How to use a VPN: A beginner’s guide

Ruheni Mathenge Last updated: October 7, 2022 Read time: 15 minutes Disclosure

VPNs have evolved from highly sophisticated resources to friendly services. We break down what they do, how to set up, and how to start using a VPN quickly.

Sneak peek at how to use VPN

VPNs used to be an arcane toy for the most paranoid nerds on the planet. But things have changed. Current VPNs are very friendly to use so that all users can adopt them quickly without prior knowledge. And since VPNs are so helpful, this is excellent news for everybody.

The term “Virtual Private Network” could sound pretty sophisticated. But let’s forget the jargon, stay with the facts, and consider how a VPN can help you.

Most VPN users want to enhance their digital privacy, security, and anonymity. A good VPN does that for them, whether on a computer, a tablet, or a phone. In addition, The VPN prevents prying eyes from looking at their activities on the internet. This has several advantages.

For example, your ISP can’t throttle your bandwidth based on your service use. Also, neither your ISP nor anybody else will have any data of yours to sell to advertisers who always want how to reach you with those annoying ads.

Then there’s the security angle. A VPN encrypts all your incoming and outgoing traffic, so any third party intercepting that traffic will find nothing but a stream of white noise. This improves both your privacy and your security. This is a critical advantage if you like to use the WiFi hotspot in your favorite coffee shop. The encryption allows you to use the WiFi without any fear of hackers. The same applies to hotels, airports, and other public places.

And then, there’s the sheer unadulterated fun of the thing. Let’s say you are a Netflix user, but you’re not in the US. That means you are missing most of the best stuff in the video platform because it’s geo-blocked and accessible to US-based users only. The best VPNs will allow you to connect to Netflix so that the server will think you are in the US after all. Then, all the locked content becomes available to you.

So as you can see, there are plenty of good reasons to have a good VPN service as your digital friend. The best news is that VPNs are very easy to use nowadays, and everybody can (and should) use one. You don’t need to take a course or read a book. This article will show you everything you need to know to become a happy VPN user.

Four simple steps to using a VPN – The quick guide

  1. Choose a good VPN vendor (ExpressVPN is our favorite) and subscribe.
  2. Set up the VPN on your device by searching your app’s provider in the corresponding apps store, or download the VPN client from the official website if you’re using a computer.
  3. Launch your VPN client or app. Log in using your new account’s credentials.
  4. Choose a server in the network.
  5. You’re good to go!

The detailed guide on how to use a VPN

Using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) for the first time might seem daunting. But it is not. You won’t need to sit through lectures or read books to learn how to use a VPN.

The process does not require you to be an expert on computers either. Getting everything set up only takes a few minutes. Let’s get started with details.

Get a VPN

Having a VPN is the first step you must take if you want to use a VPN. This step involves picking the correct service for you. That choice could make all the difference. Things to consider include speeds, functionality, extra features, device compatibility, and a few more. We suggest ExpressVPN because it has all the bases well-covered, but we have a guide on the best VPNs you can use to inform your choice. NordVPN and Surfshark are excellent services as well.

So you complete this step by signing up for an account.

Set up your VPN

Next comes the setup, which is an effortless step to complete.

The VPN vendor of your choice has dedicated apps available on the app stores for Android and Apple devices. On the other hand, if you want to set up your VPN on a computer, you’ll need to visit the provider’s website and download and install the software available (Windows, macOS, Linux).

Launch your VPN software