How to Connect to a VPN


VPN stands for virtual private network and is a type of network connection that allows users to access computer networks from anywhere in the world. This technology is often used for business or educational purposes because many VPNs feature encryption methods which make sending data more secure and private. You can also appear as if you are in a different country, which makes obtaining content of a specific country possible if that country does not allow for international access. Thus, it is becoming more popular to purchase VPN networks from hosts or providers. If you need to connect to a VPN, the owner of the VPN will give you the specific login and password information. Then, follow these steps to connect from any computer with Internet access.

Part 1

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If you are an employee or student, then your company or university may provide VPN access. Consult with employee or student services about obtaining access to such an account.

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Consider the kind of security, privacy, amount of bandwidth needed, whether you require exit servers in other countries, platform needed, whether you'll need customer service, and how much you'll want to pay. Read more about each of these in the "Tips" section at the bottom of this article.

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If you are purchasing a VPN service from a VPN provider, then you may need to pay for your new service. After signing up and paying (or verifying that your employer or university does provide such a service), the provider should give you information that will allow you to access your VPN such as a username, password, and IP or server name. You can use one of the methods below to connect to your VPN.

Part 2
Connecting to a VPN using Windows Vista and Windows 7

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" Choose "Use my Internet connection (VPN)."

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Select "I'll set up an Internet connection later."

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Type the IP address in the "Internet address" text box and the server name in the "Destination name" text box. Put a check mark in the box next to "Don't connect now; just set it up so I can connect later." You will need to finish setting up your connection before you can connect. Click "Next."

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Click the check box to remember the name and password if you do not want to have to type it in every time you connect. Click "Create."

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Click "Connect."

Part 3
Connecting to a VPN using Windows 8

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Also ensure the "Remember my credentials" box is checked for faster login. Click "Create." The IP address should have been given to you by your employer or VPN provider.

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Click "connect."

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This should be given to you by your employer or VPN provider. Click "OK." You should now be connected.

Part 4
Connecting to a VPN using Windows XP

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Click it and then click "Next." Click "Next" again on the screen titled "Welcome to the New Connection Wizard."

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" Click "Next."

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" If you are using a dial-up Internet connection, you will see the "Public Network" page next. Select the radio button for "Automatically dial this initial connection" and click "Next." If you use a cable modem or other kind of constantly connected internet sources, click "Do not dial the initial connection."

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" Click "Next" and then click "Finish."

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Put a check in the box to save the information if you want to save it for future use. Click "Connect" to connect to the VPN.

Part 5
Connecting to a VPN using Mac OS X

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Mac's "Network Connection" tool has remained virtually unchanged in all Mac OS X versions. Thus, these directions should work when making basic VPN connections. However, it is best to keep your system upgraded to the latest version in order to address any security flaws and to be able to access more recent advanced options (such as using certificates) for configuring your VPN connection.

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" Click the icon labeled "Network."

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Click the plus symbol at the bottom of the list to add a new connection.

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Choose a connection protocol. Mac OS X Yosemite supports "L2TP over IPSec," "PPTP," or "Cisco IPSec" VPN protocol types. You can read more about these in the "Tips" section at the bottom of this article. Enter the name for your VPN and click "Create."

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Choose "Add Configuration" from the pull-down menu. Type the name of your VPN in the text box that appears and click "Create."

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Click "Authentication Settings" directly under the "Account Name" text box.

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Click the radio button for "Shared Secret" and enter the information provided to you. Click "OK."

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Click "OK" and then click "Apply." Click "Connect" to connect to your new VPN connection.

Part 6
Connecting to a VPN using iOS

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" Click on "Add VPN Configuration."

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In the top bar, you will see that iOS has three available protocols: L2TP, PPTP, and IPSec. If your VPN is provided by an employer, then they will most likely inform you as to which protocol to use. If you are using your own hosted VPN, however, then be sure to use a form which is supported by your provider.

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This could be anything you want. For instance, if this is a work VPN, then you could describe it as "Work." If you plan to use this VPN for watching an out-of-country Netflix, then you could call it "Canadian Netflix."

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This information should have been given to you either by your VPN provider or your employer.

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This field refers to your username which you most likely created when purchasing your hosted VPN or was created for you by an employer.

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To turn this on, tap on the gray button. When it turns green, this feature is turned on. comprises either a hardware or software mechanism which produces keys to verify a user over periods of time. Most likely, you will only have RSA SecurID in a professional setting. To turn on RSA SecurID in IPSec, tap on the button for "Use Certificate" so it turns green. After choosing "RSA SecurID," click "Save." IPSec will also allow you to use .

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" Your password was most likely provided at the same time as your username. Consult with your employer or VPN provider if you do not have this information.

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A "secret" is used to further authenticate your account. Much like the "key" of an RSA Secure ID, the "secret" is typically a series of letters and numbers given to you by a provider or employer. If it has not been provided to you then you either may not need to enter anything in that field or you may need to contact your provider or employer in order to obtain the secret.

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Again, this would be given to you, so if your employer or provider have shared this information with you then enter it in this field. If they haven't, then, most likely, you may leave the field blank.

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Click the button next to this field and ensure it is highlighted in green if you want all your internet traffic to go through the VPN.

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At this point, your VPN is connected. You may turn your VPN connection on or off from the main "Settings" page by clicking its corresponding button. If the button is green, then you are connected. If the button is gray, then you are not connected. It will appear directly underneath "Wi-Fi." Also, when your phone is using the VPN connection, an icon will appear in the upper left-hand side of your phone consisting of the capital letters "VPN" inside a box.

Part 7
Connecting to a VPN using Android OS

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" Go to "Settings."

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See the "Tips" section at the bottom of this article for more information.

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This could be anything of your choosing.

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Consult with your VPN provider as to whether the connection will be encrypted or not.

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" You may be asked to confirm operation with storage password. This is your Android device password, not VPN password.

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" Select "Wireless and Network" or "Wireless Controls."

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Enter your username and password. Select "Remember username" and Select "Connect." You are now connected via VPN. A key icon will appear in your top bar to indicate that you are connected to your VPN.