How to install a VPN on Windows 10

How to install a VPN on Windows 10

Every year there are more and more people that use Virtual Private Networks on Windows 10, and this trend is unlikely to slow down in the coming years. First of all, Windows 10 is the most widely used operating system, and second, everyone wants to view content access to which has been blocked by regional authorities, play games on foreign servers, and safely connect to their work network.

Not every user who wants to boost their online security by using a VPN knows how to use it on the Windows 10 operating system. There are situations when a person wants to talk to someone knowing that no one else will watch them doing that, or study some important data that can’t be hijacked by hackers. No person wants to throw around confidential data, and rightly so, but in order to protect yourself, you need to be able to use a VPN.

Over the past ten years, I have tried a myriad of methods aimed to enhance my online security on both PCs and mobile devices. In this article, I will talk about how to work with Virtual Private Networks specifically for Windows 10.

Even if you’re not really familiar with the topic, but want all your data to be reliably protected, you can rest assured that the article will help you.

What’s a VPN

A Virtual Private Network is a technology that creates a connection between two online devices using various types of encryption for the transmitted data. Data encryption prevents the data from being accessed in any way, which is why such a connection is often referred to as a tunnel.

To better understand what a VPN is, let’s look at an example. Imagine a highway with cars driving down it. By looking at those cars, you can collect a fairly large amount of information about each of them – starting from the brand and body color to the number of people inside.

Now imagine a tunnel with the same cars passing through it. You can only be sure that they are driving through the tunnel, but you can’t make out anything else about them. The brand of the car, its color and model are your data, and the tunnel that prevents others from seeing the car is the VPN. This is an example of how a VPN protects your data. A VPN doesn’t just keep you safe when you go online, it creates an extra layer of privacy so that third parties never have access to your data.

The main feature of a VPN is that you don’t access the Internet directly, but through a VPN server. All your online actions are recorded not as yours, but as the actions of the VPN server.

What is a VPN for Windows for

  • To avoid surveillance and eavesdropping. Every person wants things that they say or write on social media or send by email to remain only between them and their interlocutor. But when we go online at work or even home, that privacy is jeopardized. Not only will a VPN hide your IP address, but it will also encrypt all data making it impossible for prying eyes to decipher it.
  • To bypass GEO blocks. If some content or website is inaccessible in your country due to government censorship or copyright, then a VPN will help solve this problem. You can go online from anywhere in the world.
  • Safely connect to any Wi-Fi network. Any connection is vulnerable, especially when it comes to public Wi-Fi networks. By hacking the connection, scammers will be able to intercept confidential information.
  • Get access to blocked social networks, which are often censored. A number of states block social media to prevent free access to large flows of information. A VPN will allow you to change your location and view the content that’s prohibited in your

The easy way to set up a VPN on Windows 10

The easy way is to install the VPN client application.

Step 1 – download the app

Go to the Switcherry VPN for Windows download page and click on the Download button. Wait for the process to complete and start installing the program.

Switcherry VPN official website
Switcherry VPN official website

Step 2 – install the app

Click “Install for all users” or only for the current account.

Selecting
Selecting an installation option

Select the installation option.

Choosing a location for the utility
Choosing a location for the utility

Then follow the instructions of the program installation wizard, wait until it’s done and check the box “Launch Switcherry” if you want to launch the utility.

The last step of the installation
The last step of the installation

Step 3 – preparing to launch

Sometimes, upon the first launch, the program might suggest you to install .NET Core for Windows. Don’t be alarmed, click “Yes” to go to Microsoft’s website.

A message
A message about the need to download an additional program

Select OS Windows and click on the corresponding button.

.NET Core developer official site
.NET Core developer official site

Click on the link to download the Framework and install it following the instructions of the installation wizard.

Installation complete message
Installation complete message

Step 4 – launching and configuring

Launch the program and select a VPN server to connect to – this is where you choose the country from where you will access the Internet.

Country selection SwitcherryVPN
Country selection when connecting through SwitcherryVPN

By clicking “Fastest Mode” the program will select the server closest to you with the maximum connection speed.

Connecting
Connecting

The Hard Way to Set Up VPN on Windows 10

The hard way is to set up a VPN connection

Step 1 – adding a VPN connection

Network and Internet settings section
Network and Internet settings section

Go to the “Network and Internet” settings section and click “Add a VPN connection”.

Step 2 – filling out the form

The form
The form you need to fill out to complete the connection setup

Fill out the form with the following information:

  • First select a VPN service provider – select Windows.
  • Then set a name for the connection and select the VPN type (IKEv2).
  • Pick a name for the connection, and also specify the type of authorization data (Username and Password).
  • Create the login information and enter authentication details for the Virtual Private Network.
  • Put a tick next to the “Remember data” field and click “Save”.
The "Network and Internet" setting
The “Network and Internet” setting section with the added connection

Step 3 – checking the connection

Go to the “Change adapter options” section and find the connection you want.

Select the required connection
Select the required connection and go to the “Properties” section

Click on the “Properties” section and in the window that pops up go to the “Network” tab. Put a tick next to each item.

Making sure the required fields are “checked”
Making sure the required fields are “checked”

Click “Properties”, and in the window that appears go to the “Advanced” panel.

"Advanced TCP/IP Settings" section
“Advanced TCP/IP Settings” section

Make sure there’s a check next to “Use primary gateway on remote network”.

Added connection
Added connection

Click on the Internet icon in the bottom menu, select the connection you want and click “Connect”.

Pros and cons of the easy way

The advantages are:

  • Easy to customize. Despite the fact that setting up a connection in the second way is called difficult, this is not entirely true. Anyone, even not the most experienced computer user, can successfully install the configuration of a working VPN. All it takes is patience and following the instructions we listed
  • Speed. Setting up the connection can be done in ten minutes, it won’t take long.
  • No need for additional tools. All you need is a computer and an internet connection.

There are also disadvantages:

  • Possible errors. There’s no guarantee there won’t be errors between the VPN client and the operating system. They are rare, but we can’t rule them out entirely. Errors are usually resolved after a short period of time, but it all depends on the complexity of the problem and its prevalence.
  • Possible account restrictions. The VPN client installation may fail if you are trying to do this not on your PC, for example, at work or school. System administrators sometimes restrict the capabilities of guest accounts.

Setting up a Virtual Private Network in Windows 8 and Windows 7

Installing Virtual Private Network for Windows 7 and 8 operating systems is almost the same as installing on Windows 10:

  • Go to the Switcherry official website and select the required operating system – Windows 7 or Windows 8. Click “Download”.
  • Wait for the installer to finish downloading and open the file.
  • Select the location where the utility will be located.
  • Check the box next to “Create a desktop shortcut” if you need a desktop shortcut.
  • Make sure the information is correct at each step.
  • Wait for the installation and click “Finish”. Beforehand, you need to uncheck the box next to the “Launch Switcherry” item, if you do not need to open the program immediately after installing it.

FAQ

1. What else might you need a Virtual Private Network for?

1. What else might you need a Virtual Private Network for?

A Virtual Private Network is needed in order to:

  • View any restricted content anywhere in the world.
  • Hide your real location.
  • Protect yourself. By using a VPN connection, you will be sure that no one can track your online activities.
  • Encrypt all transmitted information. All data that you transmit or receive will stay just between you and your In other words, a VPN increases your privacy.
  • Protect your correspondence or calls from prying eyes and ears.
  • Save money on Skype calls. Phone prices vary depending on the region and country. Using a VPN allows you to purchase phone service where it costs a lot

2. What errors can a user encounter when setting up the client in Windows?

2. What errors can a user encounter when setting up the client in Windows?

Most of the common errors related to installing a VPN on Windows 10 are linked to the VPN “arguing” with the operating system. To resolve such errors take a look at their number. All these issues have already been resolved – just Google the number and follow the instructions.

Issues may also occur due to typos. Typos made while setting up a connection leads to either the program not working at all, or not working correctly, which is basically the same. You need to fill out the data carefully, and if something does not work correctly, you will have to go back and set it up from the very beginning.

3. Is a VPN necessary for an ordinary computer user?

3. Is a VPN necessary for an ordinary computer user?

Everything here should be perceived on a case-by-case basis – everyone makes the choice of whether they need a VPN on their own. You can work on a computer running Windows 10 without it, but the security and speed of your Internet will be in question.

4. Can Switcherry VPN be installed on another operating system?

4. Can Switcherry VPN be installed on another operating system?

Yes! The client can be installed not only on Windows. To download the client for MacOS or iOS, go to our official website and select your OS.

5. Will me naming the network change anything in it?

5. Will me naming the network change anything in it?

No, the name of the connection does not matter. There can be no typos here, the name can be anything you want. The same goes for the password. This information is set by the user, there’s no theoretical chance of error.

6. What happens if I choose the wrong type of connection? Or the wrong provider?

6. What happens if I choose the wrong type of connection? Or the wrong provider?

This will affect the performance of the VPN. Or it won’t work at all. It’s easier to input the correct information right away than to think about what will happen if you make a mistake. Perhaps the installer will immediately report that an error has been made.

Conclusion

Summing up everything that was said above, we can only reiterate that a VPN is a useful tool that can not only increase your browsing speed and enhance your security, but also open access to any regionally restricted content.

Installing and using a VPN on Windows 10 is quite simple, you just need to take your time and follow all of the above mentioned instructions step by step.

Author: Nicolas Cuts

Nicolas Cuts
Product Managers at SwitcherryVPN. Have 5 years background in management and marketing. I never stop learning!

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