How Do I Use VPN – Set Up Beginner’s Guide

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) can provide an additional layer of security and privacy, but how do I use VPN? Whether you’re working on public Wi-Fi networks and want to avoid prying eyes or are concerned about general privacy issues. So, how do you use a VPN? A VPN establishes a secure, encrypted connection between your device and a private server, hiding your traffic from others. However, it’s essential to choose a VPN from a company you trust, as the VPN provider itself can still see your traffic.

A good rule of thumb is to avoid using free VPNs because if they aren’t charging you, they may be monetizing your data in less-than-ideal ways. Additionally, law enforcement can access your information through VPN companies. However, in most cases, a VPN offers a way to hide your online activities from others. Please note that getting a VPN is just one of the measures you can take to make web browsing more secure.

Other measures include enabling two-factor authentication and using a password manager. Besides security benefits, VPNs come in handy when you’re trying to access sensitive information or when you’re traveling in Europe and want to stream Netflix or Amazon Prime videos only allowed in the United States. VPNs can also allow you to bypass firewalls in heavily regulated countries/regions like China, although this is becoming increasingly challenging.

NordVPN boasts secure and fast servers worldwide, making it an excellent choice for circumventing China’s strict internet restrictions. It’s very user-friendly, offers useful 24/7 live chat support, and has exceptional unblocking capabilities. It’s currently one of the fastest services available, both in terms of security and unlocking content.

We highly recommend the industry-leading NordVPN. It’s easy to use, provides top-notch encryption, lightning-fast speeds, and can bypass restrictions on Netflix and other popular streaming platforms. With NordVPN’s 30-day money-back guarantee, you can use it completely risk-free. If you don’t like it, you can easily get a refund.

If you’re looking to save money, we recommend Surfshark. for less than $2.50 per month, you’ll have unlimited data and simultaneous connections, rock-solid security, and in-depth features that free VPNs don’t have. Access is fast and all major streaming sites are unlocked. Surfshark is the best value for money.

How to get a free VPN for 30 days:
If you need a VPN for a short period of time while traveling abroad, get our top-ranked VPN for free. NordVPN offers a 30-day money back guarantee, which is real. You’ll need to pay upfront to use the subscription, but the subscription allows full access for 30 days. If you don’t like it you can cancel at any time and get a full refund, so you can try it with confidence.


Why do I need to use a VPN?

Understanding how to use a VPN is very useful, and here are the most common reasons for getting this service:

  1. Ensuring online security: If you’re a freelancer or a frequent traveler who often works at airports or cafes, public Wi-Fi networks are typically unencrypted, making them a prime target for cybercriminals to steal personal information. By encrypting your data, a secure VPN protects you from such threats.
  2. Unlocking websites: Perhaps Omegle has blocked your IP address, or you can’t access common social media platforms during work. Fortunately, a VPN can help you solve these issues by providing a different IP address to unblock websites.
  3. Bypassing censorship: Countries like China, Russia, and Egypt have strict internet censorship laws that affect not only local residents but also journalists and travelers. Thanks to obfuscated servers (and sometimes Shadowsocks proxies), some VPN services can bypass this censorship.
  4. Accessing geo-restricted content: Have you ever been frustrated because your Netflix library lacks certain movies or shows available in other parts of the world? You can use a VPN to change your Netflix region. By providing you with an IP address from another country/region, it can trick Netflix, Hulu, or YouTube into thinking your traffic is coming from elsewhere.
  5. Secure access to the dark web and deep web: Contrary to common belief, browsing the dark web and deep web doesn’t make you a criminal; it merely means you’re accessing content that isn’t available on regular browsers. However, there’s still some risk involved, and using a VPN to add an extra layer of security can reduce the chances of running into trouble.

How to use a VPN on any device No matter what device you use, you can likely set up a VPN on it because most VPN services offer dedicated applications for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS operating systems.

In other words, the VPN you choose should work seamlessly on both desktop and mobile devices. Additionally, VPNs compatible with various devices can also be used with streaming gadgets like Android TV, Amazon Fire TV devices, Kodi, Roku, and more.

How to use a VPN – A beginner’s guide

Create a VPN account:

How to Use VPN on Computer PC (Windows, Mac)

Using a VPN on your computer PC to protect your online activities is a straightforward process. Once you’ve chosen a VPN application suitable for Mac or Windows, follow these steps to get started:

  1. Download a reliable VPN; we recommend NordVPN, which is user-friendly on both Windows and Mac.
  2. Install the VPN application on your computer.
  3. Connect to your preferred server.
  4. That’s it! You can now start browsing securely.

How to Use VPN on Smartphone and Tablet

Using a VPN on your smartphone ensures easy security while browsing. Here’s how to use a VPN on your smartphone or tablet, whether you have an Android device or an iPhone:

  1. Download a VPN compatible with mobile devices. We recommend NordVPN as the top choice.
  2. Install the VPN application on your smartphone.
  3. Connect to a server location of your choice.
  4. Voila! Enjoy secure internet access on the go.

How to Use VPN on Streaming Devices

You can also use a VPN on streaming devices, but the setup may vary depending on the device. Some devices have dedicated VPN apps you can download from their respective app stores, while others may require intermediary devices like routers. Here’s how to set up a VPN on streaming devices:

  1. Choose a VPN that is compatible with your router. We recommend NordVPN as the top choice.
  2. Install the VPN and connect it to your Wi-Fi router.
  3. Connect to any server location you prefer.
  4. Done! Enjoy the privacy and security provided by the VPN.

Now, if you prefer using multiple devices simultaneously (or just want to share your subscription with family members), consider purchasing a VPN that allows multiple simultaneous connections. In most cases, you’ll get up to five connections, but some VPNs (like Surfshark) don’t limit the number of simultaneous connections at all.

You can also install a VPN directly on your router, ensuring that all devices connected to the router use the VPN connection, even those that don’t support VPN on their own. Some router VPNs simplify the installation process by providing specialized router firmware.

Finally, some VPN providers offer options for watching geo-restricted content on smart TVs and gaming consoles, enhancing your streaming experience, often done with the help of SmartDNS.

Top VPN Recommendations – 2023 Oct

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1. NordVPN – The most secure VPN available

For: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux | Simultaneous Connections: 6 | Streaming Sites: Netflix, iPlayer, YouTube, Amazon, Hulu | Number of Servers: 5,600 | Server Locations: 60+ | >>Go to the NordVPN website.

NordVPN is the perfect VPN, ranking high on the list thanks to its impressive technical specifications, lightning-fast speeds, and numerous features. With NordVPN, you don’t have to worry about your online privacy or security anymore. The provider offers AES-256 encryption to secure your data, making it inaccessible to anyone.

If the VPN ever stops working, the kill switch works like a safety net, cutting the connection and preventing any IP leaks. Threat protection keeps you safe from annoying ads, malware, or trackers. Moreover, NordVPN is headquartered in privacy-friendly Panama and adheres to strict no-logs policy.

For streaming enthusiasts, NordVPN won’t disappoint in terms of geo-unblocking. It can unlock BBC iPlayer, Prime Video, Disney+, Hulu, or let you watch ABC Live from anywhere using a VPN.

When we travel and need some familiar shows and movies to help us sleep in hotel rooms, it’s reassuring to know that we can download and watch Netflix without any restrictions using NordVPN (it’s actually one of the best VPNs for Netflix overall).

Additionally, SmartPlay can unlock other content on devices that usually don’t support this software. NordVPN has over 5,600 servers, easily making it one of the highest server count options you can find. These servers are optimized for speed and are located in places like Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, and more.

NordVPN employs the double VPN (multi-hop) feature, where our data is encrypted multiple times to provide extra protection. Furthermore, servers allow P2P connections (often referred to as torrenting), so you can watch your favorite old movies on the go. With dedicated IP addresses available, you can be confident you’ll bypass website blocks on shared addresses.

You can install and run NordVPN on six devices simultaneously with a single subscription. You’ll get the same level of premium service on all these devices, and if you face any challenges, NordVPN’s 24/7 support staff will be happy to provide appropriate guidance. Plus, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee if you change your mind, so you can get a cash refund.

I’ve tested this to make sure you can indeed get your money back. Initially, the support team tried to extend my trial period, but when I told them I wasn’t interested in an extension, they promptly initiated the refund process. I got my money back within 4 business days. Make sure you buy NordVPN and get another 3 months free >>

How to use NordVPN VPN

To use NordVPN, perform the following simple steps:

  1. Go to the NordVPN website and sign up for a subscription.
  2. Download the NordVPN app for the device you want to use.
  3. Enter your login password in the app.
  4. Enable the Obfuscation Server by going to: Settings > Show Advanced Settings > Obfuscation Server (toggle it on).
  5. Now, connect to one of the obfuscation servers by clicking on the “Servers” tab, and then click to automatically connect to the fastest VPN server, or manually select the server location.
  6. Use NordVPN and unlock all online content.

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2. Surfshark – Recommend the cheapest VPN

For: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux | Simultaneous Connections: Unlimited | Streaming Sites: Netflix, iPlayer, YouTube, Amazon, Hulu | Number of Servers: 1,700+ | Server Locations: 100+ | >>Go to the official Surfshark website.

Another significant player in the VPN lineup is Surfshark VPN, known for its incredible speed, robust security, and a guarantee of privacy at an affordable price. Surfshark maintains a strict no-logs policy, ensuring the safety of all your information.

With Surfshark, you can rest assured that your data is encrypted using the current best encryption protocols. Surfshark employs the current gold standard, 256-bit AES encryption, to keep your data secure. Importantly, it offers two of the most popular VPN protocols, OpenVPN and WireGuard.

What makes this provider reliable is its military-grade encryption and a plethora of valuable features such as split tunneling (Whitelister), malware blocker (CleanWeb), double VPN (MultiHop), privacy features (Camouflage and NoBorders), and many others.

MultiHop is a VPN feature designed to provide extra privacy and security, primarily for journalists, whistleblowers, and anyone who might be a target of government overreach. Essentially, MultiHop connects you to two servers, both of which are encrypted, doubling the security and privacy.

Surfshark, headquartered in the Netherlands, boasts over 3,200 servers worldwide. Importantly, Surfshark can bypass geo-restrictions, allowing you to download and enjoy content from multiple streaming platforms. Furthermore, this service is compatible with Android TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Roku, and Kodi.

Surfshark also offers a special Surfshark One subscription package, which includes antivirus software to combat pesky viruses and malware. Search tools ensure a smooth, natural browsing experience, and alert features can detect any misconduct and prevent data leaks.

Surfshark also provides excellent connection speeds, and with its unlimited simultaneous connection policy, you can cover all your devices. Surfshark meets all the requirements of a top-tier VPN provider, starting at just $2.30 per month, with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

You can personally try Surfshark with a 30-day money-back guarantee, and its plans start as low as $2.30. Requesting a refund is easy using Surfshark’s live chat feature. While the support team asked me why I wanted to cancel initially, they promptly processed my request, and I had my money back in under 4 days! Make sure you buy Surfshark and get 3 months of service for free>>

How to Download and Install Surfshark

To use Surfshark VPN, perform the following simple steps:

  1. Go to the Surfshark website and sign up for a subscription.
  2. Download the Surfshark app for the device you want to use.
  3. Enter your login credentials in the VPN app.
  4. Enable the NoBorders feature by going to: Settings > Advanced > NoBorders (toggle on).
  5. After activating the NoBorders feature, you can use the VPN as normal.
  6. Enjoy using Surfshark VPN now.

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3. ExpressVPN – The fastest VPN in the world.

For: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux | Simultaneous Connections: 5 | Streaming Sites: Netflix, iPlayer, YouTube, Amazon, Hulu | Number of Servers: 3,000+ | Server Locations: 160 | >>Go to the official ExpressVPN website.

ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs, with over 3,000 servers in 94 countries/regions, including servers in India, Singapore, the UK, and more. Expatriates can obtain their home country’s IP address and access their local content from anywhere.

With its extensive global network, accessing internet streaming content like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu will never be a problem. ExpressVPN can be used for accessing Hotstar in the USA as well, making it one of the best VPNs for American Hotstar.

Moreover, users can bypass censorship of social media content with its international servers. ExpressVPN is considered one of the best VPNs for WeChat. Users can also securely download torrent files with ExpressVPN, providing robust identity protection against authorities.

It is also based in the British Virgin Islands, which has privacy protection laws, making it a significant advantage for users who prefer not to log in. The VPN offers top-notch security features, including an effective kill switch, DNS leak protection, anonymous browsing, AES 256-bit encryption, and support for the OpenVPN protocol.

ExpressVPN is available on a variety of devices and operating systems, including Android, Windows, iOS, Mac, Linux, Fire Stick, Kodi, Roku, PS4, and more. ExpressVPN is overall the best VPN for India, offering premium features and service, along with a 30-day risk-free refund policy and support for up to 5 simultaneous connections.

When I personally tested ExpressVPN’s refund process, the support representative responded to my request in less than a minute via 24/7 live chat. I wasn’t even asked to reconsider or troubleshoot the issue. In fact, my request was processed immediately, and most importantly, I had my money back in less than 5 days! Make sure you get another 3 months free with your ExpressVPN purchase>>

How to set up ExpressVPN VPN

To use ExpressVPN, simply perform the following steps:

  1. Go to the ExpressVPN website and sign up for a subscription.
  2. Log in to your account and download the software for the device you want to use the VPN for.
  3. Open the ExpressVPN app and enter the activation code (from your account page).
  4. Now, connect to one of the nearest servers and use the internet normally.
  5. Instantly use ExpressVPN and unlock all your online content.

How to Choose the Right VPN?

When deciding which VPN is suitable for you, several important factors need to be considered:

  1. Encryption Tools and Protocols: To ensure your privacy, a VPN needs to use robust encryption tools and protocols. In general, you should look for companies that use AES-256 military-grade encryption. OpenVPN is considered the gold standard among VPN protocols and provides the best protection.
  2. Privacy Policy: If a VPN is willing to hand over information to government agencies, no amount of encryption can guarantee your data’s security. Before signing up for their service, always read the company’s privacy policy. They should, at the very least, explicitly state that they won’t share your information with anyone. Ideally, the company should keep as little information as possible and should absolutely not log IP addresses, browsing history, or timestamps.
  3. Location: The location of the VPN is closely related to its ability to enforce its privacy policy. Companies based in “Five Eyes,” “Nine Eyes,” or “Fourteen Eyes” countries are subject to government surveillance and may have to hand over documents when subpoenaed by U.S. law enforcement.
  4. Kill Switch: Your VPN should be able to immediately disconnect your browser and applications if you lose the connection.
  5. Multi-Hop Technology: Many top VPNs route your internet traffic through at least two independent servers and encrypt it multiple times to enhance security.
  6. Split Tunneling: Another useful feature offered by some VPNs is split tunneling, allowing you to connect to both the regular internet and the VPN simultaneously.
  7. Torrenting Support: Some VPNs also provide easy connections to torrenting applications and software.
  8. Streaming Service Support: If streaming is important to you, check which VPNs allow you to access content libraries from other countries or regions.
  9. Speed: While every VPN will inevitably decrease your device’s speed to some extent, look for software that minimizes this impact. One way to check speed is to compare ping, upload, and download speeds on a device running the VPN with the same device without it.
  10. Price: VPN services vary widely in price, with some even offering free connections. Additionally, many companies offer significant discounts when you sign up for long-term contracts. Prices typically range from around $4 per month to as high as $15 per month for the most expensive VPNs.

In addition to price, consider what you get for your money. For example:

Note: The location of a VPN company can impact the privacy it provides. Companies based in “Five Eyes,” “Nine Eyes,” or “Fourteen Eyes” countries are subject to U.S. subpoenas.

Free vs. Paid VPN

Many VPN services are available at no cost, but in all these cases, you should ask yourself, “What’s the catch?” Most often, this means the service is sustaining its operations by either selling your data or serving you ads.

In other words, you’re essentially swapping your ISP’s monitoring for the VPN provider’s monitoring, which is arguably one of the worst trade-offs in the history of deals. The only acceptable instances of free VPNs are when it’s a limited version of a premium VPN, serving as a trial to encourage users to switch to the paid version.

In most cases, your privacy is safe, and you get decent service. However, these services are limited in many ways. If you want the best service, it will be from a paid VPN provider. Paid VPNs allow you to access their extensive server networks without restrictions.

You can browse the internet anonymously and set up the VPN on multiple devices. Most providers allow you to connect multiple devices under one subscription, thus protecting your entire household from various online security threats.


In addition to privacy concerns, government restrictions on accessing specific websites, particularly social media applications, have become notorious. Thus, a trusted VPN service can be the best way to access government-restricted websites and applications such as TikTok, WeChat, PUBG Mobile, and more.

With increased government surveillance in various countries, VPNs encrypt your connection, allowing you to enjoy the internet freedom you deserve by connecting to different IP addresses. We’ve tested dozens of VPN providers and have narrowed down three VPNs that are highly suitable for use in your country. Among them, NordVPN is our recommended choice for India.

NordVPN offers robust unblocking and privacy protection features, which are crucial considering the growing privacy concerns. With 5,600+ servers in 60+ countries/regions, NordVPN is excellent for unblocking geo-restricted content and websites. It also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing you to test the service risk-free.

If you’re looking to save money, we recommend Surfshark. for less than $2.50 per month, you’ll have unlimited data and simultaneous connections, rock-solid security, and in-depth features that free VPNs don’t have. Access is fast and all major streaming sites are unlocked. Surfshark is the best value for money.

How to get a free VPN for 30 days:
If you need a VPN for a short period of time while traveling abroad, get our top-ranked VPN for free. NordVPN offers a 30-day money back guarantee, which is real. You’ll need to pay upfront to use the subscription, but the subscription allows full access for 30 days. If you don’t like it you can cancel at any time and get a full refund, so you can try it with confidence.


How much does it cost to set up a VPN?

Setting up a VPN can cost anywhere from $2 to $8 per month, depending on the provider and subscription duration. Monthly subscriptions are typically more expensive than 1-year or 2-year plans.

Is setting up a VPN difficult?

If you insist on using VPN applications, setting up a VPN is as simple as installing them. Just click to install, sign in to the service, and you’re good to go—no complicated manual configurations required. They won’t add any extra security.

Will I be tracked if I use a VPN?

No. If you use a good VPN like NordVPN, no one can trace your original IP address. However, search engines and certain websites might detect that you’re using a VPN, but they can’t trace you back.

Which country/region should I set my VPN to?

Typically, the best countries/regions to choose for VPN locations are those with no data retention laws or no affiliation with the Eyes surveillance alliance.

How do I know if my VPN is working?

Many websites allow you to check your IP address. If you’re connected to a VPN server, go to one of these sites to check the displayed address. If it’s different from what you see without a VPN, it’s working.

Is using a VPN legal?

In general, yes. VPNs are a relatively new concept in the “age of law,” so not all jurisdictions are keeping up. This means the rules are vague and subject to various interpretations. Overall, VPNs seem to be usable in most countries/regions, especially in the U.S., Canada, the UK, and other Western countries/regions.

Can a VPN make me completely anonymous online?

In short, no. However, the level of anonymity it achieves is still impressive. Without a VPN, your connection is entirely open, and your data can be viewed by your ISP, the café’s Wi-Fi router, any servers along the way, or anyone with the right tools. VPNs help with this by encrypting your transmission and making it look like it’s coming from the server rather than your connection. Investigate the following aspects to help determine your level of anonymity:

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