Whether you use a VPN for privacy or security reasons, turning it off isn’t as easy as turning it on. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the ins and outs of using VPNs on your laptop so you can turn them off when you don’t need them.
Why Use a VPN on Your Laptop?
The main reason you’d want to use a VPN on your laptop is to ensure that your Internet connection is private and secure. A VPN can encrypt all your Internet traffic so that anyone listening in cannot view or listen to your data. It also has the added benefit of allowing you to access geo-locked content (such as Netflix or Spotify) when traveling abroad.
In some countries, your Internet connection can be entirely unblocked (leaving you with no restrictions on the content that you can view) if you have a VPN installed, so it’s definitely worth considering whether or not to install one. Many free VPNs are available that can be used with your laptop, so you don’t have to spend a penny. Keep in mind though that free VPNs usually have very limited features and mostly prevent you from accessing blocked content, so you might get bored of using them after a while.
Setting Up VPN on Your Laptop
In order to use a VPN on your laptop, you first need to set it up. This process is usually pretty painless, as most laptops comes with an integrated VPN client already installed. If you’re using Windows, you’ll have to download and install the OpenVPN client first.
Once that’s done, you can launch it from the Windows menu in the toolbar or from the Start button in the quick access toolbar. You’ll see a small blue icon with the words VPN Client next to it. This is the OpenVPN client that you just installed, and it will appear in the tray whenever you launch it (see image below).
If you’re using macOS (or if you’ve downloaded the app from the App Store), the process is slightly different. You need to first open the VPN app on your Mac. Once that’s opened, you can click the lock button in the upper right corner to set a shortcut to the VPN on your mac keyboard. Then, when you log in, the VPN app will open automatically so you can start using it right away. You can also set the Mac app to launch at login, so you don’t have to manually launch it when you turn on your computer or wake it from sleep mode.
How to Turn Off VPN on Your Laptop
Once you have your VPN set up and working on your laptop, you can easily switch it off when you don’t need it. All you need to do is close the OpenVPN client (found in the tray) and log off from your computer. If you’re traveling, you can also uncheck the box that says Remember my credentials in the VPN app so it doesn’t save your username and password.
You can re-enable the VPN when you need it again by checking that box and entering your credentials once the VPN app is launched. You can also choose to have the VPN automatically connect to the closest server to you when you log in, which can improve your overall Internet connection speed.
If you’re worried about your Internet connection being visible to anyone, you shouldn’t be. Even if your computer is connected to a public network like a Wi-Fi hotspot at a coffee shop or airport, other computers on that network will have no way of knowing that you’re connected to the Internet via a VPN.
There are several methods that you can use to easily turn off a VPN on your laptop. All you need is a little bit of patience and the will to avoid accidentally launching the VPN app when you’re not looking for it. So, if you’re ever wondering how to turn off a VPN on your laptop, read on.
Disable the VPN App
The first method is the simplest yet most effective way to turn off a VPN on your laptop. All you need to do is launch the VPN app and click the gear icon in the far right corner of the window. Then, in the menu that drops down, click Settings. You’ll see a list of all the configurations that the app can be in relation to your account. Simply need to uncheck the Enable box next to Private Network and click Save Changes. Now the VPN will be disabled on your laptop and no longer available for use (see image below).
This method is effective because it prevents the VPN app from being launched by accident. If you accidentally launch the VPN app and don’t notice that it’s still running in the background (since it’s hiding in the tray), you’ll see a small notification next to the clock in the upper right corner of your screen. This will help you remember that the app is still open and available for use even though it’s no longer associated with a private network. This method also prevents the VPN app from sending any unnecessary data to the server and hogs resources, which can increase your laptop’s overall performance.
Disable the VPN Client
If you want to completely turn off the VPN service on your laptop, you’ll need to close all the OpenVPN connections that are currently active. This can be done by launching the VPN client and clicking the gear icon in the upper right corner. Once the menu drops down, click Settings. Then, in the menu that drops down, click Connect. You’ll see all the servers (or networks) that the app is connected to (see image below). Simply need to uncheck the Active box next to the VPN server that you want to disable and click Save Changes. Now the VPN will be disabled on your laptop and no longer available for use. This method is effective because it prevents the VPN client itself from connecting to any servers or networks that you don’t want it to connect to. This prevents the VPN app from accidentally sending any sensitive or private data to unrequested destinations. Additionally, this method prevents the VPN client itself from constantly pinging or trying to connect to servers that it thinks are useful, which can cause your laptop to slow down as it attempts to connect to all these servers simultaneously.
Delete the VPN Config Files
If you want to completely remove all trace of the VPN app from your laptop, you can delete its config files. To do this, launch the app and click the gear icon in the upper right corner. Then, in the menu that drops down, click Settings. In the menu that drops down, click Connection Settings. Then, in the menu that drops down, click Clear List. You’ll see all the configurations that the app has stored (see image below). Simply need to click Delete next to the configuration that you want to delete and click Confirm. Now the VPN will be completely removed from your laptop and no longer accessible. This method is effective because it removes all the files and folders relating to the VPN app from your system. It also prevents the VPN app from accidentally sending any private or sensitive data to servers that it shouldn’t be sending to. However, this method does not remove the VPN server from your network. You’ll need to do that manually or use a tool such as Revo Uninstaller (which is built into Windows 10) to remove it.
When to Use One and When to Use the Other
So, when should you use a VPN on your laptop? Well, it really depends on what you’re trying to do. If you’re looking for a simple and quick way to secure your Internet connection while on the move, use one of the free VPNs listed above. They’re easy to set up (usually) and they work just fine. Plus, they don’t log any of your activity, which makes them ideal for private usage.
If you’re looking for a more versatile tool, then Install the OpenVPN app and set it up using the instructions located in their website. This app provides you with more control over your VPN connection, as you can connect to whichever servers and networks you want. So, if you’re looking for a tool that can be used for more than just private usage, then this is the one for you.