How to Set Up a VPN in Windows 10
It’s rumored that instead of developing future versions of Windows, Microsoft has decided to make Windows 10 the last version of its operating system. Microsoft aims to improve upon and better secure Windows 10 (which has had numerous security flaws), instead of developing future versions of the popular software. Now, because of Windows 10’s security flaws (and features), a lot more users have started looking into ways to protect their computer’s privacy.
However Windows 10 develops in the future, you’re probably better off investing in a VPN (virtual private network) service for your Windows computer. Security flaws or not, you don’t want hackers and other malicious software or programs invading your personal computer. Using a VPN makes your computer—and what you do with it—anonymous. It also keeps you and your activities from being tracked. We go into more detail about the ins and outs of VPNs in general here.
When you’ve made your choice as to which VPN service you’d like to protect your Windows 10 computer, you’ll need to do a few things to get it set up. Don’t worry—this is where we step in to guide you along the way.
Option 1: Third-Party VPN Software
Download the Installer
For this how-to, we’re using Private Internet Access for our VPN service. After choosing the monthly, quarterly, or annual subscription option, choose your payment method and make the purchase. Once you’ve paid, you’ll receive an email instructing you to download the installer for the VPN software.
After you’ve received and opened the email:
- Download the Private Internet Access installer from the link provided in the email. After you do that, we’ll proceed to put the VPN software package on your Windows 10 computer.
- Private Internet Access’ website, where you purchased the VPN software, will open. It will begin downloading the installer through your web browser.
- Choose to “Save As,” if given the option, and save the installer to your desktop. This way, it’s easier to locate and start the installation of the Private Internet Access VPN software installer.
Install VPN Software
After the download completes for Private Internet Access, right-click on it with your mouse and select “run as administrator.” You’ll see a command prompt box pop open on your Windows display. It will extract and install the needed items for the VPN software to work on Windows 10.
An install box will ask for your permission to install the Private Internet Access VPN on your Windows 10 computer. Just click the “Install” button.
Next you’ll want to change the connection type to TCP. To do that, right-click on the Private Internet Access icon in the system tray, at the bottom right in your Windows 10 taskbar. Go to and select “Settings” with your mouse. Next, click the “Advanced” button.
Select “TCP” in the top drop-down box where UDP shows as the default. Then, either pick your connection location or use “Auto.” If you’d like to use IPV6, you may also want to uncheck “IPV6 leak protection.” That’s up to you.
After you’ve selected the proper settings, click the “Save” button. Finally, right-click on the Private Internet Access icon in the system tray, at the bottom right in your Windows 10 taskbar. Then, go up to “Connect” and click on it to connect via VPN. Boom—that’s it. You’re now anonymously connected to the Internet!
Option 2: Use Windows’ Built-In VPN
If you’d rather not have to pay for a VPN service, you can take a chance using a free VPN service—Windows 10 has a free built-in VPN. Yes, you read that right… Windows 10 lets you set up and use a built-in VPN. It’s going to take a little bit of configuring on your part, but we’ll help you through it again. Follow these instructions to configure the built-in VPN that comes packaged with Windows 10.
- In the Windows 10 taskbar, click on the Windows icon. Then, click on “Settings” (the little gear icon).
- When the Windows Settings box appears on your desktop screen, click on “Network & Internet.”
- Then, in the left side panel, click on “VPN.”
- In the VPN window, click “Add a VPN connection.”
- Select “Windows (built-in)” as your VPN provider in the drop-down box.
- For your connection name, enter whatever you’d like to call the connection.
- The server name or address gets entered next. You’ll need to know this information, as it pertains to your private server or the VPN server which you’ll connect to. You’ll need to do some research on your own to find a reliable VPN server that will let you connect to it.
- Next, choose “PPTP” (point to point tunneling protocol).
- Choose your username and password as your sign-in info. Then, enter your username and password in the text boxes. Make sure the box is checked to “Remember my sign-in info.”
- Last, click the “Save” button at the bottom of the VPN setup. Now you’re ready to start using it.
Your newly set-up VPN now appears in the VPN list. Just click on it and select the “Connect” button and you’re up and running.
There are so many VPN service providers available, paid and free, and it may be hard to choose one. It could take some time and research to conclude your search. When you’ve found the one that suits your needs, you can either use their installation software or use the built-in VPN that comes with Windows 10. If you’re looking for a shortcut to finding your new VPN, however, make sure to check out our list right here, with some of our favorite picks for VPNs on Windows and other platforms.
In the comment section, let us know what VPN service provider is your favorite!