It’s great news that Microsoft finally brought their most popular features to their mobile operating system, Windows 10. With the update came some fantastic new features that will thrill VPN users, along with the addition of a VPN client called “Secure Line.” Let’s dive in and find out how you can benefit from setting up a VPN on your Windows 10 device.
Why A VPN On Windows 10?
If you’re reading this, I assume you’re either a Windows user or someone who knows one. And if you’re using Windows, you probably know how frustrating it can be to connect to a Wi-Fi network that’s protected by a password and public-facing key (WPA2-PSK), especially if the network is in another country and you’re not in the habit of logging on to unprotected Wi-Fi networks. Even when you do log on to one of these networks, there’s still the additional layer of security that the password and key provide. This is where a VPN comes in handy, because it provides you with an additional encrypted connection that you can use to access resources like the internet and your email, all while staying secure.
Additionally, using an insecure network via a public Wi-Fi connection is a huge threat to your personal data. Someone could easily monitor your online activity and steal your personal information if they wanted to. This is why you should avoid using public Wi-Fi whenever possible.
How To Setup A VPN On Windows 10
So, you want to set up a VPN on your Windows 10 device? Let’s get started.
First, you’ll need to download and install the “Microsoft Crypto Service” from the Microsoft Store. This service provides the necessary cryptographic tools to perform the encryption required by VPNs.
Once the application has been installed, head to Settings and click on Network & Internet. You’ll see a list of available networks. Select the one you want to connect to, and then click on it. Finally, click on the “+” button at the top right to establish a new connection. You’ll now have a new unbreakable connection to the network.
The Good Stuff
Once you’ve connected to your VPN, you’ll see a “Keep Windows Connected” checkbox. Make sure this option is checked so that your VPN connection remains active even when you log off your device. This will help ensure you remain connected to the network when you return to your device at a later date. You can always log off the VPN connection and reestablish it later if needed. As noted above, this is quite a useful feature for those who frequently need to be away from their devices and want to make sure they can always return. It will also prevent you from being hijacked by a man-in-the-middle attack if you’re connecting to a network that’s NOT in your trusted list. Additionally, Windows 10 now includes a kill switch that will automatically disconnect you from any untrusted network you attempt to connect to. Thus, you’ll need to manually reconnect to ensure you’re still connected to the VPN when you return to your device at a later date. This ensures better security and prevents any unintentional leaks of personal data due to insecure practices adopted by a network administrator or internet service provider. This feature is often overlooked, but it’s still quite useful for those who need to remain constantly connected to the internet while on the move.
The Bad Stuff
Unfortunately, there’s also bad news. Right now, Microsoft has limited the functionality of the VPN client in Windows 10. For example, you can’t easily setup your own VPN server. And, at the time of this writing, you can’t customize the VPN client’s appearance. Additionally, the “Keep Windows Connected” option in the Settings app is greyed out for me, so I can’t check it. Hopefully, this will be remedied soon, as it would be quite useful if this option worked as expected. Otherwise, the whole point of having a VPN is effectively lost, because you’ll always be connected to the internet, no matter where you go or what network you connect to.
To conclude, while there are some fantastic new features in Windows 10 that make VPN users quite happy, the bad news is that the VPN functionality is quite limited at this time. Hopefully, this will be remedied soon so that VPN users can enjoy the full array of available features in the app.