How to Connect to a VPN in Windows
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a service that allows you to access the internet securely and privately by routing your connection through a server and hiding your online actions. VPNs are useful for protecting your online privacy, accessing geo-restricted content, or bypassing censorship.
There are different ways to connect to a VPN in Windows, depending on the type of VPN service you use and the features you need. In this article, we will show you how to connect to a VPN using the built-in Windows settings, a third-party VPN client program, or a browser extension.
Connect to a VPN using Windows settings
If you have a VPN profile on your PC, you can use the Windows settings to connect to it. This method works for most VPN services that support the IKEv2, SSTP, L2TP/IPsec, or PPTP protocols. Here are the steps to follow:
- Select the Start button, then type settings.
- Select Settings > Network & internet > VPN > Add VPN.
- In Add a VPN connection, do the following:
- For VPN provider, choose Windows (built-in).
- In the Connection name box, enter a name you’ll recognize (for example, My Personal VPN).
- In the Server name or address box, enter the address for the VPN server.
- For VPN type, choose the type of VPN connection you want to create. Youâll need to know which kind of VPN connection your company or VPN service uses.
- For Type of sign-in info, choose the type of sign-in info (or credentials) to use. This might be a username and password, one-time password, certificate, or a smart card if youâre connecting to a VPN for work.
- Enter your username and password in the respective boxes (if required).
- Select Save.
- If you need to edit the VPN connection info or specify additional settings, such as proxy settings, choose the VPN connection and then select Advanced options.
When you have a VPN profile, youâre ready to connect. In Settings, select Network & internet > VPN. Next to the VPN connection you want to use, select Connect. If you’re prompted, enter your username and password or other sign-in info. When connected, the VPN connection name will display Connected underneath it.
Connect to a VPN using a third-party client program
If you prefer to use a dedicated VPN client program that offers more features and customization options, you can download one from your VPN service provider or from the Microsoft Store. For example, you can use OpenVPN Connect, which is the official OpenVPN client software for Windows workstation platforms developed and maintained by OpenVPN Inc. This is the recommended client program for the OpenVPN Access Server to enable VPN for Windows. The latest version of OpenVPN for Windows is available on their website.
To connect to a VPN using OpenVPN Connect, you need to download and install it on your PC first. Then you need to import a profile from your VPN service provider or from your own Access Server. You can do this by using an import feature that allows you to import profiles straight from your Access Server or just import a saved profile from disk. Once you have imported a profile, you can simply click on it and enter your credentials if required. You will see a green icon when you are connected.
Connect to a VPN using a browser extension
If you only need a VPN for browsing the web and accessing geo-restricted content, you can use a browser extension that works as a proxy service. This method is usually faster and easier than using a full-fledged VPN client program, but it may not offer the same level of security and encryption. Some popular browser extensions for VPN are Touch VPN, ZenMate, and TunnelBear. You can find them on the Chrome Web Store or the Microsoft Edge Add-ons Store.
To connect to a VPN using a browser extension, you need to install it on your browser first. Then you need to create an account or log in with your existing one if you have one. You can then choose a server location from the list of available countries and click on the connect button. You will