How to Use a VPN

How to Use a VPN in 2021: A Beginner’s Guide

13 Mins Read

How To GuidesHow to Use a VPN in 2021: A Beginner’s Guide

You’ve set up a VPN on your laptop or mobile device, and you’re good to go, but how do you use it? A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is a tool that masks your IP address and protects your online activities by using military-grade encryption.

Therefore, your real identity is safe from prying eyes, and you can avoid price discrimination while shopping online. You experience throttle-free speeds and get access to content unavailable in your region. You’re also able to use public WiFi networks safely and work from home with complete peace of mind.

In this article, we’re going to explore how you can make the most out of a VPN, taking PureVPN as an example. Using a VPN is generally easy! That’s because many VPN providers focus on ensuring that their service is as intuitive as possible. Now, let’s dive in:

What is a VPN & How Does it Work?

VPNs are invaluable tools that establish a secure, private tunnel between a user’s device and the open internet. All your data is passed through this tunnel, and your IP address is also masked in the process. As such, your internet traffic is made invisible to hackers, snoopers, ISPs, the government, and other third-parties.

How VPN Tunnel Works

PureVPN supports multiple tunneling protocols and up to 256-bit encryption to provide you with maximum data security. Once connected, you can browse the web without having to worry about someone watching your every move.

If you wish to experience guaranteed security, anonymity and freedom, you need PureVPN!

Who Uses Virtual Private Networks?

VPNs were usually used by organizations to securely connect employees to corporate resources and networks. Today, more and more privacy-conscious Internet users are turning to VPNs as a means to protect their online activities from the prying eyes of ISPs, governments, and hackers.

With VPNs becoming easier to setup and cheaper to subscribe to, their accessibility and popularity has increased exponentially. They’re often used to unlock geo-restricted content on streaming services and bypass censorship measures in countries like China and Russia.

How to Use a VPN in 3 Simple Steps

Setting up and using a virtual private network is as easy as 1, 2, and 3. Once you have subscribed to your desired PureVPN plan, just follow these instructions:

1. Download

Download PureVPN

Download and install the PureVPN app for your device.

2. Log In


Sign in with your PureVPN username and password.

3. Connect

Connect PureVPN

Connect to one of our 180+ locations and voila!

How to Use VPN on Multiple Devices

How to use a vpn

A worthy VPN should support at least five simultaneous connections on any device of your choice. With our VPN service, you can:

  1. Download and install the VPN on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Android TV, Fire Stick, Edge, Firefox, and Chrome.
  2. Connect up to 10 different devices with just one account. This means you can secure all your and your family’s devices in one go, even if you’re living separately.

Want to enjoy top-of-the-line protection on all your devices? Consider your wish granted. PureVPN has user-friendly apps for iOS, Windows, Mac, Android, and routers. Learn everything you need to know about setting up and using:

Using a VPN on Windows

Once you’ve signed up for a PureVPN account and installed the Windows app, log in using your credentials. Choose your preferred server location and wait for the VPN connection to be created. The process is as simple as it can get. For more in-depth information, check out this Windows VPN setup guide.

Using a VPN on Android

Do you want to enjoy robust online privacy on your Android smartphone? Using a VPN on Android is no rocket science, really. Take a look at this Android VPN setup guide – it’s straightforward and you’ll be ready to go within minutes!

Using a VPN on Mac

After installing the Mac app, use your PureVPN credentials to log in and then select the server location of your choice. Your VPN connection will be established in a few seconds. Still confused? Visit this Mac VPN setup guide for more thorough instructions.

Using a VPN on iOS

First you’ll have to set up a PureVPN account and download the iOS app from the App Store. Once done, tap Location to choose a server. Alternatively, you can also use Quick Connect to find the best possible server based on your location. If you have more questions, read this iOS VPN setup guide.

Using a VPN on Amazon Fire TV Stick

To put a VPN on your Amazon Fire TV Stick, simply go to the Amazon Appstore on your TV and download it. The experience is just like any other VPN app – connect to your desired server and enjoy an enhanced viewing experience! Need more information? Go through this Firestick VPN guide.

Using a VPN on Web Browser

Whether you use Firefox or Chrome, getting a VPN on your browser isn’t a complicated endeavor. Just install the VPN extension from the Firefox Add-ons page or the Chrome Web Store, enter your PureVPN credentials to log in, and connect to your chosen country.

However, a VPN extension will only secure your browser’s traffic. You’ll need to use a VPN app to protect device-wide traffic. Got any queries? Look into this browser VPN guide.

Using a VPN on Router

If you want to enjoy network-wide protection, setting up a VPN on your router makes sense. All you need is to purchase a VPN-supported router (if you don’t have one already), and follow the instructions given by your VPN provider to get it up and running. Go to this Router VPN setup guide for more details.

How to Manually Configure a VPN

If your device doesn’t come with support for native VPN apps, then fret not! You can setup a VPN connection manually as well. Most platforms have built-in VPN settings. Here’s how you can leverage them to use PureVPN on:

How to Use VPN Features

There are certain essential features that every VPN should provide and here’s how to use them to your advantage:

Pick a VPN Protocol or Let us Do It for You

You don’t necessarily have to select a VPN protocol on your own. Your VPN service can automatically pick one for you and let you change it whenever you want. Both IKEv2 and OpenVPN are believed to be the safest and most up-to-date protocols, so you should choose any one of them.

How to choose a VPN protocol (we’re using our Windows client an example):

  1. Open the Windows app and click Settings.
  2. Click App Settings.
  3. Choose your desired protocol.

OpenVPN offers excellent security, can circumvent firewalls, and is highly configurable. IKev2, on the other hand, is relatively faster and provides better connection stability. Check out this in-depth guide to VPN protocols to learn more.

Select Server Location Based on Your Needs

Which country should you connect to? Well, it depends on what you’re looking to achieve. If speed is your top priority, then select a location closest to your country. You want to access another country’s Netflix library, you’ll need to pick a server in that particular country. And, if your aim is to bypass government censorship, go for a country which is censorship-free.

One-Click Connectivity with Quick Connect

Using a VPN should be easy and fast, period! That’s why we have Quick Connect (the name of this feature may differ depending on the Virtual Private Network provider you use). What it does is connect you to the best server, allowing you to experience excellent speeds without skimping on privacy and security. Just open the app, tap the button, and we take care of the rest.

Prevent Your Privacy from Leaking With a Kill Switch

In simple terms, a Kill Switch terminates your Internet connection when a VPN disconnects during streaming or browsing. With this feature activated, you won’t have to worry about your real identity becoming exposed to the outside world.

Secure Specific Apps Using Split Tunneling

Split Tunneling is an essential VPN feature that lets you specify which apps use the VPN connection and which don’t. For instance, considering that a VPN hides your real location by changing your IP address, you wouldn’t want your banking app to use the VPN tunnel.

How to Use a VPN for Streaming

How to Use a VPN For Streaming

If you’re into streaming, a VPN can enable you to:

Change Netflix Regions

As you probably know, Netflix libraries vary from country to country. By using it, you can access your desired Netflix library securely and efficiently. For example, if you want to stream the US library, all you have to do is connect to a US server, and you’ll be able to watch US-only content.

Unlock a World of Kodi Add-ons

You can enjoy tens of thousands of TV shows and movies with add-ons like Tubi TV, PopcornFlix, BBC iPlayer and TempTV. However, most of them are geo-locked. With a VPN, you can change your virtual location to where your desired add-on is available, and access them easily.

Live Stream Sports Anywhere

Looking to stream live sports? A Virtual Private Network not only hides your real IP address but also encrypts your data, so that you can:

  • Dodge geo-restrictions and watch the matches you want in real time from anywhere.
  • Enjoy streaming your preferred sports at throttle-free speeds.

Go through this guide on how to stream your favorite content with a VPN.

How to Use a VPN While Traveling

How to use VPN while traveling

If you’re planning to travel overseas for work or vacation, you should take a VPN with you for the best traveling experience.

  • Public WiFi is a great way to access the Internet while traveling. However, these unsecured networks are a breeding ground for cybercriminals. By using a VPN on your device, you’ll be able to use different hotspots safely and privately.
  • You won’t be able to access your favorite local content when you’re traveling due to geo-restrictions. It will allow you to get around these roadblocks in no time.
  • Once you’ve decided where you’re heading off to, use a VPN to find the best deals on accommodation, plane tickets, and car rentals. All it takes to avoid online price discrimination is switching your IP address!

Need more details? Here’s a detailed look at why you need a VPN for travel.

How to Use a VPN for Gaming

How to use a vpn for gaming

By making yourself anonymous through a Virtual Private Network, you can enjoy an enhanced gaming experience.

  • Unable to access a game unavailable in your region? Just change your virtual location to where it’s accessible!
  • Play your favorite games in complete privacy as your original IP address is hidden. This helps you avoid falling victim to doxxing when using Discord and other chatting programs.
  • You can enjoy gaming without having to worry about DDoS attacks as your actual IP address isn’t visible to anybody.

Still not convinced? Learn more about the benefits of a VPN for gaming.

Why Use a VPN?

Why Use a VPN

There are many compelling reasons why you need to get started with a virtual private network. Take a look at some of the most common VPN uses below:

Access Your Favorite Video Content

If you can’t access the online streaming channel or service you want from your region, don’t worry. Just Connect and joining the server location where the content is accessible and enjoy it in your home country without any interruptions.

Enjoy Secure Internet in Public Places

Internet access is available almost everywhere we go. But while public hotspots offer great convenience, they also pose serious risks to your privacy and can result in hacking, identity theft, and more. Keep your connection secured on a public network with a VPN.

Secure Online Shopping

Online shopping has provided you with the ease of purchasing anything you want from the comforts of your home or couch. But it has also exposed you to threats like online credit card fraud. That said, you can ensure safe and secure shopping online by setting up a VPN.

Get Around FCC and Data Retention Laws

Data retention laws and FCC’s new Net Neutrality policies have made the Internet slow and restricted. Once the new laws are established, you are bound to experience slow streaming and downloading speeds as well as other inconveniences on the Internet. These issues, though, can be avoided by using a Virtual Private Network.

Ditch Online Price Discrimination

Believe it or not, there’s a lot of price discrimination on the internet. In other words, retailers and other providers see that you represent a certain country and impose higher rates than are found in other countries. This is not only limited to consumer products on e-commerce stores, but also extends to booking flights and rental cars online and purchasing certain games and services. You can get around this discrimination and save money by using a VPN

Wrapping Things Up

Using a VPN on your device isn’t complicated at all. In fact, it’s becoming more user-friendly as ease of use is an important factor that Internet users consider before signing up for a VPN service. Remember, the more you delve into the depths of your VPN app, the more accustomed you’ll become to it. So, keep exploring and reach out to our 24/7 customer support team if you have any queries!

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Use a VPN on Android

  1. Download and install PureVPN app for Android.
  2. Launch the app using your credentials.
  3. Tap Quick Connect or choose a server location on your own.
  4. Wait for the connection to establish.
  5. You are all set!

How Do I Use a VPN on Mac

  1. Download and install PureVPN software for Mac.
  2. Launch the software using your credentials.
  3. Connect to your desired server location.
  4. Now, wait for the connection to establish.
  5. You are all set!

How Do I Use a VPN on Windows

  1. Download and install PureVPN software for Windows.
  2. Launch the software using your credentials.
  3. Connect to your desired server location.
  4. Wait for the connection to establish.
  5. You are all set!

How Do I Use a VPN on iPhone

  1. Download and install PureVPN app for iOS.
  2. Launch the app using your credentials.
  3. Tap Quick Connect or choose a server location on your own.
  4. Now, wait for the connection to establish.
  5. You are all set!

How to Use a VPN with Virgin Media Broadband

A VPN will allow you to bypass bandwidth throttling and censorship issues while using Virgin Media Broadband. Just follow these steps:

  1. Subscribe to PureVPN.
  2. Download the VPN app or client for your device.
  3. Connect to a server in another country, such as the US.
  4. Enjoy throttle-free and censorship-free browsing on Virgin Media!

How to Use a VPN to Unblock Google

If you’re living or traveling in countries in China, you won’t be able to access the popular search engine Google. Just follow these steps:

  1. Subscribe to PureVPN.
  2. Download the VPN app or client for your device.
  3. Connect to a country where Google is available.
  4. Google will now be accessible!

How to Use a VPN to Avoid VoIP Blocking

Many countries like Brazil and United Arab Emirates block access to free VoIP services like WhatsApp, Facetime, and Viber. Just follow these steps:

  1. Subscribe to PureVPN.
  2. Download the VPN app or client for your device.
  3. Connect to a country where VoIP isn’t blocked.
  4. Use VoIP services without restrictions!

How to Use a VPN to Get Around Social Media Blocks

Unable to use social media networks like Facebook and Twitter due to censorship or firewall restrictions? Just follow these steps:

  1. Subscribe to PureVPN.
  2. Download the VPN app or client for your device.
  3. Connect to a country where social media networks are accessible.
  4. Use your favorite social media networks restriction-free!

How to Use a VPN on Apple TV

Apple TV doesn’t support VPN app installation, but there are ways to set up a VPN on it. Check out this in-depth guide for more information on how to use PureVPN on Apple TV.

How to Use a VPN with Kodi

By using a VPN on Kodi, you can gain access to geo-locked add-ons, hide your streaming activities, and more. Just follow these steps:

  1. Subscribe to PureVPN.
  2. Download the Kodi VPN app on your device.
  3. Connect to any country. For example, you’ll have to choose the UK to access the BBC iPlayer add-on.
  4. You’re all set!

How to Use a VPN with Outlook and Office 365

If you want to use Office 365 and Outlook while keeping your connection safe from third-parties, getting a VPN makes sense. Just follow these steps:

  1. Subscribe to PureVPN.
  2. Download the VPN app or client for your device.
  3. Connect to a server in any country.
  4. Use Outlook and Office 365 safely and securely!

How to Use a VPN to Tighten Security for Remote Learning

A VPN can protect your security when you use platforms like Zoom for online teaching. Just follow these steps:

  1. Subscribe to PureVPN.
  2. Download the VPN app or client for your device.
  3. Connect to any server location.
  4. Bank-grade encryption is applied for a safe remote learning experience.

Do VPNs Provide Identity Protection?

Absolutely. A VPN conceals your true IP address and secures the data to and from your device using bank-grade encryption. As a result, your online activities can’t be tied back to you and third-parties are unable to see what you’re doing (the sites you visit, apps you use, videos you watch, and so on).

What’s the Difference between Free and Paid VPNs?

There are hundreds of free VPNs available that you can use at no cost, but the truth is – they have more cons than pros. Most of them log and sell your online activities to third-parties like advertisers for a profit.

These supposedly free services also lack must-have features and use little to no encryption. As if that wasn’t enough, users also have limited server locations to choose from and bandwidth limitations to worry about.

Paid VPNs, on the other hand, are generally the better option for your online privacy, security, and freedom. Sure, it’ll cost you money, but they’re well worth it. You can trust most of them with your data as they don’t keep logs of any kind.

These services come packed with features like a kill switch, split tunneling, and more. Your traffic is secured using 256-bit encryption, and a global server network lets you bypass geo-restrictions and censorship with ease.  For these reasons and more, you’re better off choosing paid VPNs over free ones.

How to Choose a VPN

Are you scouting the market for a paid VPN service? There are some essential things you should look out for. Some of them include:

  • Proven No-Log Status: You’d want to use a VPN that stores no connection or activity logs. While most providers claim not to keep logs, some have gone the extra mile and proven their privacy assurances via independent third-party audits.
  • VPN Jurisdiction: This is another vital factor as certain countries have mandatory data-retention laws, which companies have to comply with. Ideally, you should steer clear of VPNs based in the 5/9/14 Eyes countries.
  • Ease of Use: Nearly every VPN service is easy-to-use, but some are more than others. There are plenty of options available if you simply want to tap or click a button and get connected. Many will also let you delve into the features and settings if you need to.
  • Advanced Features: At a minimum, you must look for features like an Internet Kill Switch, DNS Leak Protection, IPv6 Leak Protection, and WebRTC leak Protection. After all, there’s no point in using a VPN that doesn’t keep your data and identity truly safe.
  • Usage: Some VPNs don’t support P2P activities, and others don’t provide access to geo-blocked streaming services. Determine what you want to use a VPN for and decide on a suitable provider based on that.

Related Read: How to Choose the Best VPN Service in 2021

PureVPN PureVPN is a leading VPN service provider that excels in providing easy solutions for online privacy and security. With 6500+ servers in 78+ countries, It helps consumers and businesses in keeping their online identity secured.

Have Your Say!!

Join 3 million+ users to embrace internet freedom

Signup for PureVPN to get complete online security and privacy with a hidden IP address and encrypted internet traffic.