How to use a VPN
Find out how to choose and use a VPN to surf the web safely.
If you want to be anonymous online or access blocked sites in your country, then there's nothing like a VPN. We'll explain here what a VPN is, how to choose it and how to use it.
What is a VPN?
A VPN, or "Virtual Private Network", is a system that allows you to send and receive data over a private connection (often called a "tunnel"), while passing through an Internet network.
The use of a VPN reduces the risk of being monitored online, which is especially useful when connecting regularly to a public WiFi network.
Because VPNs can hide the location of a computer, many people use them to access sites that would otherwise not be accessible in their country.
Let's imagine, for example, that you are a Frenchman travelling abroad and want to watch videos from the Pluzz, Arte or Netflix France platform. You can install a VPN on your computer, pretend you are in Paris and enjoy all the French television programming.
In a professional context, virtual private networks are often used for security reasons (to avoid being spied on) or to allow employees to access their computers remotely.
How to choose a VPN?
There are many VPN services out there, and to help you choose the one that's right for you, we've created two ratings: Best VPN and Best Free VPN.
How do you use a VPN?
Each VPN has its own specific interface, but the process described below is very similar from program to program.
The first thing to do to use a VPN is to subscribe to a (logical) service. In this example we use NordVPN.
Once you have created a user account and downloaded your VPN, start the program by double-clicking its icon.
The VPN then displays the name of the countries where your servers are located (this can take the form of a list or a map).
Choose the country in which you want to virtually place your computer and connect to a server (in NordVPN, just click the large button at the top of the window).
Please note that most VPNs now have a Kill Switch, i.e. if by chance your VPN connection is no longer secure, then your computer will automatically be disconnected from the server.
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