How To Use A VPN | VPN Tutorial 2022

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A virtual private network (VPN) service hides your device’s IP address and encrypts and transmits your data through a secure VPN tunnel to a VPN server, concealing you and your data as it travels between your device and your destination . Whether you’re checking your email from a different country than your own, streaming content from around the world, or protecting your online activity from prying eyes while using public Wi-Fi, there are plenty of VPN uses. In this guide, we explain how to use a VPN. Elsewhere we explain in more detail what a VPN is, how a VPN works, how to get a VPN, and how to set up a VPN.

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To use a virtual private network, follow these basic steps:

  1. Decide which VPN service you want to use and sign up for a free monthly or yearly subscription. Consider VPN providers that offer features like a kill switch, DNS leak protection, plenty of VPN servers, and a VPN app.
  2. Log in and configure your preferences.
  3. If you’re trying to access content in a specific country, choose a server there.
  4. Open your browser, app, streaming service, or other platforms, and perform any other online activity as you normally would. You are protected as long as your VPN is active. If your VPN has a kill switch, your data won’t leak even if your internet connection goes down.
  5. Use the Tor network plus your VPN for added security. First connect to your VPN, then to Tor (The Onion Router), called Tor over VPN or Onion over VPN. If your VPN allows it, it gives you another layer of protection to hide your IP address and gives you access to Tor even when it’s organization or geographic restricted.

Best VPN Social Media Compatibility

NordVPN »
Facebook
instagram
Twitter
Youtube
NordVPN » Company
Facebook
instagram
Twitter
Youtube
PureVPN » Company
Facebook
instagram
Twitter
Youtube
VyprVPN » Company
Facebook
instagram
Twitter
Youtube

Social media channels can be a prime hunting ground for identity thieves, and some countries block access to social sites. In fact, over the past year, interest in VPN services has increased several times in response to government threats to ban TikTok in the US, including a 34% increase in inquiries about which would have been the first day of the ban, according to CNBC’s interview with NordVPN’s Daniel Markuson.

Not all VPN services are compatible with all social media platforms. The table below shows which VPNs in our ranking of the best VPNs of 2022 work with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

Best VPN Streaming Compatibility

NordVPN »
netflix
Disney+
Hulu
Amazon Prime
NordVPN » Company
netflix
Disney+
Hulu
Amazon Prime
PureVPN » Company
netflix
Disney+
Hulu
Amazon Prime
VyprVPN » Company
netflix
Disney+
Hulu
Amazon Prime

With so many streaming services to offer, more and more people are subscribing to Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and others. A VPN service often allows you to access geo-restricted material. “Not only does a VPN encrypt your IP address and help protect your personal information from potential cyber threats, it also allows you to customize your device’s location settings,” according to Cyber ​​Florida, a cybersecurity center hosted by the University of South Florida. This gives you the option to use streaming services “that are not available in some countries due to licensing or legal issues”.

For example, if you are visiting the UK and want to connect to Amazon Prime, you can use a US-based VPN server to see what you want. Or if you’re in a country that completely blocks the streaming service, your VPN service obscures your IP address so you can still access it. Note that you still need a subscription to the streaming service to watch shows and movies from this source.

Having trouble accessing your streaming service on your computer? Try that:

  1. Check for leaks. Your VPN should display some kind of indication on your toolbar or elsewhere that you are connected to its servers and therefore able to stream. If the VPN is not active, activate it.
  2. Are you on the correct server? Make sure you’re on the correct server for the streaming library you want to access. For example, if you want to watch the BBC, you’ll probably need to select a server located in the UK.
  3. Clear your cache. Check your browser settings and follow the instructions to clear your cache.
  4. Relaunch your VPN app. For most devices, including smartphones and routers, simply restart the device and troubleshoot streaming issues.
  5. Check your VPN provider’s self-help section. Streaming services frequently block VPN connections. If you are unable to unblock a media site when your VPN connection is active, check to see if the service is no longer able to work with that streaming site.

Torrenting is like turning a big file into a puzzle by breaking it down into pieces. The data is separated into smaller packets and then shared over a torrent network using software called a torrent client that users can retrieve later. The “seeder” is the party that hosts the original file, and the “leechers” (or peers) are those who own different parts of that file. Sharing a large file between users, also known as peer-to-peer (P2P) sharing, is faster than downloading data from a single source.

The process of torrenting with a torrent client is not illegal per se. Large educational or legal files and updates for certain gaming software are examples of legal torrents. However, P2P applications or torrent clients are sometimes used to download copyrighted, pirated and even less tasty content. Some internet service providers have watchdogs on their pipes to detect torrents and they throw a block to prevent you from accessing torrent files.

ISPs often monitor the use of BitTorrent, which is a communication protocol for P2P file sharing with uTorrent, and block the site. Your ISP can also slow down your internet speed (known as throttling) if it thinks you are torrenting, as the process often uses a lot of data. You can enable a VPN before you start torrenting to download legitimate files privately and without ISP limitation.

Follow these troubleshooting tips to resolve many common issues with a VPN service:

  • Connect to a server in a country with more open access. Not all countries want their citizens or visitors to have uncensored access to social media sites, streaming services, etc. Choose a server in another country if you experience a lot of blockages.
  • Change servers or server locations. If your internet speeds are slow, change your server location to one in the same country or select a server geographically close to your physical location.
  • Choose a different protocol. Some VPN providers offer a number of choices between different protocols that you can use. NordVPN, for example, recommends switching the OpenVPN port from TCP to UDP for smoother live streaming and faster gaming.
  • Call customer service. If you are unable to connect to the VPN, receive an error message, or cannot resolve your problem by following the steps above, contact the VPN provider’s customer service.

VPN Services

Learn more

Still looking for more information on VPNs or trying to find the best VPN for you? Explore the directory below to learn more about these services.

360 Associate Reviews

Why You Can Trust Us: 26 Wanted VPNs

At US News & World Report, we rank the best hospitals, the best colleges, and the best cars to guide readers through some of life’s most complicated decisions. Our 360 Reviews team uses this same unbiased approach to evaluate the products you use every day. To compile our ranking of the best VPNs of 2022, we researched over 26 VPNs and analyzed 23 reviews. Our 360 Reviews team does not take samples, giveaways, or loans of products or services we review. All product samples provided for review are given after review. Additionally, we maintain a separate sales team that has no influence over our methodology or recommendations. See more details on our 360 Methodology for VPN Evaluation.

US News 360 Reviews takes an unbiased approach to our recommendations. When you use our links to purchase products, we may earn a commission but this does not affect our editorial independence.

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