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How to Setup a VPN on a Windows 10 PC or Mac

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When you want to set up a virtual private network (VPN) for personal security or to stream the far superior films of American Netflix, it can often be hard to find a trustworthy provider or work out how to get your Windows 10 or Mac device to recognize the network. Thankfully, we’re here to help.

How to Setup a VPN on a Windows 10 PC or Mac

Before you set up a VPN, you’ll want to find a safe VPN. There are a lot of VPN providers available today; for the purposes of this article, we’re using ExpressVPN since it’s compatible with a wide variety of devices, including your Mac and PC, although the instructions are the same for whichever VPN you’ve chosen.

How to set up a VPN on Windows 10

If you’re a PC user, this section is for you. There are several different methods to install and control a VPN on your computer, so we’ll break them down into sections.

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Use the Dedicated App

Most VPN services these days have a dedicated Windows application that you can install on your computer. This is probably the simplest method for setting up a VPN on your Windows 10 device.

  1. Head over to your VPNs’ website and look for the option to download the dedicated application. If you’re using ExpressVPN you will find the link here. Note: You may need to sign into your account before you can download the app.
  2. Open the app (you can use the search bar in the bottom left) and sign into your VPN account. You may need to visit the VPNs website again to get a code or complete verification steps.
  3. Upon signing in, you can connect and disconnect your VPN as well as change you location.

Add a VPN Connection on Windows 10

You can easily set up your VPN in the settings of your Windows 10 device. Here’s how:

Note: You may need to contact your System Administrator or VPN provider for some of the information needed to complete the steps in this section.

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  1. Click on the Windows icon in the lower right-hand corner of your PC and tap on the Settings cog.
  2. Click on Network & Internet.
  3. Click on VPN.
  4. Click on Add a VPN Connection.
  5. Now, you’ll see a page with several fields to populate. At the top, click the dropdown and select Windows (Built-in).
  6. Next, name your VPN. Then, enter the address of the VPN server in the next box.
  7. The next box asks for the VPN type. Click the box for the dropdown menu and click the type of VPN connection you need to use.
  8. Now, you can input your Username and Password. This is not the Username and Password you use to log into your VPN provider. However, it is provided by the service. Contact your VPN provider or look for this information on the VPN’s website.
  9. Finally, click Save at the bottom.

Upon completing these steps, you can control and connect to your VPN by clicking on the up arrow in the taskbar and right-clicking on your VPN. Then, you can select Connect/Disconnect.

How to set up a VPN on MacOS

Setting up a VPN in your Mac is also relatively simple. Similar to the PC instructions, you can install a dedicated application (if your provider offers one) from the VPN website, or you can set one up in the settings. Here’s how:

  1. Find the correct menu by selecting Apple menu | System Preferences | Network.
  2. In the bottom left of the list of connections is a small + sign. Select it.
  3. In the pop-up that appears, select the blue arrow on the ‘Interface’ bar to open a drop-down menu. Select “VPN.”
  4. In the bar below, called “VPN Type,” select the blue arrow and choose the correct type of VPN specified by your provider.
  5. Choose a name for your VPN, which is just for your reference, then click “Create.”
  6. Fill in the Server Address and Account Name bars depending on information from your provider.
  7. Click on ‘Authentication Method’ and choose the option your provider recommends. Select “OK.”
  8. Click on ‘Advanced’ and check the box next to ‘Send all traffic over VPN connection. Select “OK.”
  9. Tick the box next to “Show VPN status in menu bar” then select “Apply” in the bottom right.
  10. Along the menu bar in the top right will be a new icon — this is the VPN icon. Select it and click “Connect” to connect yourself to the VPN.

Now, the set up of your VPN is complete on your macOS device.

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Disclaimer: Some pages on this site may include an affiliate link. This does not effect our editorial in any way.

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