Many times, when you’re using a public Wi-Fi hotspot, you want to protect your online privacy. You don’t necessarily want other people on the network to know what you’re doing online because maybe you don’t want them to know that you’re looking for a new job, or that you want to be a social media influencer, or that you’re just trying to keep your personal life private. Maybe you just want to keep your browsing history secure so that advertisers can’t track you online. Whatever the case may be, you most likely want to secure your internet connection with a VPN.
No, we’re not going to teach you how to use a VPN service. We’re not going to teach you how to install a VPN on your mobile device or computer. We’re not going to teach you how to create a VPN account and how to use the VPN client. We’re going to teach you how to use the VPN that comes with your Windows operating system.
The Most Important Key to Using Local VPN
The most important key to using any kind of VPN is ensuring that you actually have one enabled on your device. You can’t use a VPN if you don’t have one enabled. The reason behind this is that when you’re connecting to a VPN server, all of the data that you send and receive is sent through this encrypted tunnel, which protects your data while it’s traveling to and from the server.
If you’re searching for a VPN on your Windows device, you’ll find many different options. However, not all of these VPNs offer the same features, and some of them might even be a bit dangerous to use.
To avoid this, you need to make sure that you download the Windows VPN that came with your computer or device. Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8 all have built-in VPNs that you can use to secure your internet connection. These are referred to as “local” VPNs because they only protect your data when it’s within your local network. This means that if you’re connected to a public Wi-Fi hotspot, you won’t be able to use these VPNs to protect your data because the hotspot isn’t a part of your local network.
The Types of VPNs That Come With Windows
There are two main types of VPNs that you can use with your Windows device. The first type is “bound” VPNs. These are the typical VPNs that you’ll find many places online. The advantage of a bound VPN is that you don’t have to install any additional software to enjoy the benefits of a VPN. The downside is that bound VPNs don’t offer as many features as the other type, which we’ll discuss next.
Encrypted Tunnel VPNs
The other type of VPN that comes with Windows is an “encrypted tunnel” VPN. This type of VPN uses a “pseudo-wire” to create a secure connection between your device and a remote server. One of the biggest advantages of this type of VPN is that it doesn’t require any additional software to be downloaded and installed on your device. This makes it easier to use and much more convenient.
Pseudo-wire VPNs are also among the most secured types of VPNs because all of your data is encrypted as it travels to the server. This makes it harder for hackers or other nefarious characters to intercept your data while it’s traveling.
How to Enable Local VPN On Windows
To use your local VPN, all you have to do is open up the Network and Sharing Center from the Control Panel. On Windows 10, you’ll need to click on the “+” symbol in the lower-right corner of the screen, and then click on “network and sharing” from the drop-down menu. On Windows 7 and 8, you can just click on “network and sharing” from the drop-down menu located in the Tools section of the Control Panel.
Once inside the Network and Sharing Center, you’ll see a list of your local network’s devices along with their connection status. You can click on the “+” symbol next to the network interface to see a detailed view of the connection status. You can also choose to hide any specific network device if you don’t need to see its status in this list. Just click on “edit settings” next to the device that you want to hide, and then click on “security” from the drop-down menu. Finally, under the “Wi-Fi” tab, you can click on “local firewall allowances” to allow or disallow certain connections through the firewall.
Once you’ve increased the local firewall allowances to the recommended settings, you can click on “apply” to save these settings. You’ll now be able to use your local VPN to secure your internet connection when connecting to public Wi-Fi hotspots.
How to Configure VPN On Your Mac
If you have a Mac, you can also configure the VPN settings on your device. However, unlike on Windows devices, the location of the VPN configuration files on Macs is hidden by default. To view these files and make necessary changes, you’ll have to enter your Mac’s “/Library/Security/cspiadmin/” folder and open the “VPN” folder. Inside, you’ll find a configuration file for each installed VPN. This is where you’ll find your VPN’s “[company name].vpn” file. You can either choose to download and install the VPN client from the provided website or you can use the “openVPN Connect” app which is already installed on your device.
You’ll have to follow the instructions provided by the app to configure your VPN properly. After you’ve entered your information, you can test your connection by clicking on “connect”, and then on “show my VPN status”. Once you’ve confirmed that your VPN is working and that you can access the internet through it, you can click on “quit” to close the app. You can find more information in the “openVPN Connect” FAQ if you have any questions about using this particular app.
How to Use A VPN With Mobile Devices
Since your mobile devices aren’t exactly known for their powerful processors, it’s imperative that you choose a VPN that’s lightweight and doesn’t require a lot of resources. The most popular and probably the most convenient option is the “ProXPN” app. This app provides a secure connection to a “ProXPN server” and allows you to connect up to five devices at a time. You can find a free version of this app, but you’ll have to enter your email address to download it. The full version, which is worth $10 a year, removes this email address requirement and provides you with many more features.
Open the “ProXPN” app, and then click on “+” in the lower-right corner of the screen. This will display a menu with the different connection options that the app provides. The first thing to do is to choose “Free” to set up a free account with ProXPN.
Now that you have a free account, you can sync your mobile devices with the app by clicking on the “+” again, and then choosing “Manually”. After that, you’ll have to follow the prompts to sync all of your mobile devices. Once your mobile devices are synced with the app, just open it up and click on “Client” to log in. You can then use the app to browse the web privately and safely.