Using a proper VPN service can have numerous benefits. This can be especially helpful when you are in a restricted network, such as your school. In most cases, schools implement a custom firewall and network policies to restrict the activity on the school’s network. This limits the websites that you can access on the internet and much more.
In such a scenario, using a VPN service can help you bypass these network restrictions put in place. This allows you to access the websites and content on the internet that may have been blocked otherwise. Oftentimes, school networks block gaming platforms, such as Steam and more. As such, using a VPN will allow you to access the website, along with many more.
Before you proceed, it is important to note that installing a VPN on your computer may violate the policies of certain schools. We do not condone the violation of such policies and therefore make sure you are within your rights before installing a VPN on the computer.
1. Can VPNs Mask Your Online Activity?
In addition to allowing you to access blocked websites on the internet, VPNs can also be helpful when you have to hide your online activity. School networks often keep an eye on the activity on the network, often for security purposes. However, if you are someone who does not want his online activity monitored or logged, using a VPN is a viable solution.
With that said, the network operators in your school will be able to distinguish the VPN connection that is being established from within the network. Therefore, they will know when you use a VPN network. However, the connection will act as a wall and they will not be able to look on the other side of the wall, thus your online presence will not be tracked.
2. Selecting a VPN Service
In this modern era, there are a number of VPN services available on the internet. As such, choosing a VPN service can be a tough choice to make. However, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind while selecting a VPN service.
First of all, make sure to go for a reputable and trusted VPN service. In such cases, most VPN services are paid and you will have to buy a monthly subscription. Free VPNs can be sceptical, to say the least, as there is no verification available which can lead to potential security risks. This is because using a VPN service discloses your network activity to the VPN provider, which can be used to track you. As such, going for a trusted service in the industry like NordVPN or Express VPN would be a better choice instead of the free VPNs available.
In addition, the uptime of the VPNs can also make a difference. If the VPN service that you opt to use is often facing issues and downtimes, you will not be able to surface the internet since your packets are not reaching the host. Therefore, reliability also plays a significant role when trying to choose a VPN service.
We would recommend going for either NordVPN or Express VPN. They are both quite trusted in the market and have been around for a while.
3. Downloading a VPN
Once you have selected a VPN service, the next step would be to head to the official website for the VPN service and download the setup client from there. Here, you need to make sure the setup file is from the official website and not from anywhere else. This is because third-party unofficial sources can tamper with the file which can lead to security risks.
After downloading the setup file for the VPN client, simply run it and wait for the VPN client to be installed. In some cases, you might be prompted to restart your PC in order to complete the installation process. This is normal behavior and you will be able to use the VPN client on your PC after a restart.
4. Setting up a VPN
Finally, the last step is to connect to your VPN client and start browsing the internet. If you have opted for a famous VPN service such as NordVPN which comes with its own client, this step is rather easy. Simply open the client on your computer, and choose a server location on the VPN client. This is the location where you will be connected to and your IP address will be masked to that location.
Once you have chosen a server location, you will be able to connect without any issues. However, if you have the VPN server details, such as the IP address of the VPN server and connection type, you will need to manually add the VPN client to your operating system.
This can be done via the Settings app on Windows. To do this, follow the instructions below:
- First of all, open the Settings app by pressing the Windows key + I on your keyboard.
- On the Settings app, navigate to Network and Internet > VPN.
- After that, on the VPN page, click the Add VPN option.
- Then, on the VPN connection dialog box, fill out the fields with the VPN server details.
- If you were provided with a username and password for the VPN, fill them out in their respective fields or change the sign-in type.
- Finally, click the Save button.
- Once you do that, the VPN should appear and you can connect to it via the Connect button provided.