How to Use a VPN?

Many beginners are intimidated and think a VPN is very technical and quit the idea 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 tutorial to give you the detailed steps of what to do after you buy the VPN software.

1- 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.

2- Setting up the VPN

Changing VPN settings

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. You should activate some options that will increase your anonymity. These are the features that you should deal with before starting to use the software:

Kill Switch

This is a very important tool and you should always activate it. If there is a problem and a momentary VPN disconnection happens, this tool will interrupt the Internet connection. This feature prevents that your real IP address is visible while the VPN is not working.

For example, if you are downloading a torrent file and the VPN connection drops, the torrent download will stop. You will have no Internet until the VPN is working again. This kind of issue doesn't happen often, but it is possible. It's a very useful tool that guarantees your security at all times.

DNS Leak Protection

DNS leaks are one of the biggest threats to anonymity, even when you feel protected. This is the way how Internet Service Providers can log the activity of their clients.

When you use a Virtual Private Network, the DNS requests should go through the servers of that VPN. Your ISP shouldn't be able to see your DNS requests anymore.

But unfortunately, it's not that simple! The problem is that many times Windows uses the default settings, and still sends DNS requests through the servers of the ISP. In that case, your ISP can still see those requests, even if you are using a VPN.

That's why it's crucial to turn this option on, to make sure it overwrites the default Windows settings. This feature will make sure the requests are routed through the VPN DNS servers.

Protocol

Another important 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 IPVanish settings.

Example of IPVanish settings

Disable IPv6 Traffic

IPv6 is still not very popular and most VPN networks are configured for IPv4. Because of that, having IPv6 on with a VPN configured to encrypt IPv4 may cause leakage on IPv6.

In the future, the new protocol will be more used, and the VPNs will be reconfigured, so they can be compatible with it. But for now, if your VPN has this option, it's recommended to turn IPv6 off, to avoid any risks.

3- Server Selection

As you know, the VPN connects you to a server in a country of your choice. In other words, you can have an IP from whatever country you feel like. You can select it manually from a map or from a list of countries.

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.

And that's it!

Being protected from prying eyes doesn't have to be hard. 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.

Thanks to the continuous development of their technology, some VPNs do all the hard work. Users don't even have to test servers individually anymore to see which one is the best.