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How to use a VPN?

Many beginners are intimidated and think a VPN is very technical and quit before they even get into it. Maybe it was like that years ago, but modern VPNs are made for everyone. Many of them only require a click of a button to connect to a server.

We wrote this post to show how easy it is, and give you the detailed steps of what to do after you get the software. We assume that you already know the basic definition of a VPN.

If you don’t know, check what a VPN is, and then come back to this post.

First Step – Download the software

Just like any other software, you have to download it. When you subscribe to a VPN provider’s plan, they send you a confirmation email with some details. That email contains a link to download the software, your username and password. You will need this info to login and use the software.

Second Step – Setting up the VPN

Every VPN has settings, and they only have to be managed one time. And it’s very simple, it only takes ticking a few boxes. We actually wrote an article about which VPN settings are important. You can have a look if you want to know why they are so important. But in a few words, you will want to make sure you activate some options that will increase your anonymity. The features we are referring to are the Kill Switch and the DNS Leak Prevention.

Another option is the protocol. We always recommend OpenVPN UDP, it’s the safest protocol at the moment. As an example, here’s a screenshot of the settings of IPVanish.

How to use the VPN software


Third Step – Server Selection

As you know, the VPN connects you to a server in a country you choose. After that, you will have an IP from that country. You have to keep in mind that some servers are faster than others, and it’s important to select a good one. Fortunately, VPNs evolved a lot in the last few years and made this step very easy. Users can choose a server based on the country they want. They can select it from a map, from a list of countries, or even in a specific city.

Some VPN providers have advanced algorithms with the option of selecting servers automatically. In that case, the software will test the connection and select the best server available for each user.

Let’s have a look at an example. NordVPN took this kind of option one step further, and they allow selecting a server by purpose. As you can see in the image below, you can choose what you want to do. The software will choose the best server considering your connection and the purpose you selected. For example, if my intention is torrenting, I would select the option P2P. And the software would connect me the best server for torrent downloads.

The advanced server selection of modern VPNs


And that’s it!

As we said, it’s no big deal to be protected from prying eyes. A VPN is not only for the tech savvy ones anymore. Everyone can click a button and have a secure and anonymous connection. And keep in mind that steps 1 and 2 are only done one time, right after installing the software. Connecting to a VPN takes literally the click of a single button. Thanks to the continuous development of their technology, some VPNs do all the hard work. Users don’t have to test servers individually anymore to see which one is the best. Their software can actually do that and choose the best server for you.