VPN connection refers to a Virtual Private Network connection, a type of network connection that connects a user to another network a secure tunnel. The connection is often made via a public network such as the Internet. For a lay user, however, a VPN connection is a secure and private way to use the Internet.
That said, users have various reasons for using a VPN. Corporate entities typically use VPN technology to provide employees with remote access to work from home. Personal VPN connections are normally for security and privacy reasons while others are for accessing restricted content or websites.
How To Connect To A VPN
In most cases, setting up a VPN connection is straightforward and is accomplished by users. Typically, personal VPN connections don’t require any specialized technical knowledge.
When you purchase a VPN service, the service provider will provide you with specially built VPN client software to install on your computer. You’ll also be provided with login information (username and password). Once the client software is installed on your computer, you simply enter your login information to establish a secure VPN connection.
Sometimes, you can establish a VPN connection without client software. Most Windows versions (and other leading operating systems) provide native support for some VPN protocols. This means that once you purchase VPN subscription, you can setup a direct VPN connection using your Windows software. To do this, follow these steps:
- Click ‘Start’ and select ‘Control Panel’, then ‘Network and Internet Connections’ and finally select ‘Network Connections’.
- Under ‘Network Tasks’, select ‘Create a new connection’. Click ‘Next’ for the next two steps until you get the Welcome to the New Connection Wizard’ screen.
- On the ‘Network Connection Type’ window, find the radio button near the ‘Connect to the network at my workplace’ and select it. Click ‘Next’ and select ‘Virtual Private Network Connection’ and move to ‘Next’.
- Give your new connection a name in the text box presented on the ‘Connection name page’. Move to ‘Next’. For a dial-up connection, choose the button for automatic connection and move to ‘Next’.
- Provide the IP address of the VPN server you’re connecting to where they ask for ‘Host Name or IP address’. Select ‘Next’ and then ‘Finish’.
- Provide the login information that your VPN provider supplied you with and select ‘Connect’ to establish a VPN connection.
For Windows 7 and Vista:
- Go to ‘Start’, then ‘Control Panel’, then select Network and Internet.
- When there, look for the ‘Connect to a network’ option and then ‘Set up a connection or network’.
- Find ‘Choose a connection option’ and then go to ‘Connect to a workplace’ and move to ‘Next’.
- Select ‘Use my Internet connection’ on the connection options page that appears.
- On the page that appears, choose ‘I’ll set up an Internet connection later’ and then type your login information from the VPN provider in the appropriate boxes.
- When you get the message ‘The connection is ready to use’, select ‘Connect to a network’ in ‘Network and Sharing’ under Control Panel and select the newly established VPN connection.