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Thursday, January 19, 2017

How To: Set Up and Use a VPN

If you don’t already know what a Virtual Private Network is, here is a short explanation – it’s a piece of software that allows you to safely connect to access a private network and protect the privacy of your personal data. There are a lot of more details, but we aren’t here to explain every little technicality.

In reality, a lot of you exactly know what a VPN is. And while some of you might still consider that this technology is wide-spread, you would be surprised to know just how many users either don’t know the benefits of these networks, or simply choose to ignore them altogether.

But don’t worry – the situation is slowly improving.

Increased VPN Usage

As Wired reports, according to a recent GlobalWebIndex survey of more than 200.000 Internet users, across the world, VPN usage has drastically increased in the last couple of years. Especially in countries in South America and Asia, where most users still don’t have access to some of the most popular social media sites like Facebook.

On the other hand, usage rates have also increased in Europe and North America, where online privacy is still a big factor. However, the survey has also revealed that by far the biggest reason why users deploy VPN, is the need to access geo-blocked content on sites like Netflix, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer and many, many more.

So if you’re thinking about using a VPN, sit back, strap and read about what you need to do in order to set up and use one. Of course, before you even start reading the article, make sure to grab a Virtual Private Network from a quality provider, like PureVPN.

Setting up a VPN

In order to set everything up, you’ll need to have a server address, your unique username and a password from your selected provider. Once you have all the information, then you can proceed with the installation process.

Bellow you have short guides for setting up a Virtual Private Network on the two of the most popular operation systems currently on the market:

Setting up on Windows 10

  • Enter the control panel in order to locate the “Add a VPN Connection” menu and click on it.
  • Fill in all of the information you got from your VPN service provider.
  • Don’t forget to check the “Remember my sign-in info” box before you click “Save.”
  • Find the Name of your connection and click the “Connect” button.
  • And once you’re done with that, your brand new VPN connection is up and running.

Setting up on OSX

  • Make sure that you have the latest version of Opera downloaded, if you want to have a free VPN.
  • Click on the browser, and once you enter the menu, simply select the “Preferences” sub-menu.
  • Select the “Privacy and Security” menu, and enable the VPN.
  • Once the network is enabled, you’ll see a small grey button in Opera’s address field.
  • Click the grey button, select the location and review just how much data you’ve used.
  • Once your private network becomes active, the button will turn blue and your VPN will be up.

Alternative Options

Now if simply finding a paid VPN provider isn’t an option, and a free network sounds too unsafe, there are still some alternatives for you, like trolling out your own VPN using Hamachi. There’s a ton of these tutorials on the Internet, and bellow you have one from the TWiT Netcast Network that will help you set up a VPN in 30 minutes or so.

This will definitely put control into your hands, but you have to be aware that this option isn’t quite as safe as a subscription method. And while you’ll not have any international exit locations that will enable you to access geo-locked content, you’ll still have the three most important benefits of Virtual Private Networks – privacy, security and anonymity. By Michael Conley.

Michael is a 35-year-old digital security specialist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and one of the finest writers here at When he's not working, he enjoys watching old movies and shooting pool with his friends.