by figuring out why you want a VPN. Is getting a secure VPN for better online privacy and anonymity your priority? Would you like a Netflix VPN for international streaming? Perhaps a VPN can save you money while shopping if prices adjust to your dates.
Then you need to think about where this applies. Do you need it on your computer, phone, maybe your console and television? And would you like more than one person to use it in your household?
Price is another important part of your decision. There are free VPN options and paid VPN options – do you have to pay or not?
Once you’ve chosen one, then how can you actually get it to work? Read on to find out everything you need to know about getting a VPN.
What do you need a VPN for?
A VPN uses multiple servers to ping your IP address so you seem to be in a place where you are not. This way you can stay hidden and anonymous behind this proxy address. So, if you want online anonymity, it will definitely be done for you. Some offer extra security with double-hop servers, which means you hide behind two servers instead of just one. Some also offer double encryption for the ridiculously secure transmission of your data, such as: B. NordVPN.
Perhaps your needs are more about entertainment and shopping? Spoofing your location makes it possible to bypass geographic restrictions. For example, Netflix has a different library of movies and shows in the US than it does in the UK. So if you are not in the UK and want to go to your shows you will be blocked. With a VPN, you seem to be back in the US so you can still catch up on what you want to see. Likewise – but we do not support this – you could appear to be anywhere in the world enjoying the program of that region.
When shopping, this can help make you appear anonymous. Some websites, such as B. Flight sales pages, adjust the prices to your location. There are even claims that they investigate details on your computer like a Mac or PC and adjust prices based on the wealth you seem to have – although this has not been proven. Either way, a VPN can make you appear elsewhere and get a cheaper price.
Which devices do you need a VPN for?
Most VPN services offer the option to use them with one account that is logged into more than one device at the same time. However, the number varies from service to service. So make sure you know how many you will need before you start shopping. ExpressVPN is one of the best, but it’s limited to five devices, with the cheaper but also impressive Surfshark giving you unlimited connections.
Also note that there are many VPNs that you can install on your router. This means that regardless of the number of devices you have, they will all be behind the VPN as they will connect to this router for their internet connection. When you do this, you don’t have to worry about so many account logins. This means that they will all be in the same region, so you cannot change this for each device at the same time.
What does a VPN cost?
This question is different as you can get free VPN services. The catch here is that most of them are limited by the amount of data you can use, very little in most cases. In the rare exception where the data is unlimited, you are very limited by the speed with ProtonVPN.
In terms of features like the number of servers and countries you can connect to, security, interfaces, and apps, you get a lot more when you pay. This does not mean that you have to pay a large amount. Committing to a longer term upfront payment will save you a lot of money. Surfshark, for example, costs $ 12.95 per month, but if you commit to 24 months, the price drops to just $ 2.49 per month.
How to install a VPN
First of all, you need to sign up for a service on its website. This will allow you to download the client (the app) for your device. For example, setting it up on a computer can be easier before adding the app version to a smartphone.
Most VPN options will walk you through the setup process, which can be straightforward. However, on some devices such as Android or Chromebooks, it may be worth reading tutorials from the VPN provider’s website to ensure that it works correctly.
To set up something like a router, it can be useful to use a third-party OpenVPN-compatible client, provided the VPN supports it. Many already offer this, so that this part can also be carried out easily according to the installation instructions. Otherwise, in most cases, you can get tutorials on the VPN provider’s website.
If you’re having trouble, try these quick fixes.
- Shut down and restart the client, restart the device and try again.
- If you have any other VPN software, quit it.
- If the drive isn’t working, use the repair feature many VPNs offer or a similarly named feature in Settings.
- Make sure you are logged in correctly.
- Switch to other servers to make sure you get what you need.
- Also try switching protocols.
- If you have a firewall or antivirus setup, make sure they aren’t causing the block by shutting them down to test.
If all else fails, you can usually reach out to a decent VPN provider via live online chat, where a trained professional will be happy to help. For example, ExpressVPN offers 24-hour live chat support.