With the release of Windows 10, there were tons of new features that Microsoft added to the OS.
However, not all of these features are suitable for everybody. One of the features that is quite useful for personal usage is the VPN tunnel. A VPN tunnel offers a secure connection to a remote network (typically a private network or a company’s internal network) that prevents data from being intercepted while it’s traveling to and from the local network.
In this article, you will learn how to configure a VPN tunnel for Windows 10 to secure your network traffic.
Features of Windows 10 That Make it Suitable For Setup As A VPN Tunnel
One of the great things about Windows 10 is that it has many useful features that make it suitable for setup as a VPN tunnel. We’ll briefly discuss some of these features that make Windows 10 a good choice for VPN tunneling:
One of the most useful features of Windows 10 that makes it suitable for setup as a VPN tunnel is the Vorpal Edge (formerly Win32 Disk Imager). Vorpal Edge is a free/libre software tool that makes it easy to create and deploy custom images (often called “live CDs” or “USB boot disks”) for Windows. You can create bootable media for Windows 7, 8, and 10, as well as macOS and Linux.
Edge Imager is a feature of Windows 10 that makes it easy to create bootable media for Windows 10. In previous versions of Windows, you would have needed a third-party tool like Rufus to perform this task. Thanks to Edge Imager, creating a bootable Windows 10 USB is as simple as drag-and-dropping your favorite applications to a blank media installer and then clicking “Finish.”
Remote Desktop App
Another great feature of Windows 10 is the built-in Remote Desktop app. With the Remote Desktop app, you can access your computer’s desktop from anywhere. This is great for when you are traveling and need to connect to your PC remotely.
You can use the Remote Desktop app to connect to any of your devices (laptop, desktop, smartphone, or tablet) and access all the features. The app supports both single-device and multi-device connections, allowing you to remote into any of your PCs, laptops, or mobile devices. You can also disconnect from your remote desktop and save your session so you can reconnect from the same location in the future.
The built-in Wi-Fi Direct feature of Windows 10 allows you to easily create peer-to-peer wireless connections between two or more devices, without the need for an intermediary router. Essentially, Wi-Fi Direct creates a direct connection between your devices, which is great for when you are traveling and want to access files stored on a remote device. Like the Remote Desktop app, Wi-Fi Direct supports both single-device and multi-device connections and is built in to all of the supported versions of Windows 10.
PPTP And L2TP VPNs
Windows 10 includes support for both Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) and Layer Two Tunneling Protocol (L2TP) VPNs. These are used to securely connect to a remote network over different protocols, such as IPSec or OpenVPN, which can then be accessed through the OS.
You can use the OS’s built-in VPN client to connect to a VPN server over PPTP or L2TP, as discussed in the next section. You will need to have the VPN server’s public IP (that is, the IP that is currently shared with the public) to connect to a VPN server over PPTP or L2TP. If you do not have access to the VPN server’s public IP, you can use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) service to connect to the company’s VPN server. You will need to have a working knowledge of how to use VPNs to connect to the private network.
IPsec And OpenVPN
Windows 10 also includes support for both IP Security (IPsec) and OpenVPN, two other VPN protocols that are commonly used to create secure connections. OpenVPN is a protocol developed by OpenVPN Inc, a company that was founded by Phil Zimmermann, the creator of VPNs. Like the previous two protocols we discussed, IPsec and OpenVPN support both single-device and multi-device connections. You will need to have a working knowledge of how to use these protocols to connect to a private network or company’s VPN server. Just like with the previous two protocols, the built-in VPN client in Windows 10 supports both IPsec and OpenVPN.
You can use the OS’s built-in VPN client to connect to a VPN server over either IPsec or OpenVPN. To connect to a VPN server over IPsec, you will need to have a public IP address. To connect to a VPN server over OpenVPN, you will need to have a working knowledge of OpenVPN. Just like above, you can use a VPN service to connect to the private network if you do not have access to the VPN server’s public IP.
How To Setup a VPN For Windows 10
If you have just installed Windows 10 or are planning on setting it up soon, you can use a service like TunnelBear to quickly and easily create a VPN tunnel for your PC.
TunnelBear is a free and open-source VPN service that was created by a team of security researchers and software developers who wanted to offer safe and private connections to their customers. Even though TunnelBear is a completely free VPN service, you do need to keep in mind that it’s still a bit pricy to use when you are traveling (especially international traveling).
You can use the service’s built-in VPN client to connect to a VPN server. If you already have a dedicated network interface on your computer (Ethernet, WiFi, or similar), you can use that to connect to the VPN. You can use the service’s web dashboard to create a VPN tunnel for your computer if you do not have a dedicated network interface. Just visit the service’s site, click on the “Create a VPN” button, and enter your email address, network interface (wired, WiFi, or similar), and desired account information (if you already have an account, enter your existing login credentials).
You can then click on the “Create VPN” button and follow the instructions to complete the process. Once your VPN tunnel is set up, you can use the TunnelBear app to connect to the VPN when you want to use it. Even though this service is free, it still costs you $2.49/mo to keep the servers running. If you do not want to keep paying for services that you are not using, you can disable the VPN when you are not using it by following the steps discussed on this page.
Using A VPN To Secure Your Network Traffic
Once you have a VPN tunnel set up on your Windows 10 PC, you can use it to secure your network traffic. To do this, you will need to perform three simple steps:
Ensure that your Windows 10 computer is connected to the internet via a WiFi or Ethernet connection.
Open a web browser on your computer and navigate to https://www.tunnelbear.com/ or yoursite.vpn, depending on which protocol you used to set up your VPN tunnel. For example, if you used IPsec, the website will be https://yoursite.vpn/ and the address bar will say “https” rather than “http”, indicating that you are currently connected to a secure website. In addition, the lock symbol on the bottom right corner of the browser will be green or blue, indicating that you are either connected to a VPN server or the internet. If the symbol is yellow, that means that your computer is not currently connected to a VPN server. If the symbol is red, that means that your computer is not connected to the internet at all and cannot access the website you are trying to visit.
When you are at school, work, or another situation where you do not want your personal data to be intercepted, you can use a service like Nord VPN to secure your network traffic.