How to set up a VPN on Windows

By often using PCs on public networks or on corporate networks, we pay little attention to the data that can pass through it, convinced that we can browse without anyone knowing what we do.
Unfortunately this is not the case: on corporate networks the use of certain sites or services could be limited or even prohibited, just as on the public network some malicious user could spy on the traffic generated by our PC and infect it to obtain passwords and access data ( especially with keyloggers).
To effectively protect our navigation, we can use a VPN, a sort of encrypted protected "corridor" (or tunnel) that can isolate our device from any type of attack and mask outgoing traffic without knowing the real destination of the data. (useful for deceiving filters and limitations).
We find out in this guide how to configure VPN on Windows in a few simple steps .
READ ALSO: Best services and free VPN programs to surf safe and free
Types of VPN
There are obviously various types of VPN that can be installed on the PC with Windows operating system, but we can enclose them in two large "groups" (the division is useful to understand which VPN service to turn to):
- VPN via client : these services are the easiest to exploit because they have a program that acts as a pre-configured client; all we have to do is start it, enter the credentials and activate the VPN.
In order to function properly, they install a service and numerous processes, able to divert all the traffic generated by the PC to the VPN tunnel: as long as the program remains active, navigation will be safe and secure.
- PPTP, L2TP or similar VPN: these VPN services must be configured manually using dedicated programs or by taking advantage of the functions integrated in the operating system.
The best way to configure VPNs without using other types of programs is definitely Windows 10, which has a menu dedicated to VPN connections.
For advanced connections, however, a program may be required, leaving this way only to users who chew network, systems and know exactly what they are doing (advanced users).

Install VPN via client
For novice users or those with basic computer skills, it is possible to use a VPN via client, so as not to go crazy in the configuration and obtain a good compromise between speed and security.
Below you will find the best VPN services with a pre-configured client, so you can surf safely in a few simple clicks.
1) Avira Phantom VPN

One of the best free VPNs that we have been able to try is offered by the manufacturer of a famous free antivirus (Avira) and allows you to surf anonymously using up to 500 MB of monthly data traffic, renewable by subscription.
Using this VPN is very simple: you install the program, log in with an Avira account (you can also create it on the spot), choose the country in which you want to appear to surf anonymously and finally click on Connect .
Automatically all traffic will be diverted to the VPN, including Windows connections (watch out for updates, better set up browsing on consumption when using restricted VPN).
The program can be easily minimized and as long as it shows the symbol of a padlock on the network, we will browse anonymously without any problems.
To exit the VPN we reopen the program, click Disconnect to go back in the clear without protections on the network.
We can download this program from here -> Avira Phantom VPN .
2) TunnelBear VPN

Another service that we can take advantage of to connect to a VPN via a convenient client is TunnelBear, which offers up to 1 GB per month for free accounts (after sending a tweet to the service page), so that you can browse safely and anonymously on any blocked or geographically restricted site.
This VPN is very fast, to the point that you will hardly notice the difference while browsing the pages!
To use it, all we have to do is install the client required by the program, choose the country in which we want to appear in the drop-down menu and turn the button on the left from OFF to ON.
All traffic will be directed to the VPN, so that you can surf safely.
To disable the VPN connection, simply reopen the client and return the switch from ON to OFF.
We can download this VPN client from here -> TunnerBear .
3) Hotspot Shield

An unlimited VPN that works through a client can be obtained using the Hotspot Shield.
This service shows discreet advertising banners while browsing, so as to repay the service in some way (that's why it offers connectivity without time or data limits).
To use the service, we open the client, choose the country in which we want to appear in the Virtual location field, then click Connect to divert all the traffic generated by the PC to the VPN, so as to surf in complete anonymity.
To deactivate the connection, simply reopen the client and click Pause Protection or Stop Protection (from the drop-down menu).
We can download this VPN client here -> Hotspot Shield .
Configure VPN manually on Windows 10
If we use the latest version of Microsoft's operating system we can manually configure the VPN connection, just keep username, password, VPN server address (we can find this information in the instructions of the chosen VPN service) and the type of VPN used.
Let's go to the Settings menu -> Network and Internet -> VPN and click on Add VPN connection .

In the window that we will see we insert all the data in our possession to be able to connect to the VPN service (if we want to use a corporate VPN, we will have to contact the network administrator to be able to retrieve the right credentials).

Once all the fields have been filled in, click on Save at the bottom.
From now on it will be possible to connect to the VPN created by clicking on the network symbol at the bottom right and select the name of the VPN (it will be present at the top of everything, above the WiFi networks or the LAN connection); alternatively we can activate or deactivate the VPN using the dedicated button in the Windows 10 Notification Center.

This will make it much easier to manage VPN services that do not have a client or that we want to manage in a more advanced way.
READ ALSO: Best VPN extensions for Chrome

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