A Virtual Private Network (VPN) allows you to connect to a private network through a public network, such as the Internet. With a VPN, you can encrypt your internet traffic and remain anonymous while browsing the web. You can use a VPN to connect to public Wi-Fi networks to ensure your personal data remains private, or to spoof websites you want to access to appear to be connecting to another country’s infrastructure.
To use a VPN on Windows 10, you will need to download and install a VPN app. Windows 10 comes with a built-in VPN client called Microsoft VPN, which can be accessed by clicking the Windows logo on the taskbar or pressing Windows Key + Net. But unless you’re planning on using the VPN solely for connectivity purposes, you should download a dedicated app.
Since Windows 10 includes PPTP, L2TP/IPsec, and IKEv2 protocols, you can connect to a VPN using any of those protocols. However, if your network is using an older version of the Windows operating system, you will need to download a VPN app that supports those protocols as well to ensure you can connect to a VPN. You can use the following table to find the right VPN app for your needs.
Choosing A VPN
When choosing a VPN, you need to take into consideration various factors, such as security, reliability, ease of use, and cost. In this section, we will discuss how to choose the best VPN for your needs.
Features You Need
Before you download a VPN, it’s essential you consider what features you need and what you don’t need. There are three key features you need to look out for:
- Security – You need a VPN that is as secure as possible. Ensure the VPN you are considering is adequately secured by looking at the company’s reviews and checking out their VPN safety policy.
- Encryption – You need a VPN that is capable of encrypting your internet traffic. Look for products that support AES-256-bit encryption or better. If you don’t know what that is, then you probably don’t need that feature.
- P2P – You need a VPN that is capable of supporting Peer-to-Peer (P2P) file sharing. Check out the reviews to see how well this feature works in practice.
Every month, you’ll find numerous discounts and offers on VPNs, so you don’t want to rush into buying one. You also don’t want to buy a cheap VPN either, as that could possibly be a route to security breaches and other unpleasantness. There are also many free VPNs available, which you can use to test the service before buying. It’s also a good idea to look for discounts when you’re buying in bulk, as long-term plans usually provide better value than single-use plans.
Once you’ve found a VPN that fits your needs, it’s time to move onto the next step. From here on out, you will only need to focus on installing and using the product.
The last thing you need is a VPN that doesn’t work as expected. To avoid this, it is essential that you do your research beforehand and be sure to read reviews that detail the reliability of the product. It also helps to look for customer service, as this is usually where the review groups provide feedback on whether or not the product is up to par.
Ease Of Use
This is a feature that is often mentioned in tandem with cost, but it’s important to look at it as a standalone feature. When choosing a VPN, you need to consider how easy it is to use the product. Some VPNs are extremely easy to use while others can be very complicated. The more complicated the product, the more complicated the user interface tends to be. This is a pain point for many people and, quite often, the main reason people give up on using VPNs altogether.
Just because a VPN supports a certain number of protocols doesn’t mean it’s the best for your needs. The main reason you want to use a VPN is to protect your personal data when accessing the web and other online services. This is why you should always opt for a VPN that supports the best protocols, such as PPTP, L2TP/IPsec, and IKEv2. These protocols are extremely secure and prevent traffic from being intercepted.
Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) is a tunneling protocol that was originally designed for Ethernet networks. Using this protocol, you can create a VPN connection to a remote computer or server. To set up this connection, you will need to specify the remote endpoint (the server you wish to connect to) and then the local endpoint (your computer).
PPTP is a client-to-client protocol, which means that each computer needs to be configured to allow connections to be made between them. This allows users on untrusted networks to be connected without having to worry about their privacy being violated. Unfortunately, PPTP is not encrypted and, therefore, is not the most secure of the protocols we mentioned above. Still, PPTP is highly supported by VPNs and therefore, is a protocol you will rarely need to worry about. It also provides good functionality and is, therefore, a commonly used protocol.
Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP) and IP Security (IPsec) are two different but related tunneling protocols created by the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force). L2TP/IPsec is essentially Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol with IP Security added to the mix. Like its predecessor, L2TP/IPsec is a client-to-client protocol and is also capable of securing traffic between two untrusted networks. To use this protocol, you will need to have two pieces of software installed on your computer: Microsoft Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (MPTPP) and IPsec. MPTPP is the built-in VPN client that comes with Windows 10 and enables you to connect to a VPN using the L2TP/IPsec protocol. To set this up, simply start by downloading and installing the MPTPP app from the Microsoft Store. Then, you will need to open up a PowerShell console and run the following command:
netsh advfirewall set service password (Your Windows account password)@pptplogin
This will set the password for the VPN service, which can then be used with the following command to connect to the VPN:
pptpconnect username@pptplogin (Your Windows account username) password (Your VPN account password)
IP Security is a complex protocol that was originally designed for secure communications between servers. It is also known as IP Security 1.5 because the first version was released in 1998 and has since then been upgraded twice. In its most basic form, IP Security is a connectionless protocol, which means that each packet is treated individually and does not rely on previous packets to deliver the data. This form of IP Security is known as unidirectional security, which is the most basic and least secure form. The later versions of IP Security (1.5 and 2) support a full mesh of security, allowing data to be secured even when using untrusted wireless networks and VPNs. For the purpose of this tutorial, we will only need to know how to set up unidirectional security, as this is the most basic form of IP Security and the one that is supported natively by Windows 10’s built-in VPN client.
To set up unidirectional security, you will need to download the IPsec.app from the Microsoft Store and then launch it from the Windows icon on the taskbar. From here, you will need to input the remote endpoint (the endpoint you are connecting to) and then the local endpoint (your computer). To connect to a VPN using IP Security, simply enter the details in the appropriate fields and then click the connect button.
Once connected, you will need to input your Windows account details in the MPTPP app. This is so that it can be used to log into the VPN. Since this is a tutorial on how to make your network a VPN on Windows 10, we will use our own Microsoft account to access the Internet through the VPN (so that we can keep our personal data private). After entering our account details in the MPTPP app, we can confirm our VPN connection by checking the VPN connection status in the Windows system tray icon.