If using the internet is like crossing a park to go from A to B, then a VPN – Virtual Private Network – is a technology that allows you to cross that park in a private tunnel and away from public notice.
The way a VPN service works on the internet is like creating a special secret communication channel nobody can snoop on – and with apps like Surshark, it’s also very easy to do.
How to use a VPN in 4 quick steps
Step 1: Get a VPN service subscription
Paid VPNs like Surfshark are better than free ones – here’s a whole article on free VPN vs. paid.
Step 2: Download and install the VPN app
Ever downloaded and installed a thing before? That skill is about to become useful again.
Step 3: Run the VPN app
Enter the login credentials and you’re but a click away from a VPN connection.
Step 4: Click “Connect”
Clicking the “Connect” button will connect you to the nearest, fastest server. That’s it, you’re using a VPN.
How to set up a VPN on my device
Not satisfied with our short guide above? No worries (except for me, the writer) – here are some helpful links. Click them to learn how to set up a VPN on…
We also have a simple guide on setting a VPN up on any device.
How to set up a VPN manually
Sometimes, you need to take a hands-on approach. Maybe your system doesn’t support VPN apps, maybe you’re on a restrictive network that makes regular VPN connections impossible. Here are our guides for setting up a VPN manually on…
What is a VPN server?
VPN servers are a necessary part of the whole VPN thing. They do two things:
- Encrypt and decrypt the correspondence between you and the website/service.
- Hide your IP, making it look like you’re connecting from the server’s location.
Don’t worry, everything has already been set up by your VPN provider – you just have to choose the server when connecting.
An important part of VPN services is access to a variety of VPN servers around the world. For example, Surfshark has 3200+ servers in 99+ countries.
This means that, for example, a German user can easily connect to a VPN server in Germany (for best speeds) or one in Australia (if they wish to appear as if they’re an Australian internet user).
Is having a VPN illegal?
It’s not illegal to use a VPN in 99% of the countries around the world. We have an article that goes into deeper detail about VPN legality.
How to use advanced VPN features
Getting a VPN and not using its full features is like buying a car and never using the A/C – you’re missing out! Here are some of the more advanced features with handy links on how to use them:
Why use a VPN?
Protect your identity online
Don’t want to leave digital breadcrumbs that give all your online escapades away? By connecting to a VPN server, you’ll hide your IP address (like your home address, but for the internet), mask your activities from your internet service provider, and more!
Be safe on public Wi-Fi
VPNs use encryption to shield your internet activities from prying eyes. They can be as vital as keeping your login data secure from man-in-the-middle attacks on public Wi-Fi. Don’t get hacked when you’re enjoying a bit of traveling!
Game in safety
SWATing, DDoS attacks, kids telling you they hired an assassin – these are all dangers of playing multiplayer games. But with a VPN, you’ll hide your real IP address, making it very hard (if not impossible) to DDoS you or find out where you live for a SWATing. And it prevents bandwidth throttling on your internet connection!
Avoid targeted ads
To serve you annoying targeted ads, the marketers have to first figure out what makes you click. They do this in various ways, like buying your IP address and consumer profile from your ISP. Foil them with a VPN that hides your IP.
Disclaimer: Surfshark does not encourage using a VPN in any way that would potentially violate the Terms of Service of other service providers.
Put that new knowledge to good use
You now know not only how to use a VPN, but also that using it is the easiest thing in the world. This means that you are but a few steps away from increased privacy and accessibility! So why not act on that knowledge and use a VPN?