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How to Set Up VPN Connection on Windows or macOS Computer

Virtual Private Network (VPN) provides an extra layer of security and privacy to your online browsing experience. Whether you are looking to connect to public WiFi or you are worried about online privacy while searching the web, VPN is there for you. 

Getting a VPN is just one step toward strengthening your online browsing activities. You must pair it with using password managers and enabling two-factor authentication. Other than security benefits, VPNs make it easy to access sensitive information on smart devices. 

In this article, we will discuss the ways to set up a VPN on macOS or Windows computers. 

Why Do You Need a VPN?

VPN establishes an encrypted connection between the private server and your computer to hide the traffic from prying eyes. However, VPN can still view the traffic; it is recommended that you use a VPN from a trusted and reliable provider. 

Home users can set up a VPN using a router which usually takes more steps, but you won’t have to configure settings on each individual device. You can also download third-party tools to connect to the VPN on your computer. 

Using a paid VPN app is recommended over downloading free VPNs for better security. The free apps sometimes compromise your data as if they are not charging any fee for using the services; they may be monetizing info in other ways. 

Keep in mind, though, that virtual private networks also have some drawbacks. For one, they take a toll on the computer’s resources. If, say, you are on your laptop, you might notice the device’s battery draining faster, which would incentivize you to look for solutions to minimize the problem.

Setting Up VPN in Windows 

Creating a VPN profile on Windows is easy, whether you want to use it for home or professional purposes. A VPN provides a more secure connection, particularly when you are connecting to your company’s network from an airport or a coffee shop. 

Before you connect to a VPN, setting up a VPN profile on your computer is important. You can build a VPN profile by yourself or create a work account to get a VPN profile from your organization. To get started, you will need to consider a few things. 

  • If you are looking to connect to a VPN for work-related purposes, search for the VPN apps or settings on the company’s intranet site or contact the IT Support staff. 
  • If you are setting up a VPN for personal use, download an app from Microsoft Store. After downloading the app, visit the VPN’s official website to check if the network connection settings are listed on the site. 

To set up a VPN on your Windows 10 computer, click on the Start button, tap on Settings, then select Network & Internet. In the Network & Internet window, select VPN, and click on Add a VPN Connection.

In the Add a VPN Connection window, follow the steps mentioned below: 

  • For VPN provider, select Windows (built-in)
  • Type in a name for your VPN in the Connection name box, and you will be using this name to connect to the VPN. 
  • Next, enter the address for your VPN server in the Server name or address box. 
  • In the VPN type section, select the type of VPN connection you want to build. 
  • For the Type of sign-in info, you may need to provide the username and password credentials for your VPN account. 
  • Then, click on Save.

If you need to modify your VPN connection information or specify proxy settings, tap on your VPN connection name and then click Advanced options. That’s all about creating a VPN profile on a Windows 10 computer. Next, you will need to connect to the VPN connection. 

Connect to VPN on Windows

Click on the Network icon displayed on the right side of the taskbar. Select the VPN connection you want to connect to by tapping on the name. You will see the Connect button either under the VPN connection or in the Settings window; click on it to connect to VPN. 

You may need to provide your login credentials or other sign-in information. Once you connect to the VPN, you will see Connected mentioned underneath. 

Let’s now move on to the process of setting up a VPN on macOS. 

Setting Up VPN on macOS

If you are using Mac’s built-in VPN settings, make sure you have configured the VPN properly and have all the information required to establish a connection. You will need a VPN connection name, server address, username, password, and other sign-in info.

  • Click on the Apple icon displayed on the upper left side of the display and tap on System Preferences. 
  • Select the Network icon from the System Preferences window and click the + sign to create a new VPN connection. 
  • From the Interface dropdown, select VPN, and then select L2TP over IPSec in the VPN Type section. Also, make sure that the correct service name is selected for the field named Service Name. Click Connect. 
  • Next, enter the Account Name and Server Name. Click Authentication Settings.
  • Enter your Password and Shared Secret, and click OK.  
  • After providing the password credentials, click on Apply, and then click Connect. 

Your VPN is connected. Click Disconnect to turn off the VPN once you complete your work. To see the status of your VPN connection on macOS, navigate to the Network tab.

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