What is a VPN?
A VPN refers to a Virtual Private Network where one or more users, can access a public network, as though it was a private one. For instance, if you work for a company with a regional office located in a different geo-location from the head office, then setting up a VPN can allow the sharing of data and information on a public network as though it was the company’s in-house or private network.
However, the most common use of a VPN has to be when users try to conceal their identity when accessing restricted websites. In a school network, there may be restrictions as to which sites you can and cannot access. As such, using a VPN can help you bypass the restriction, all while hiding your IP address to prevent revealing your personal identity as well as your access location. Learn more about how exactly a virtual private network protects you.
Most organizations or private networks have been configured to block VPN technology to minimize the threat of unlawful infiltration which might lead to data loss. Technology evolves so fast, such that, most people who rely upon or use VPN technology are always working to circumvent the restrictions by improving it. Below we go through a step by step process of how to add a VPN, how to set up a VPN, and how to connect to a VPN.
How to add a VPN connection in Windows?
Firstly, you have to understand that the process of setting up a VPN connection varies depending on the operating system (OS) version. As for the Windows 7 and 10 systems, there are a few variants in the interface, but generally, the process is more or less the same.
Adding a VPN connection
- Click on the search bar and type ‘VPN’. There will be a few options displayed, click on ‘Add a VPN connection’.
Setting up a VPN
- In the setup, you will need to configure VPN by entering the VPN provider as Windows built-in. This means that the network is hosted by the computer that you are using. It will then prompt you to fill out the connection name and server name or address.
- Keep in mind that it’s a setting that varies depending on whether your VPN provider is an institution, organization, or generally a third-party.
- At the bottom of the screen, fill out username and password, click ‘Save’.
Connecting to a VPN
- Switch the computer Wifi-setting to discoverable and then select your recently created VPN connection. The computer should be able to automatically connect to the VPN network.
Still can’t connect to a VPN?
Remember that there are different types of VPNs which rely on the third party’s server configuration. Depending on their security protocol the server might use a much-advanced server setting such as IKEv2.
Once you compare the protocol certificate with the one tour service provider has, you should be able to click ‘type of VPN’ and select the one that matches.
If you match the type of VPN to the server security protocol setting, activate the Wi-fi and click ‘Connect”.
If you still can’t connect to a VPN on Windows 10
In the much newer versions of Windows, such as Windows 10, there are troubleshooting options, where the computer operating system assists you in trying to solve the connectivity issue.
- Before you can use this option, there is a simple hack whereby, you click on the Control Panel, then ‘Network and Sharing Center and click ‘Change Adapter Settings.’
- Then right-click the name of your VPN connection and go to ‘Properties’.
- Check ‘Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4).’ Go back to the ‘Properties’ before clicking on ‘Advanced’. On IP Settings option, check ‘Use default gateway on remote network’ and then click OK, before trying again.
It should now work perfectly!