How to set up a VPN

Want to set up your own virtual private network? Here's how

You’re starting on page 2 of this, click here to start at the beginning.

Setting up a virtual private network in Windows 10

If you’re running Windows 10, there’s a new VPN configuration tool that makes it easy to configure a VPN connection. If you’re using an older protocol — like L2TP or PPTP — to connect to your VPN provider, the Windows 10 VPN configuration tool makes it very straightforward. If you’re opting to connect to use a newer protocol, like IKEv2, some additional steps are required, and we’ll walk you through how to setup everything in Windows 10 in this guide.

Step 1. Navigate the new Windows 10 VPN configuration tool by typing in VPN into the Cortana search bar next to the Windows Start menu. Then click on the option for “Change virtual private networks (VPN).” Alternatively, you can also go to Windows Settings, click on Network & Internet, and choose VPN on the left column.

how to set up a vpn windows 10 2

Step 2. Click on the “+” sign to add a VPN connection.

how to set up a vpn windows 10 3

Step 3. A blue popup wizard should appear.

Click on the drop down for “VPN provider.” and choose “Windows (built-in),” as it’s your only option.

In the “Connection name” field, you can name it anything you want. We chose to name this connection with a combination of my VPN provider’s name, the server location, and the server number. In this case, because we are using NordVPN’s service and connecting to a US server with an ID of 2093 from NordVPN’s directory of servers, we opted for “NordVPN USA 2093″ as my connection name. Being descriptive will help you identify the server from a list in the future if you decide to add multiple server locations.

Each VPN provider will publish their directory of available connections, and you’ll want to consult with your provider on specifics about server addresses. In our case, we chose NordVPN’s US-based server at “” That will be the address that will go into the “Server name or address” field.

In general, you’ll want to choose a server location that’s closest to you for better connection speeds and reliability. However, if you’re looking to skirt geographic restrictions, you can also choose a server location in another country.

Under “VPN Type,” choose the connection type that you want to use to connect and authenticate with your VPN service. For the purpose of this guide, we chose “IKEv2″ from the drop-down.

For “Type of sign-in info,” we chose “User name and password” option. There are different ways you can log in to a VPN and authenticate with the service, including using a smart card, a one-time password, or a certificate. You’ll want to refer to your VPN service for instructions on the best way to login. Most services will accept a user name and password.

And optionally, you can enter your login credentials and have it saved. If you don’t save your login credentials, you’ll be prompted to enter your user name and password when you connect to the VPN service. After you’re finished, click “Save.”

how to set up a vpn windows 10 4

Step 4. Your newly created VPN name should appear in the list now. For most types of connections, you should be done and ready to connect, in which case you’ll want to jump ahead to Step 19 in this section of the guide. However, for an IKEv2 connection, you’ll want to continue on to download a certificate and change some additional settings before you can connect.

Your VPN provider will give you instructions on where to download the certificate from its website. We navigated to NordVPN’s certificate download page for this example. After you’ve downloaded the certificate, click it to open it. A security warning will pop up, and you’ll want to click “Open.”

Step 5. In the first tab of the certificate labelled “General,” you’ll click “Install Certificate” located near the bottom.

Step 6. The certificate wizard will appear asking you where you want to install the certificate. Make sure the bubble next to “Local machine” is selected. Click “Next” and then click “Yes” in the next security popup.

Step 7. In this step, you’ll want to customize where you want your certificate placed. Choose the bubble for “Place all certificates in the following store” and then click “Browse.”

Step 8. A popup with a directory will appear. Choose “Trusted Root Certificates Authorities” and click “OK.”

Step 9. Click “Next” and then click “Finish.” Click “OK” and then click “OK” again to confirm that the certificate has been installed.

how to set up a vpn windows 10 5

Step 10. Go to the Cortana search bar in your taskbar and type “Control Panel.” Click on “Control Panel” to launch it.

how to set up a vpn windows 10 6

Step 11. Click “Network and Internet.”

how to set up a vpn windows 10 7

Step 12. Click “Network and Sharing Center.”

how to set up a vpn windows 10 8

Step 13. On the left column, click “Change adapter settings.”

Step 14. You should see your VPN connection’s name (NordVPN USA 2093) here. Right-click on it and select “Properties.” Then click on the “Security” tab.

Step 15: Choose “IKEv2″ under the “Type of VPN” if it wasn’t already specified. Under “Data encryption,” make sure that “Require encryption (disconnect if server declines)” is chosen. Under “Authentication,” choose “Use Extensive Authentication Protocol (EAP)” and select “Microsoft: Secured password EAP-MSCHAPv2.” Click “OK” when done.

how to set up a vpn windows 10 9

Step 19: Now, you’re ready to connect. Click on the Wi-Fi symbol on the right-hand side of the Windows taskbar. At the top, you should see your VPN name. Click on it, and then select “Connect.” If you didn’t save your user name and password during configuration, you’ll be asked to enter your username and password to authenticate with the service. Once the service connects, you should be able to enjoy a more secure internet experience.

One limitation to note when you’re using a built-in VPN connection tool, like the one that ships with Windows 10, is that when you configure the service, you’re identifying a very specific server for your PC to connect to. Depending on your needs, you may want to repeat the steps above to add multiple servers to the list. That way, if for example the current server gets too congested, you can disconnect and connect to a different server to see if speeds are faster. Some users will have country-specific servers to skirt geographical limitations for some streaming services and a number of local servers to quickly and securely browse the web.


Can big rebates lure Tesla owners into Jaguar’s segment-bending I-Pace?

Jaguar wants Tesla owners to step into its stores and drive home in an I-Pace, its first and only electric car. The company is offering motorists who can prove there is a Tesla in their household a $3,000 rebate.

Track your progress with this renewed Fitbit Versa Lite for $110 at Walmart

Fitness trackers provide you with a clearer understanding of your physical well-being. They can measure your vitals, step count, calories burned, and more. A great fitness tracker is the Fitbit Versa Lite, now $110 on Walmart.

Minneapolis bans drive-through windows in bid to keep pedestrians safe

Minneapolis recently took the first step in denying the significance of automobiles in American culture when the city council enacted a ban on drive-throughs. The local authority argued the ban will result in safer roads and cleaner air.

Save your hard-earned cash by learning how to gameshare with friends on PS4

Much like the now-ancient process of mixing CD collections, modern consoles allow you to share your game library with a friend and save some money in the process. Here's our step-by-step guide for how to gameshare on PS4.

Keep your laptop battery in tip-top condition with these handy tips

Learn how to care for your laptop's battery, how it works, and what you can do to make sure yours last for years and retains its charge. Check out our handy guide for valuable tips, no matter what type of laptop you have.

Now’s your chance to get the latest iPad Pro for $100 less on Amazon

The latest iPad Pro has always been our favorite since its release last year, and we even tagged it as the best tablet ever. Don’t miss out on Amazon’s discount on the 12-inch 256GB Wi-Fi model and get yours today for $1,049.

1.5% of Chrome users’ passwords are known to be compromised, according to Google

In February, a new feature was introduced to the Google Chrome browser which checks whether users' passwords are secure. Now, Google has released eye-opening stats gathered from Password Checkup.

From Chromebooks to MacBooks, here are the best laptop deals for August 2019

Whether you need a new laptop for school or work, we have you covered. We've put together a list of the best laptop deals going right now, from discounted MacBooks to on-the-go gaming PCs.

Amazon cuts $52 off this Samsung Galaxy 10.1-inch tablet for the whole family

Normally priced at $330, you can grab the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1-inch 128GB Wi-Fi tablet now for only $278 and enjoy $52 savings. On top of that, Amazon is offering an extra $28 discount when you apply for a coupon during checkout.

Tired of choosing between Windows and Mac? Check out these Chromebooks instead

We've compiled a list of the best Chromebooks -- laptops that combine great battery life, comfortable keyboards, and the performance it takes to run Google's lightweight Chrome OS. From Samsung to Acer, these are the Chromebooks that really…

Tired of your Mac freezing? Try these tips to fix your Mac

A Mac that keeps freezing can be an incredibly annoying thing to deal with, but fixing it doesn’t have to be a pain. There are six main things you should try, which we got through in this guide to help you fix the issue once and for all.

Here's our guide to how to charge your laptop using a USB-C cable

Charging via USB-C is a great way to power up your laptop. It only takes one cable and you can use the same one for data as well as power -- perfect for new devices with limited port options.

Latest Windows 10 update is causing random reboots and can break Visual Basic

The latest update for Windows 10, made available on Tuesday this week, includes patches against two critical vulnerabilities. But it is causing a string of issues including random reboots and failure to install.

Delete tracking cookies from your system by following these quick steps

Cookies are useful when it comes to saving your login credentials, but they can also be used by advertisers to track your browsing habits across multiple sites. Here's how to clear cookies in the major browsers.
2 of 4