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How to set up a VPN in Windows 10
A VPN service is your best friend if you value internet privacy and have a tendency of visiting geo-restricted content. While VPN companies offer apps to help you set up their service in your OS, you may prefer to do it manually.
The advantage of manually setting up a VPN is that you do not have to install any apps on your computer. The downside is that you can only use one server and therefore cannot jump between different locations as you would with a commercial VPN service.
This guide takes you through a step by step process of setting up a VPN service in windows 10.
Sign up for a VPN service
While you will not be installing any apps in your computer, you need to purchase a subscription to a VPN service to access its servers.
If this is your first time using VPN services, it is essential that you research to identify the best deals. You can choose from this list of FREE Windows 10 VPN providers.
We recommend that you read other customers online reviews and also our guides on the best VPN services.
Determine the VPN protocol you want to use
A VPN protocol refers to the services and technologies that providers use to enable fast and secure connection to VPN servers and back.
VPN companies mostly provide four protocols namely OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec, L2TP/IPSec, and PPTP. The best protocol is the one with a reputation for speed and secure connection. Our best bet here is the OpenVPN.
Please ensure that you read the fine print of the VPN service of your choice to determine the configuration process. It is also vital that you list down the servers offered by the provider including their URLs and current load.
A Step by Step Windows 10 VPN set up
Now that your VPN service is ready, it is time to configure your windows. The first thing to do is to open the Cortana bar and search VPN.
Alternatively, you can right-click the start button and open settings. Under settings, click Network and Internet and then open VPN.
In the VPN dialogue box, click ‘add a VPN connection’ and in the page that follows, fill in the details as follows. Select Windows built-in in the drop-down menu and specify your connection name and server name.
The connection name should be the name or the address of your VPN service provider, and the server location should be the one specified when determining the VPN protocol. You will also need to define your VPN protocol in the drop-down menu just below the server name.
Please note that the VPN type automatically changes to automatic and the type of sign in info changes to username and password when you select the VPN provider as Windows built-in.
Once everything is ready, scroll down and enter the username and password as provided by your VPN service. Then click save and close the settings app. Open the WI-FI icon on your taskbar and select the newly created VPN connection.
If the connection does not appear, repeat the process all over again to determine if you have missed.
Some VPN protocols require root certificate installation
Not all VPN protocols will work with the above method without a root certificate installation. With the likes of IKEv2, you will need to install a root certificate first for the process to work.
The root certificate installation process for the IKEv2 protocol is a simple one as illustrated in the following steps.
Download the IKEv2 certificate.
Visit the IKEv2 website to download their root certificate and save it on your desktop. If you are using Firefox or Internet Explorer, ensure that you have downloaded the file instead of opening it. Chrome will automatically download the file correctly.
Double click to open and install.
When you double-click the certificate, a dialogue box will pop-up asking you to open or cancel. Click “open” to be taken to the installation page then click Install Certificate.
Select the local machine and click Next.
The Install Certificate button will lead you to the Certificate Import Wizard. Here, select the Local Machine button and proceed by clicking Next.
Select “place all certificates in the following store” and click browse.
This step will lead you to a small window with some folders. Select the Trusted Root Certification Authorities folder and click okay. Follow the certificate import process and close the window.
You can now go back and follow the Windows 10 VPN set up the process as explained above.
Please note that each VPN protocol has its configuration process and requirements that must be followed in manual installation. The guidelines for each protocol can be found in its issuer website.
A VPN is one of the must-have tools for every regular internet surfer. It is essential to evaluate your needs and capabilities before deciding whether to install it manually or through a VPN app.