A VPN allows for secure and encrypted data transfer between two locations. The most common use for VPNs is to allow employees to connect to company networks from a remote location (either at home or at a café), but VPNs can also be used in many other scenarios, such as allowing family members or friends to connect to your network when you are out of town or at work, or even just for personal secure browsing.
This article will teach you how to setup a VPN for remote access using the popular VPN provider, Private Internet Access.
Why Use a VPN For Remote Access?
If you are considering using a VPN for remote access, there are several reasons why you should do so. First, and most importantly, VPNs help protect sensitive information that you and your company may not want to be accessed by people outside your company. For example, if you are accessing Amazon com or Apple com from a remote location, the traffic will not be routed through their servers, and therefore, will not be logged by them. As another example, emailing credit card details from a remote location using a VPN adds an additional layer of security as the data is encrypted before it is sent.
VPNs also allow you to access your company’s network resources (such as servers and printers) from any location, which is especially useful if you are away from your company’s office. Furthermore, VPNs allow you to set specific restrictions on what locations can access your company’s resources, so you can be sure that only certain locations can access certain parts of your network.
Private Internet Access
Below we’ll discuss how to setup Private Internet Access for remote access VPN. First, you’ll need to visit the Private Internet Access website and click the Sign Up button to create an account. Once signed up, you’ll be taken to the Login page where you can use the Username and Password fields to login. As you may have guessed, Private Internet Access is a pay-per-use VPN service, and therefore, you’ll need to verify your email address before accessing their services. Once you’ve logged in, you’ll see a menu bar at the top of the page, along with your dashboard. Click the Menu link to access the main menu. Then, click the VPN Client link to bring up the client setup options. Finally, click the Setup button to begin the VPN client setup.
When prompted, enter the VPN Server address into the Type field, followed by [your country code] if you’re outside of North America. Then, click the Options button to expand the setup dialog. The Type and Tap Device fields are self-explanatory, while the Security and Log Files fields can be a bit more explanatory. You can either choose to use a Security Type of PPTP or L2TP , followed by the Tap Device (e.g., Android, iPhone, or Windows). For this example, we’ll use L2TP.
Next, you’ll need to download the Private Internet Access VPN app to your mobile device. You can download the app directly from Google Play or Apple App Store if you have an iPhone, iPad, or Android device. Then, open the app and log in using your email and password. After you’ve logged in, you’ll also need to select a VPN plan from the menu. For this example, we’ll use the Freedom plan.
You’ll then see the VPN Client appear in the menu bar along with your other apps. Finally, you can enter a VPN Key (optional) to be used with your VPN connection.
Choosing the Right VPN Plan
Now that you’re logged in, you have the option to choose from a variety of VPN plans from Private Internet Access. The plans range from $2.95/mo to $12.95/mo, and include various features, such as the number of connections and allowed devices. For this example, we’ll use the Freedom plan ($12.95/mo), which includes 30 days of free access, along with the iPhone and iPad devices.
OpenVPN Client For Android & iOS
Now that you have your VPN plan and Tap Device selected, you can download the OpenVPN client app from Google Play or Apple App Store. Then, open the app and follow the onscreen instructions to configure your device for use with the VPN.
To configure OpenVPN for iOS, connect the device to a power source and make sure the device is logged into the same WiFi network as your computer. Next, click the General tab and make sure VPN is selected under the Security section. Then, enter the VPN Server address in the Server field, followed by [your country code] if you’re outside of North America.
For Android users, download the OpenVPN client from Google Play. Then, follow the onscreen instructions to connect the VPN.
Pro Tips: Setting Up a VPN For Remote Access
If you plan on using a VPN for remote access, there are several things you can do to improve your experience. First, you can limit the number of devices that can be connected to the VPN at once. This can be useful if you want to prevent your kids or employees from connecting to the internet through the VPN while you are away from the office.
Second, you can limit the locations from which your devices can connect to the VPN. For example, if you only want your kids to be able to connect from their smartphones while you are away from home, you can block certain regions on Earth where they might be able to connect to the internet, effectively limiting the number of places that they can access content from.
Finally, you can always choose to use a hardware VPN key instead of relying on a software one. A hardware key allows for much faster login and data transfer through the VPN. For more information, visit Private Internet Access‘s website.