How to set up a VPN, or Virtual Private Network, to use the internet with more privacy and security

How to set up a VPN, or Virtual Private Network, to use the internet with more privacy and security
The process for setting up a VPN connection is relatively straightforward.MoMo Productions/Getty Images
  • You can set up a VPN on a variety of devices including Apple iPhones and Macs, Windows-based computers and tablets, Android systems, Chrome OS, and more.
  • Virtual Private Networks, or VPNs, offer more security and privacy online.
  • While free VPNs are available, choosing fee-based services is preferable for optimal service and performance.

Internet security is vital these days, and it's important to know that your personal information is being protected whenever you hop online. While not entirely foolproof, one of the easiest ways to ensure this is by using a VPN, or Virtual Private Network.

Whether you're using a laptop, desktop computer, or even a mobile device, setting up a VPN can help provide a more secure and private browsing experience and it only takes a few minutes to complete. It should be noted, however, that while free VPN companies exist, your best bet is to opt for a paid product with a trusted history of providing good service.

Once you've chosen your VPN client, here's how to set one up on Windows, Mac, Android, and iPhone.
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How to set up a VPN on Windows

1. Click on the Windows button to open up your Settings menu.

2. Navigate to the "Network & Internet" section, then click "VPN."

How to set up a VPN, or Virtual Private Network, to use the internet with more privacy and security
Go to the "VPN" section of "Network & Internet" in your settings.Jennifer Still/Business Insider
3. Click "Add a VPN connection."
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4. Fill in the fields on the page with your VPN's information. Ensure that you select Windows (built-in) for your provider and name your connection whatever you'd like in the relevant section. Then enter the server name and address, the type of VPN you're using, as well as your login information such as username and password.

How to set up a VPN, or Virtual Private Network, to use the internet with more privacy and security
Fill in all necessary information.Jennifer Still/Business Insider
5. Click "Save."

How to set up a VPN on Mac

1. On your Mac's desktop, open System Preferences, then click on "Network."
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2. Click the "+" symbol located on the lower left side of your screen to open a dropdown menu. From there, choose "VPN."

3. Enter the details of your chosen VPN in the "VPN Type and Service Name" fields provided.

How to set up a VPN, or Virtual Private Network, to use the internet with more privacy and security
Select your VPN type and enter your service name.Jennifer Still/Business Insider
4. Click "Create."
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5. Next, enter the server address, local ID, remote ID, and other relevant info, and when completed click on "Authentication Settings."

How to set up a VPN, or Virtual Private Network, to use the internet with more privacy and security
Type in your information and then click "Authentication Settings."Jennifer Still/Business Insider

6. Add your VPN's username and password.

7. Click "OK" to save your information and connect to the VPN.
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How to set up a VPN on iOS

The following instructions explain how to set up your VPN connection manually. You can also choose to download the relevant app for your chosen VPN client, which should automatically detect necessary settings.

1. In your iPhone's Settings menu, tap "General."

2. Scroll down until you find the VPN section and tap "VPN Configuration." Your VPN provider will tell you what security protocol needs to be added in the "Type" field.
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How to set up a VPN, or Virtual Private Network, to use the internet with more privacy and security
Find your VPN type, and fill in all other required info.Jennifer Still/Business Insider

3. Go back to the "Add Configuration" screen to fill in your account's description and server as well as remote and local IDs.

4. Enter the username and password provided by your VPN company. 5. Tap "Done."
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How to set up a VPN on Android

Much like on iOS, VPN apps will generally do all the setup work for you, only requiring you to add your username and password. However, if you would like to set up your connection manually, you can do so by following these steps.

1. In the Settings menu on your device's home screen, look for the "Network & Internet" section. Tap "Advanced" and then "VPN." Note that not all versions of Android contain the "Network & Internet" section and you may need to do a manual search for "VPN."

2. Tap "Add," then fill in your VPN name and type as well as the server address before hitting "Save."
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3. On the VPN screen, add your username and password as given by your VPN provider. You'll have the option to save this information so that you don't have to re-enter it every time you want to use your VPN. You can also choose to use your VPN at all times.

4. Click "Connect" after saving your info to use the VPN.

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