If you want to secure your web browsing, torrenting, emails or streaming activities, setting up a VPN is a great idea. But there are numerous ways to install VPN clients, depending on the system or devices you use, and this can pose a problem for new users.
We will answer the question how to set up a VPN for as many platforms as possible. Whether you’re a Kodi or a Mac user, you don’t need to ask how do I set up a Virtual Private Network any longer. Read on to discover the best ways to do so.
The best options to set up a VPN at home
Firstly, it makes sense to lay out some general things to think about when you need to set up a VPN at home, which probably applies to most readers.
If you go for the first option, bear in mind that connection speeds may be lower, and setting up the VPN is slightly more technical – but it can be done.
- One way is to configure your home router using its built-in VPN support.
- The other option is to add a VPN server to a computer in your home using software like OpenVPN or the VPN tools which come packaged with Windows and MacOS.
Both of these options let you install VPN functionality in standard home setups, so let’s look how to install VPN tools for popular operating systems and devices.
Ways to set up a VPN on Windows 10
Windows 10 is probably the most commonly used operating system, and setting up a personal VPN on Microsoft’s OS isn’t difficult. However, it may still need a few actions before you’re up and running.
The best way for newbies to access a VPN on Windows 10 (or 7) is to find a VPN provider who caters for those operating systems. Just create an account, buy a package and download their client. If you’ve chosen wisely, their software should create a secure VPN connection without the need to delve into technicalities.
However, there is a more complex way to set up customized VPNs. Here’s how it goes:
- Let’s assume you’re going to set up a VPN on Windows 10 using Open VPN. In that case, you’ll have to visit the OpenVPN website and download their VPN client.
- Now, find a VPN company that is compatible with OpenVPN such as CyberGhost or PrivateVPN. Set up an account and then download the OpenVPN configuration files for Windows 10 from your VPN’s website.
- Unzip the config files and use OpenVPN’s “Import” tool to add them to your VPN setup. You may have to add a few files here, as each server needs a fresh config file, but when that’s finished, you’re good to go.
How to set up a VPN on Windows 7
If you’d like to set up a VPN on Windows 7, things aren’t that different, but the steps required are:
- To start with, head to the Control Panel, then the Network and Sharing Center. Now click “set up a new connection or network”, followed by “connect to a workplace”, then “use my internet connection (VPN)”.
- Now, sign up for the VPN of your choice, and find its network domain name or IP address. Most VPNs make this available, so it should be in their support section or documentation. Type this into the address field in the VPN set up wizard.
- Finish the wizard and then go to the systray’s network section. The VPN should be present as a connection option, so go ahead and click. Type in your password and UserID for the VPN and the domain name you retrieved earlier. Then you should be able to connect.
Setting up a VPN on Android
What about if you have to set up a VPN on Android phones? In this case, you shouldn’t have any problems. Smartphone browsing can be protected just as effectively by a VPN as desktop data.
- To begin with, head to your phone’s Settings menu. Head to the “wireless and networks” section, and press the “more” button. Click the “VPN” option and then the “+” sign in the top right-hand corner.
- Now you’ll have to enter some network information, such as the IP address and domain name of your VPN. As we noted earlier, this is freely available from reputable VPNs, and you should be able to find it fairly quickly.
- Enter the information requested and choose a protocol, then “save” the connection. After that, it’s a good idea to use the … menu to set your VPN to “always on”, as manually connecting every time you use the net can be pretty clunky.
Can you install a VPN on Firestick?
VPNs can also be used to secure devices beyond smartphones and computers. For instance, it’s fairly easy to install a VPN on Firestick devices as well. Here’s how it’s done.
- First off, load up the Amazon Fire front end and go to the “apps” section, and bring up the apps menu by pressing the center button on the Amazon Remote.
- Choose “categories”, then “utility” before scrolling down until you see one of the VPNs working with Firestick, for example, Ivacy, NordVPN, IPVanish, PureVPN, or else. That’s the option you need, so go ahead and click.
- If you haven’t already done so, you’ll need to log onto your VPN website to create an account before continuing. When that’s done, download the VPN app, and press “open” when it’s finished.
- Now type in your VPN user details, choose a server to log onto and you should be online with an Amazon Firestick VPN.
Install a VPN on Kodi and stream entertainment safely
There are also options for those who want to install a VPN on Kodi, which can be very handy for shielding your TV and movie watching habits from the authorities.
To do so, using OpenVPN’s Kodi VPN Manager is the best bet.
- The first thing to do is to download a VPN manager for the Kodi system. Zomboided is an easy to use option.
- When you’ve downloaded Zomboided, go to the “add-ons” menu and choose the “add-on browser” option, then “install from zip file.”
- Choose the location of the Zomboided files and click “install from repository.”
- Now, go to the Zomboided app on the Kodi menu, choose “services” followed by “VPN Manager for OpenVPN.” Press the link to install the OpenVPN add-on.
- Open the add-on when that’s done and click on the “settings” tab. Choose “VPN configuration”, then “VPN provider” and choose the VPN with which you have an account.
- Type in your VPN user information when asked, then head to the “VPN connection” menu and choose “first VPN connection” followed by a choice of server.
After that, just click “OK” and you’re ready to use Kodi securely.
Using VPNs with Apple iPhones and Macs
If you want to set up a VPN on a Mac or set up a VPN for iPhone devices, doing so is simple.
- Macs are similar to Windows, in that they have native VPN capabilities. To harness them, head to the Apple Menu, then “system preferences” and “network.”
- This should load up the configuration menu which lists the available ways to set up a VPN for Mac users. Choose the right config, then press “connect” and you should be protected.
- Alternatively, you can find a VPN provider offering Mac support, create an account and download their software. It should automatically follow the steps above, leaving you free to browse safely.
If you want to set up a VPN on iPhone devices, things are also pretty easy to handle:
- Firstly, find a VPN provider who caters for iPhone users, set up an account with them and download their client from the Apple App Store.
- When the installation has finished, you’ll need to enter your VPN login details and choose both a protocol and server.
When that’s done, your phone should automatically recognize the VPN connection and you can set your mind at rest.
How to install VPN on a router
If you have multiple computers to protect, you might want to install a VPN on a router, so how is this done?
In that case, you might want to purchase routers made specifically for VPNs. But if you don’t, many popular brands can be reconfigured (especially if they support DD-WRT software).
- Now, head to your router’s support software and head to the settings menu. Ensure that WAN, NAT, and UPnP are enabled, automatic IP is selected, DHCP query frequency is set to “aggressive”, and auto connection to DNS servers is disabled.
- Now go to the VPN menu of the router front-end and choose “VPN client.” Add a new profile and choose OpenVPN on the protocol menu. Then add the address of your VPN provider and your login details.
You may also need to import an OpenVPN file to add to the profile, and this will be provided by your VPN.
When that’s done, press “OK” then “activate” and your VPN should be ready to go.
There’s no need to worry
These days, almost any digital devices can be secured cheaply and easily. So if you’re asking how do I set up a VPN, you shouldn’t find it hard to do. Just choose a secure option which meets your needs, follow the steps outlined above or take the easy option by signing up with reputable VPN providers.