If you’re reading this, then you’re considering setting up a VPN. Maybe you’re even wondering how long it takes to set one up. Let’s take a look.
The Basics: What Are VPNs?
Just like with most things in life, there’s a lot of terminology out there that can be a little daunting when you’re just starting out. Fortunately, we’re here to help. In this section, we’ll explain the basics of VPNs so that you can get a grasp of what’s going on.
Simply put, a VPN is a virtual private network that allows people to connect securely behind the firewall of a company’s network. A VPN is a lot like putting on a virtual sweatshirt that allows you to access resources and functions of a remote network as if you were physically there. Basically, VPNs let you “hide your IP address,” which is your IP address on a publicly accessible network. This is usually used for nefarious reasons, but on occasion it can be used for legitimate purposes.
The Growth Of VPNs
VPNs are a pretty cool tool to have in your arsenal. They’re relatively easy to set up, and you can use them to secure all of your devices (including your smart phone) from viruses, hackers, and snoopers. Not bad for something that’s been around since the 1980s.
Since their inception, VPNs have been used by the Defense Intelligence Agency to secure military networks and by journalists to securely report from war zones. In 2019 alone, more than 2.5 million people used VPNs around the world. That’s 80% of the total internet user population.
Nowadays, you might use a VPN to securely access a corporate network or public WiFi hotspot from an unknown location. People use VPNs to keep their personal information secure while browsing the internet and to prevent identity theft. For example, you might use a VPN to log into your bank account or to access the services of a website that requires an account to be set up.
How To Set Up A VPN
If you’re looking to set up a VPN, then you’ve come to the right place. In this section, we’ll lay out everything you need to know about how to do so. Keep reading for more information.
First, you’ll need to determine whether you need a free or paid version of the VPN software. The answer depends on how many devices you plan on using the VPN on. If you have a single device, then you can get by with a free version. For example, if you want to secure your laptop, then you can download and install the Free version of ExpressVPN.
However, if you’re looking to secure multiple devices (like a laptop and a smart phone), then you’ll need to spend some money on a premium version. Luckily, there are many reputable VPNs that offer great customer service, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding one that meets your needs. Let’s take a look at what you need to have in mind before you begin setting up your VPN.
One of the first things you need to consider is how much bandwidth you have available on your network connection. This determines how much data can be transferred to and from your device in a given amount of time. For example, if you have a 1 gigabit per second (Gbps) connection, then you’ll be able to download and process a megabyte of data in one second. Remember, your VPN will be making a lot of requests to remote servers, so it’s important to know how much bandwidth you have available.
If you don’t have a lot of bandwidth, then you might want to consider getting a dedicated line. Most internet providers charge extra for those with higher bandwidths. However, a dedicated line is much more expensive, so for the average consumer looking to set up a VPN it’s probably not a viable option. Fortunately, there are other ways to get around this bandwidth restriction. For example, if you’re using a WiFi hotspot at a coffee shop or airport, you might be able to secure up to five devices (computers, tablets, and cell phones) using the free version of Hotspot VPN.
The next thing you need to consider is how many servers you need to connect to in order to properly route all of your network requests through the VPN. Remember, your VPN acts as a middleman, so all of the requests must first pass through it. As a general rule of thumb, the more servers you have, the better, as it makes for a more stable and reliable VPN. But that’s not always the case. Sometimes a few select servers can secure a reliable connection despite having a lot of interference.
Some VPNs will only allow you to connect to a certain number of servers. Once you hit that limit, you’ll have to upgrade to a premium version in order to be able to connect to more.
Another consideration you need to make is how secure you want your VPN to be. There are several factors that contribute to the overall security of the system, like strong passwords and the authentication methods used. For example, if you’re wondering how long it takes to set up a VPN, you’re probably wondering about the security of the system itself. Remember, your VPN is a standalone entity that will be storing all of your personal information, so it’s important to keep all of the software up to date and secure.
Just because your VPN is free doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take care of its security. For maximum security, you should avoid using a free VPN and should look for one that is paid for.
What About Logs?
Another factor that determines how long it takes to set up a VPN is how much information you want to keep about your activity while securing your connection. For example, if you’re using a paid version of the VPN software and you don’t want the company administering it to track your activity, then you have the option of paying a smaller amount to avoid being logged. Some companies will even give you a certain amount of free usage before you’re logged.
There are several benefits to avoiding being tracked while using a VPN. First of all, if you’re concerned about your privacy, then you should use a VPN. Secondly, if you’re using a free VPN, then you’ll probably be limited in how much information you can hide, as being logged is generally a necessary evil for any decent VPN.
As you can see, setting up a VPN isn’t as complicated as it seems. There are three basic requirements you need to have in mind (bandwidth, servers, and security), and then you can proceed to use the VPN.