How to set up a VPN

Dainan Gilmore
Dainan Gilmore
Last updated: January 13, 2020

Being an average customer trying to pull through the network threats, surveillance and censorship you might have already set sights on a VPN service. However, the technology is within a tech-savvy depth, but when talking about an average customer, you may be confused by the process of its installation and setting. Besides, the question is even more urgent when speaking about free services, as long as there is no or not well-timed customer support. That’s exactly why the guide is being developed for making the process of VPN setting up pain-free and fast.

How VPNs can protect you

Coming up with the problem of VPN setting up you may drop the subject due to its difficulty. However, the service is highly advisable for all the average and advanced customers, as long as it is to provide you with several A1 possibilities, which aren’t supported by any other service:

For an individual customer 

7 awesome VPN facts: what individual customers can do with a VPN

  • Your network connection will be free from censorship, so you will be able to access any virtual content you wish. Such streaming services as Netflix, Hulu, Freeform, etc. will be accessible whatever country you are. Any messenger or any other web-enabled app will be available for you with the service;
  • Your bank account, as well as all the money transferring procedure you make, will be thoroughly protected from identity thefts and computer fraudulence;
  •   You will be able to torrent anything you wish even if the activity is forbidden in the region you live in;
  • You will be able to play online Casino Games;
  • You will manage to protect your connected device running a Wi-Fi hotspot;
  • Any mobile devices can be secured with the use of VPNs;
  • The service is also critically useful for gaming and etc.

For a business customer 

10 useful VPN facts for a business customer to know 

  • All the freelance workers will be able to connect to the network absolutely securely;
  • Business network is usually characterized with heavy traffic, which is to be monitored, analyzed and maintained, which is a great challenge for big enterprises. However, with the use of a VPN for business, you’ll be able to make it easier and more efficient;
  • Any business required bank transfers, which can be protected from multiple threats with the use of a VPN;
  • With the use of the best VPN for business you can significantly boost your connection speed;
  • All the inner business chats can be secured with the use of the service;
  • Providing that you have an e-commerce business, you have a chance to conduct all the sales under a great protection;
  • The same happens to corporate site. If you are looking for making it protected from DDoS attacks and other infections, the service is what you need;
  • In case you are a blogger and internet connection is something you have to keep at hand, the best VPNs for bloggers will allow you make the blog 24/7/365 online and free from any censorship or surveillance;
  • What is probably the most critical fact is that the best VPN will help you save all the generated private data absolutely safe;
  •  The best VPN for business will secure you from potential risks, online malware and attacks while making your corporate network more efficient and private.  

Please, be aware the list is just a conventional presentation of all the service’s possibilities. Any VPN can be used by you for some other personal or business needs. All you need to remember is that the best VPN is able to supply your network with online privacy, security and anonymity.  

How a VPN works

When connecting to the internet all your traffic is routed in a packed form with the use of average transferring protocols. The whole picture looks like that:

Jane has decided to visit her Facebook account.

She has connected to the internet through her home router without any additional protective tools.

As a result the chain looks like that:

a connected device –  router(ISP server) – the website’s server.

This chain might be the example of internet connections where all the packed traffic can be intercepted and misused by any interested party including your provider.

Have a look at the alternative connection via VPN:

When Jane connects to a VPN service first, all the traffic routed from her connected device passes through a secured tunneling and becomes encoded, thus inaccessible for anyone online.


The service is useful for both advanced and mere technical customers, as it helps to make a network private, secure and anonymous.

Therefore, having decided to get rid of all the prying eyes including your ISPs who gather and store metadata on its clients for a stated period of time with reselling or other purposes you need to subscribe for the best service, which is to make your connection protected from any interference.

There are three main functions the best VPN should perform:




The best VPN will make your identity hidden with the use of up-to-date technology. The best VPN offers a wide variety of servers located all over the globe connecting to which you substitute your true (assigned by the ISP) IP for a VPN server’s one. In such a manner, you achieve a possibility to hinder your authentic address and get access to any geo-blocked web resource without any physical moving to another location.

For instance, having moved to China, you can access Google, Skype, Facebook and any other website of interest by shifting your virtual address to the place you wish (the US, etc.). In such a way, you can run your home network wherever you are physical.

When talking about internet environment, it’s not a secret to anyone that it’s filled with multiple online threats, such as computer fraudulence, hacker attacks, data leakages, malicious monitoring programs, etc. Therefore, having decided to make your confidential information protected from any interference or interception, you need to subscribe for the best VPN service.

Any good service will offer a wide set of protocols in use, such as OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, etc. Besides, the best VPN is to supply you with a long bit-key, which is to lock all the packages preventing them from being penetrated. Therefore, according to your network speed possibilities, you need to choose the best possible measures of your online protection.

The internet is overloaded with numerous anonymizing apps, such as web anonymisers, proxy servers, etc. However, none of them will provide you with traffic encryption. Therefore, having decided to enter some forbidden and thus geo-blocked websites from your region, you need to think over your online protection, otherwise you may be punished or fined.

In such as way, choosing the best VPN for entering some geo-censored web resources you supply your individual information with additional protection, which doesn’t give any intruder a possibility to steal any of your private information, as well as to reveal your identity.

What to learn before subscribing for a VPN

When choosing the best VPN service, it is insufficient for you to know the main features of a good service. You need to delve into all the details of a service, otherwise you may be dissatisfied with it.

Here we have decided to have a look at the most essential factors influencing your positive feedback of a service.

Let’s try to decide whether ExressVPN is a good purchase from the point of view of a non tech-savvy customer who travels a lot and needs to stay in touch with his business partners and relatives from the US:

  • Having entered the main website, as well as all the other customers we need to see whether the service will meet our demands in pricing. In case our client travels a lot and has little time for changing one package to another or make repayments each month, we eager to pay attention to a year subscription:


  • So, we see the overall feedback is very positive and the package is the most popular among customers, which is great. However, we also noticed that the year pricing is pretty high and makes $99,95. Therefore, we need to learn any information about a free trial and a money-back guarantee.


  • We’ve learnt the service offers 100% money-back guarantee during 30 days from the time the subscription is off effect. That’s great, nevertheless, it’ll be good if you read the terms of services and learn what conditions the service poses for the issue:


As you see, in case you purchase 5 and more accounts, you have no chances to get your money back. However, the service offers a money-back guarantee for those whose subscription has expired 30 days, but who are dissatisfied with the service and can prove it with facts.

  • Moving further we have also mentioned about a free trial version. Unfortunately, the service doesn’t offer its clients the free testing. However, being a keen bestvpnrating’s reader you know the version is of a high use, as long as you can get acquainted with the app and its interface, as well as try to run the servers and protocols in advance before investing money to it.
  • Now look at the whole list of its benefits at the bottom of the webpage:


  • The first thing we see is probably the most essential feature for any non-technical user. The service is stated to be user-friendly and compatible with multiple devices. It’s very important to see the feature in taken into account by the provider, as long as the company doesn’t suggest running a free trial. 
  • The three features state that the service doesn’t limit the bandwidth, which is great for those who want to stream heavy traffic online. As long as our ‘traveler’ needs the service for using the home network outside the US, it presupposes he’s interested in watching Netflix, playing his favorite video games, maintaining business conferences via Skype, etc. In this case, the feature is extra essential. As well as limitless bandwidth, limitless speed is a top priority feature for the best VPN in this case, as long as it allows using streaming services as well as all up-to-dated video VoIP apps.

When talking about a person who travels a lot and sometimes is required to choose other virtual locations despite the US, we need to take into account such a feature as unlimited server switches. As long as ExpressVPN offers limitless switches from one server to other, the VPN fits well.

  • The characteristic is of a high usefulness when talking about an average customer. In this regard you will be able to contact the technical support at any time you wish and get an instant professional respond to your demand. 
  • Travelling a lot our customer will have to transfer money online and connect to hotel networks, which can result to data exposure ad leakages. Therefore, we have to pay extra attention to encryption characteristics in se, such as protocols ad bit keys.

It’s obvious that the VPN offers a wide variety of protocols, such as OpenVPN, which is stated to be one of the most secure on the market today. The protocol allows for the most thorough data encoding, which prevents it from interception and penetration on the part of any interested user. Besides, you have a possibility to choose an appropriate protocol while relying on your primary needs. Thus, OpenVPN can be used for business communications and connection to corporate network, as well as money transferring and routing of the most important and confidential data. Whereas PPTP can be applied for watching streaming services and playing computer games, etc.  L2TP/IPSec is of a high use for those who are interested in data encoding, but don’t want to lose internet upload/download speeds.

So, the feature seems to be of a high use for our customer who travels a lot and whose VPN usage will definitely require all the possible protocols usage.


  • So, ExpressVPN is characterized as a service, which doesn’t store any logging or identifiable data on its customers. However, if you want to subscribe for a service, which is to make your internet connection absolutely free from tracing back, you need to read all the privacy policy for not to face any obstacles in the end.


  • So, as you see, although the service doesn’t collect any personally identifiable information, it stores metadata, you credit card data (in case you pay with it), runs cookies, pixels, etc. therefore, if the service doesn’t meet your demands, you’d better leave the idea now than ask for a money-back guarantee, as long as you have a slight possibility to lose some of the invested money. 
  • As long as our customer travels a lot, the service should provide him with a wide variability of servers placed in different parts of the world. Express VPN offers 94+ countries and the network is being constantly enlarged by the company.

However, we being interested in the US-based servers you need to look for deeper details on servers placed in the region. From the full list of VPN servers we can see that the company provides us with 15+ US-based servers:


So, the server park is what you need in case you origin from the US and need to have access to your home network.

When talking about a person, who needs to travel a lot and therefore connect to public Wi-Fi we need to think over the devices compatibility and number. Providing that you want to connect through a public airport Wi-Fi hotspot thorough your iPhone, it will be great to make it with a VPN, although all the confidential business data can be stored on your notebook. Therefore, the possibility to connect to the VPN makes all the traffic passing through your connected device protected from outside interference.


  • One more excellent feature for an average customer. As long as you are an average client who needs a VPN for making your network secure and free, the customer support is what you need to learn before subscribing for it. Express VPN’s support operates in a well-timed, professional regime, which makes you protected from unexpected difficulties coming from the app setup or other settings or issues.

Thus, we have looked through all the most essential features and characteristics you need to pay attention to while choosing the best service. And now, having decided ExpressVPN is what you need, you are ready to subscribe and make all the setup procedures.

How do you get a VPN?

Before we tell you how you get a VPN, let us impress you by the percentage from the Pew Research Center Study, according to which 91% of adults agree that ‘’consumers have lost control of how personal information is collected and used by companies.’’

Are you impressed? Do you think you have control over your privacy? Are you not still sure that you need a VPN?

Having decided to get a VPN in  2020 follow these simple steps one by one:

#1 Read VPN reviews

When you decide to obtain a VPN subscription, you try to find a VPN with the help of Google or other available search engines. There is another and more attractive alternative: visit and scan our reviews on most popular VPN providers (all VPN services are tested by our experts that’s why you may make your choice on the base of test results).

#2 Visit VPN provider’s website

After selecting a VPN for you needs, you have to visit the website of the VPN provider (the links to the reviewed VPNs are provided on our website, you just need to click ‘’Visit site’’). 

Visit VPN provider’s website

#3 Subscribe for the VPN

Being on the website, you need to create a client account for subscribing and further use. Remember that VPN services are mostly paid and you need to able to pay for the services with one of the suggested payment methods (Cryptocurrency is preferable).

If you are in search of free VPN to use, check our rating of 10 Best Free VPNs for 2020.

How do you get a free VPN?

They say that if you don’t pay for the product, you become a product? How do you find? Do you think it’s right?

When it comes to VPN services, it is worth noting that paid VPNs are more advanced than free VPNs. It is obvious that paid VPNs have more pros than their free alternatives.

Still, there might be users that wonder hot to get a free VPN. Are you among them? Here is the detailed list of instructions how to get a free VPN:

#1 Choose the one from 10 Best Free VPNs reviewed by bestvpnrating’s experts.

#2 Visit the VPN’s website and download the app for free.

#3 You are ready to install and take use of a free VPN.

How to set up the best VPN 

Having decided the service is what you need, you are free to choose an appropriate plan and fill in all the required data on the official website to form a subscription:


Remember that if you have a possibility to pay with crypto-currency, you’d better take the option, as long as in this case no other data coming from your banking information will be known to the VPN provider. In case you are eager to pay with a credit card, you need to know some data on your banking account will be collected and stored for some time in compliance with the privacy policy followed by the company.

Also, you need to use your real email address or create a dedicated address, which you will use for the VPN only, as long as the further information on account activation will be sent to this email address.

Then, when you are allowed to use the service through the confirmation letter set to your email you need to choose an appropriate VPN app from those enumerated on the official website here:


In such a way, you need to download up to three apps for all your devices in case they are based on different OSes. So, let’s consider the ‘set up process’ for all the main platforms by the example of ExpressVPN.

4-Step Set-up for Checklist Windows

  • Firstly, you need to check whether your Windows version is supported by the service;
  • Thus, ExpressVPN is available for Windows 10, 8, 7, XP and Vista;
  • Then, you can see the process of installation is as simple as one, two, three:



  • Having installed the app on your device, you are free to choose any server location from 195+ countries, a server placed in the region you need and connect to the server for changing your true address assigned by your ISP.

There is a helpful video guide on the VPN set up on the official website, so you can run it for better understanding:


4-Step Set-up for Checklist Mac

  • First of all, you need to check whether your Mac version is supported by the service;
  • Thus, ExpressVPN is available for MacOS starting with Mavericks and Yosemite up to EI Capitan and Sierra;
  • Then, you can see the process of installation is as simple as A, B, C:


  • Having installed the app on your device, you are can choose any of the locations to substitute your authentic address with a server’s one.

For those who are confused and can’t make even the first step the company has released a special video-guide where all the manipulations are explained in details:


4-Step Set-up Checklist for iPhone/iPad

  • The service is compatible with iPhone6, 6 Plus, 6 S, 6 S Plus, as well as SE, therefore, running one of the versions you’re welcome to install an appropriate app;
  • The setting up process is as easy as for the previous platforms and includes the three main steps as well:


  • Having installed the service on your iPhone or iPad you are to choose one of the servers for further connection establishment.

As well as for other OSes, the company has developed a video tutorial, which can be used by an average customer for setting up the app in compliance with the personal needs:


4-Step Set-up Checklist for Android

  • The service is available for such Android versions as Jelly Bean, KitKat, Lollipop, and Marshmallow. Therefore, in case you run one of the younger versions, you’d better look for another service;
  •  The following steps are the same. Having subscribed for the service you need to choose a compatible app and download it on your device;
  • Having saved the file, you are to open it and install the software on your OS:


  • Besides, the company has developed a special video guide for the platform too, therefore, being confused by the issue you can watch it for further understanding:


  • Having installed the application, all you need is to choose a suitable service and establish an internet connection through it, so that to hide your true address and to encode all your traffic.

4-Step Set-up Checklist for Linux

  • The service provides apps for such versions as Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, CentOS;
  • Being a Linux user, you might be skilful in terms of computer technologies and don’t need any guides. However, as the practice shows there are Linux lovers among average users too, which have a slight idea how the computer operates on the whole. Therefore, if you make up a part of the second-mentioned community, you need to follow the next algorithm:


  • Two pain-free steps and everything is ready. For further usage of the software you will need to orient well in the mentioned above interface. Thus you will achieve a full list of ExpressVPN servers from where you are to choose only one suitable variant.  After the connection to the chosen server is established, you are free to run the secured network in a new way.
  • What is more, as well as all the previous OSes this one is supplied with a video guide:


Set up for Routers

Providing that you are going to use the service not for travelling, but for home, you need to learn how to set it up for your home router. In case you have subscribed for one of the average ExpressVPN packages you have a possibility to use the same account for up to three devices.

In case, you have decided to protect all your family’s devices, you’d better install a VPN for the home router. As long as we have chosen ExpressVPN to server us as an example, here are some useful tips you need to see before installing the service for your router:

Why for router?

  • A better security level

It’s not a secret to any advanced customer that a VPN service operates in a better way in case it’s not disconnected from the internet. Router is one of the few devices, which are disconnected from the internet only by your own desire. Therefore, having set up the service on your router you can forget about the necessity to establish a VPN connection each time you connect to the internet. The majority of confidential data losses happens to those who forget about connecting to the internet through a VPN. With a VPN for router you won’t have such a problem, at least at home.

  • A better solution in terms of time-management

Providing that you have subscribed for one of ExpressVPN’s packages, you are supplied with the possibility to connect up to three devices. Herewith, all the three devices may run different OSes, as well as the same, but any case you will have to install different apps on each of them. Whereas, having supplied your router with a VPN service, all your devices will be instantly cached by the service through the router. This means that no additional actions are required by you in this case.

  • All internet-enabled devices will be protected

The thing is that many up-to-date houses are filled with so-called ‘smart’ things or IoT. However, the practice has demonstrated the devices can be infected and used for websites attacks in form of DDoS-attacks or web server overloading. Besides, many of us run smart home locks, which can be easily disabled that can lead to your house robbery. What is more, all the game boxes like Xbox, PlayStation, Apple box, etc. can be connected to the internet through the VPN too, which makes your home network environment protected against practically any kind of online threats and excludes the possibility for your smart things to be zombified by hackers.

  • Run more gadgets at one price

In case you have decided to enable your router with a VPN service, you will be able to run one and the same package on a limitless number of devices. This means you won’t have to overpay for one and the same subscription.

  • All the family members protection

The installation allows for protecting all the family members, which is especially important for families with kids. The VPN installed on your router makes your kid protected against malicious ads and content, which can infect all the network. Besides, you’ll be able to connect to your corporate network without any fear of being traced back or interfered, which is of a high use for confidential business information.

How to get a VPN for router?

If talking about ExpressVPN you have several opportunities here:


You can buy a router with a pre-installed VPN on it, which eliminates the necessity to make all the set up manually. Although the pricing may seem to be too much, the device is worth it, as long as you will be protected at one click in the case. All the instructions on how to run ExpressVPN are included into the package description, so you can read them in advance and decide whether you have enough patience to follow them.


  • The next opportunity you have is a cheaper variant, which is t find a VPN compatible router on Amazon. After that you can run the instructions posted on the official website of the service to install the VPN.


  • The following opportunity you have is to set up the VPN on your actual router, which is pretty hard for an average customer. However, you can run the possibility in case you are ready to follow all the support’s instructions.

So, as you can see it, probably, the most complicated task is to install the service on router. Nevertheless, the issue has a very useful result of protecting all of your devices in bulk while making all your family members protected from multiple online threats. but the option is suitable for home-based devices only, as long as using your connectable mobile phone to surf the network through a café public Wi-Fi you may be interfered. This means a VPN for routers is suitable for family members only.

4 biggest problems with VPN setup process

Private networks are more often than not linked through a VPN via the internet, which makes the service one of the most in-demand for traffic encryption and identity hindering. Besides, the best VPNs tend to be the most reliable ways for your online protection, which also makes them the most in-demand services.

However, you VPN installation or set up process can’t be deprived of difficulties coming from various sorts of technical issues.

Formally, all the problems can be divided into four main groups:

#1 a VPN connection is rejected;

#2 an unauthorized connection is accepted;

#3 an impossibility to receive connection to all the VPN servers;

#4 an inability to create tunneling.

These are, probably, the most common VPN issues. Due to the reason there are lots of technical issues in result of which the internet connection can be rejected the problems are so common.

  • The first thing you are to do while facing the issue is to check whether the routing and remote access services are off effect. In order to make it you need to open the server’s control panel and choose the administrative tools followed by the service’s icon.
  • After you’ve made assured everything operates well, you need to ping the VPN server through IP address of the client.
  • Then you need to make sure the basic TCP/IP connectivity exists.
  • If everything is ok, you need to ping again, by the FQDN rather than through the IP.
  • If the ping is failed where the IP is succeeded, this means you have a problem with DNS.  
  • Besides, you need to check your authentication process
  • Providing that there is a valid TCP/IP connection between a VPN server and your client is valid, this means you need to check the authentication process.
  • There are a lot of authentication methods used by VPN server and client, however, at least one of the methods should be the same for both of them.
  • In this regard, you need to check what authentication methods your VPN service is set up to use by typing the MMC command at the Run prompt.
  • By adding snap-in to the Windows Management Console you will see all the available authentication methods in the dialogue window.
  • By selecting appropriate boxes the methods can be either enabled or disabled by you. The process depends on the OS you run, therefore, probably, you will have to search for an appropriate guide online;
  • In case the authentication method is set up correctly, you need to check the technique used by your VPN client to connect to the servers.
  • This can be checked in several ways the easiest of which is looking at the domain’s remote access policy.
  • Moreover, you need to have a look at the IP. Any VPN client computer is usually assigned with two addresses. The first address has been assigned to a customer by the ISP, whereas the second one is the server’s address used for substituting the authentic one after the VPN connection has been established.
  • When dealing acceptance of unauthorized addresses by the client, it may signalize your VPN credentials have been stolen physically or intercepted, which is less common for such protective service, as a VPN.

So, as you see, each of the four groups has its own issues and the problems can be solved either by you independently or by a technical support, which is a more suitable variant for non tech-savvy clients. Such as there were, the issues are solvable and can be eliminated by your service provider in several minutes.

The bottom line

When trying to avoid the network threats, government surveillance and censorship you might have already set sights on a VPN service. Nevertheless, if taking into account an average customer, you may be confused by the procedure of the app installation and setting. The issue is even more critical when talking about free services, as more often than not there is no or not well-timed customer support.

Nevertheless, you are highly recommended to overcome the ‘set-up challenge’ as the service is highly advisable for all the average and advanced customers.

With the use of the best VPN you will have such possibilities as:

  • Protection of your network connection, as well as freedom of censorship;
  • Your bank accounts are to be thoroughly defended from identity thefts and computer fraudulence;
  • You will manage to torrent anything you want;
  • You will make your connected device running a Wi-Fi hotspot sheltered from hackers and prying eyes;
  • Any mobile devices can be secured with the use of VPNs, whatever hotspots it runs for connection;
  • The service is highly useful and in-demand among gamers;
  • All the freelance workers will be allowed for secure connection to a corporate network;
  • Heavy traffic produced by any business company will be easier monitored, analyzed and maintained;
  • All the business bank transfers can be protected from multiple threats;
  • Besides, you will be able to boost your connection speed, which is critically important for business networks;
  • All your business chats can be secured, etc.

All in all, the best VPN service performs at least three main functions: privacy, security and anonymity.

Having decided to face the difficulties with the setting up and find proper solutions, you should learn about the insufficient and the most important features of a good service. You need to delve into all the details of a service, otherwise you may be dissatisfied with its performance.

Having decided the service is what you need, you are free to choose an appropriate plan, pay for the service with the most suitable method, receive a confirmation letter and download an appropriate app. All the decisive data on service’s set-up process is thoroughly developed in the guide.

If you have comments, suggestions, and, of course, any corrections or just want to share your experience with our followers, please, contact us via email or write your comments below.

Average: 3.8 (5 votes)
Update: 13/01/2020
Dainan Gilmore
Dainan Gilmore