How to Use a VPN: A Beginner’s Guide

Ruheni Mathenge  - Streaming Expert
Last updated: December 4, 2023
Read time: 15 minutes

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.

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.