In the second decade of the 21st century, computers and the Internet are central to how we interact with each other for business and social reasons. Staying connected is vital for work and keeping up with what’s going on with your family, friends and peer group. The Internet entertains us, it informs us and sometimes, even educates us. Yet Internet access can be unreliable when you travel to different parts of the world. That’s why it’s a good idea to configure a VPN on your computer. With VPN service, you can enjoy safe, reliable, anonymous and fast Internet from practically anywhere in the world.
Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are private networks that can be patched into public wi-fi bandwidth. VPNs use special Internet protocols to create encrypted data tunnels that can penetrate firewalls and connect with remote networks, even those in other countries. With a VPN on your computer you can access the network where you work while you are away on business to the Middle East, Russia, Asia, and other far flung regions of the world.
When you run a VPN on your computer you’ll need to make use of some type of VPN protocol. PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol) and L2TP (Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol) are the two most commonly used VPN protocols. Some of the other available VPN protocols include IPSec, OpenVPN, and SSL. Different VPN protocols have different strengths and weaknesses.
PPTP is fast and stable but doesn’t provide very much security. L2TP and IPSec are also stable and far more secure. But that added security comes at the expense of speed. OpenVPN is probably the best all around VPN protocol to run on your computer. It’s fast, stable and secure. Unfortunately it’s not compatible with mobile devices like most other VPN protocols
How to Configure a VPN on Your Computer
There are only a few things you will need to set up a VPN on your computer. They are:
- The Server Address:host name or IP address
- Your username
- Your password
- Your Shared Secret (for L2TP)
If you are setting up a VPN in windows, you’ll need to find the “Virtual Private Network connection” option. To do so, follow this path:
Network Connection > New Connection Wizard >
Connect to the Network at my workplace > Virtual Private Network Connection
Once you reach the option page, enter your VPN host name and IP address. Then you’ll be able to connect the VPN with your username and password.
Specific steps to finalize your VPN configuration will vary, depending on which VPN provider you’re using.
How to Use a VPN on Your Computer
Once you have set up a VPN on your computer, using it is really easy. Simply launch the VPN application and connect to the Internet. With the VPN on your computer you’ll now be able to enjoy a fast, stable and secure Internet connection from practically anywhere.
Advantages of Having a VPN on Your Computer
There are many great reasons to have a VPN on your computer. You’ll be able to access your work or home network from abroad for starters. However you’ll also be able to access content from other countries that might otherwise be georestricted to you. This is great if you’re an American business person working abroad and you want to catch up with your shows on Netflix or Hulu.
Best VPN to Have on Your Computer
At TheVPNReviewer we’ve tested all the major VPN providers on the market. If you want to install and run a VPN on your computer, we’d recommend trying Hide My Ass. Also known as HMA VPN, Hidemyass is a well regarded VPN provider whose service is fast, secure, reliable and compatible with every major operating system and VPN protocol.
Get started by checking out Hide My Ass here!