You have a public and private life. Your public life is visible to everyone – your friends, family, and the people you meet in public. Your private life is what happens when you go to the bathroom, lock the door, and hide your laptop from prying eyes. Your private life is what you want to keep private. Your laptop, your smartphone, and other mobile devices such as tablet computers have changed the way we all use private data. Your laptop, which you take everywhere with you, is becoming your best friend and your worst enemy. It’s a tool that can connect you to people and information you would never normally be able to access, but it can also be a source of personal information that you don’t want anyone else to see. It’s a goldmine for cybercriminals who want your personal data, and it’s a landmine for spies and government officials who want to know what you’re doing.
There are ways to keep your personal data private, such as using a virtual private network (VPN) – but many people don’t know how to check for a VPN on their laptop. Here’s the simple guide.
1. How To Check For A VPN On Laptop
There are many benefits to using a VPN on your laptop. One of the best things is that with a VPN you don’t have to worry about your ISP (Internet Service Provider) spying on you. Your ISP is not only interested in serving you content, they also monitor all of your activity, so being protected by a VPN is a great way to ensure your personal data is protected as well.
VPN software allows you to connect to a server located somewhere far away, such as China, Brazil, or even Germany, and maintain complete privacy while you’re on public Wi-Fi or at a hotel. You can use your laptop to search for the best price on hotels and flights, or you can use it to browse the web or play games without worrying about whether or not your ISP is watching you.
The great thing about VPNs is that they are completely free. There is no cost associated with using a VPN, so there’s no reason not to give it a try and see if it can protect you and your data when you’re on public Wi-Fi.
2. Open VPN Connect
The first step is to open up VPN Connect, which you can download from the Mac App Store. Once you have downloaded and installed the app, you will see a menu on the left side of your screen that looks like this:
You can click on the Connect button to connect your VPN software to the Mac App Store. Now that you’re connected, you can search for and install any apps that are available for download. After the download is complete, you can disconnect from the VPN and continue with your tasks. Remember: your VPN connection is active even when you’re not using it, so if you have to log out, you will automatically disconnect whenever you log back in.
You can find a list of the best Mac apps here, including VPN Connect. You can download and install them all from the App Store in one simple click. Now that you have all of the tools you need, let’s check for and activate VPN on your laptop.
3. Check For VPN
It’s important to check for VPN periodically to make sure it’s active and working correctly. Just like any other part of your laptop, you can go through the settings to check for VPN. Open the System Preferences app and click on the Network icon. You will see a list of all your VPN connections. Just click the one you want to use and it will automatically connect you to it. If you ever want to change the VPN connection you’re using, you can click the name of the connection to bring up the advanced settings. Here you can change the encryption protocol, select a different region for the server to route all of your traffic through, and more.
4. Test Connection
Now that you have VPN connected, you can test the strength of the connection by pinging a couple of websites. If you are using the VPN regularly, this step will be redundant, as you will always be connected to the internet when you need it. However, if you aren’t using the VPN regularly or if it’s been a while since you last checked for it, you may want to test the connection to make sure all is well.
The easiest way to test the connection is to open up a new browser window and enter the following addresses:
Once you enter the address, press Enter to go to the site. The speed will determine how well your VPN is working. If everything is okay, you’ll see a green bar across the top of the page. If you’re not connected to the internet, you’ll see a grey bar instead. If you are unconnected to the internet but you are connected to the VPN, you’ll see a yellow bar across the top of the page.
Some people prefer to use an automatic tool to check for VPN. The free version of Keepass 2, which you can download from Keepass.com, can check for VPN automatically and create a report so you don’t have to. Just download the free version and follow the onscreen instructions to check for and enable VPN. You can also choose to have Keepass automatically connect to a VPN server when you launch the app or switch between servers depending on where you are. You can choose a different VPN server in the Settings menu under the Database tab. Enjoy!