Most of us rely on our smartphones for most of our internet needs these days, but laptops are also quite popular (especially with those who spend a lot of time on the move).
If you’re looking for a way to enhance your experience while on the go, then you might want to consider installing a VPN (Virtual Private Network) app on your laptop.
VPNs are all the rage right now, especially with countries like China blocking all VPNs as of late 2018. So if you’re based outside of Asia, then it might be worth trying out a VPN app before you travel to a country that heavily monitors and restricts its people’s internet usage.
The Advantages Of A VPN On Your Laptop
There are a number of advantages to having a VPN on your laptop, not the least of which is increased protection against malware and online fraud. You can also use a VPN to keep your personal data private while you’re online (which is especially important if you use public Wi-Fi networks abroad).
And finally, some VPNs offer secure file transfers (between two devices) via an encrypted connection. So you can share files with someone (over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth) without worrying about your data being intercepted.
If any of these benefits sound interesting, then you might want to consider trying out a VPN app for your laptop.
The Difference In Quality
Before we begin, it’s important to note that not all VPNs are created equal. Some VPNs offer far better performance and security than others. If you’ve tried out a few different VPNs and settled on one, then great! But if you’re still on the lookout for the perfect VPN for your needs, then it might be worth trying out a few different options before you make a decision.
The quality of a VPN largely hinges on four things:
- Encryption strength
- No logging policy
- Customer support (Are they available 24/7 to help you through any troubles you might encounter?)
Strong encryption is especially important nowadays. We live in a world where cybercrime is on the rise, and it would be a great shame if your personal information gets stolen just because you trusted the wrong person. A VPN that uses the AES-256 standard encrypts your data 100% of the time, and this combined with a good performance rating should put your mind at ease.
Choosing The Right VPN For Your Laptop
So you want to protect your laptop and all its contents from being accessed by hackers or malware. Where do you start? With one of the most popular VPN services out there, we’ll use NordVPN as an example.
We’ll walk you through the steps to set up this popular VPN service on your laptop so you can begin protecting your personal data and purchasing online without worry.
First, open up your web browser and navigate to https://nordvpn.com/. You’ll see a splash page with a handful of links at the top. One of these links will take you to a page populated with all the different VPN packages offered by NordVPN.
Select any of these packages and click the button to the right of it to be taken to a page populated with all the details for that particular VPN plan. Now, you might want to go for the cheapest option that suits your needs (we recommend using a VPN in Australia so you get to use free VPN servers if you’re located there).
Scroll down to the bottom of this page and you’ll see a small section populated with useful links leading you to other useful pages. One of these leads to a support page where you can find information on accessing help via live chat or email if you encounter any problems with setting up your VPN. (It would be a great idea to check out the FAQs on this support page before you begin asking questions via email – because chances are you’ll hit a dead end and need someone to step in and help you out).
Also take a look at the resources page as you might want to consider some of these resources (blogs, news sites, etc) if you’re looking to educate yourself on VPNs and how to use them effectively.
Last but not least, you can review all the different VPNs featured on this NordVPN website by clicking on this logo at the bottom of the page.
Set Up VPN On Your Laptop – NordVPN
Let’s begin setting up VPN on your laptop. We’ll use the default settings for this tutorial, but you might want to consider using a VPN that’s specifically designed for laptops (like NordVPN). Using these settings, you’ll be presented with a login screen the first time you log in after you installed the app (instructions for how to log in and set up your VPN are included in the app).
Navigate to your Downloads folder on your laptop and locate the file labeled “nordvpn.exe”. Open up the file and you’ll be taken to a screen that asks you to provide your email address and a password. (If you haven’t set up a desktop wallet yet, click here to do so).
Enter your email address and password, then click the “Create Password” button. You’ll be presented with a random, strong password as a reminder of what you entered.
That’s it! You now have a VPN set up on your laptop and it’s ready to use. Remember: If you use public Wi-Fi networks abroad, then you should consider trying out a VPN app. Better security and privacy are paramount these days. So let’s get started using NordVPN to protect our personal data while purchasing online.
Protecting Your Personal Data While On The Go
You don’t need to live in a surveillance state to feel the effects of online fraud and hacking – the criminals are already there. When you use public Wi-Fi networks (at cafes, restaurants, or airports), then there is absolutely no guarantee that your personal data will remain private. Hackers and malware can easily intercept your data when you’re using a public Wi-Fi network.
Even worse, there are some states where your data could be confiscated by the government (especially if you do business over a certain amount). So it’s important to take steps to protect yourself when you’re on the go. One way to do this is via a VPN.
VPNs aren’t free from charge or scrutiny, though. In some countries, you’ll need to pay for your VPN service (even if you use a free tier). Otherwise, you’ll be limited to using public Wi-Fi networks and won’t be able to access the internet via a VPN.
Since we already have a VPN set up on our laptop, let’s use it to protect our personal data while we’re on the move. When we use public Wi-Fi networks, then we’re automatically connected to one of these VPNs. In the next screen, you’ll see a list of your connected devices (laptops, phone, etc) followed by the IP address for your VPN. (If you have more than one device connected to the internet via VPN, then you’ll see multiple IP addresses for your devices).
If you need to purchase something online and don’t want to fill out another form, just visit the website via one of these IP addresses and be sure to use a trusted merchant (that is registered with either Visa or Mastercard). You’ll be just as safe online as you would within the confines of your home.
Using A VPN To Browse The Web Without Limits
One of the best things about VPNs is the fact that they allow you to browse the internet without limits. You won’t be restricted to a certain number of sessions (as you would if you were using public Wi-Fi networks), and throttling (which limits the amount of data you can use) isn’t an issue with VPNs either. (It is true that the service you use might have certain limitations – but these can be overcome with a bit of research).
Additionally, not all VPNs are created equal, and some actually offer better performance than others. If you need a VPN that’s going to be easy to use and won’t affect your performance too much, then take a look at one of these IPVanish VPNs (we use this particular service and have been extremely happy with it).