Software & Apps Windows How to Set up a VPN in Windows 10 Looking for more privacy? Add a VPN to your Windows 10 system By Jason Bennett Writer Jay Bennett is a former Lifewire writer and digital marketing consultant with 8 years' experience. His writing has appeared on the VisiHow website. our editorial process Twitter LinkedIn Jason Bennett Updated February 12, 2020 Windows The Ultimate Laptop Buying Guide Tweet Share Email If you're a Windows 10 user wanting to know how to set up a VPN on your computer, you're in the right place. With Windows 10, you have a few options for setting up a VPN service. You can use a paid VPN service (the easiest option), use Windows' built-in client, or set up free OpenVPN software. To get started, here's a look at these options in more detail. If you're looking to get up and running with a VPN quickly, we recommend going with a paid VPN service such as NordVPN or ExpressVPN. These services work with Windows 10 as well as other versions of Windows and other platforms. How to Set Up a Paid VPN Service on Windows 10 Getting and setting up a VPN service on a Windows 10 is easy. To get started, you'll need to spend a little time researching the best VPN service for your needs. Once you've found a VPN provider you want to use, just head over the VPN provider's website to get started. Download the app to your Windows 10 device. On the website, look for a list of download links you can click on — they're usually at the top of the page. Locate the appropriate application for your Windows 10 device and begin the download. Provide payment information. Depending on the VPN provider, you may have to buy a plan or provide a credit card before you can use the service. If so, be sure to check the money-back guarantee period just in case the service doesn't work for you and you need a refund. Set up the VPN on your Windows 10 device. Launch the .exe file or installer to begin the installation process and follow the directions on your screen. With some VPNs, you may be asked to grant permission to install different parts of the application, such as configuration files or helper tools. Sign into and launch the VPN service. Once installed, launch the application, sign in, and begin using the service by choosing a VPN server location (or Quick Connect) and connecting to your preferred VPN server. How to Set Up a VPN in Windows 10 Windows 10 offers its own VPN client that can be enabled and managed via Windows' setting app. The steps below illustrate how to set up, connect to, and edit a connection with Windows 10's built-in VPN client. To use this method, you'll need an active VPN service, (free or paid) with access to a client or member area. The exact steps for finding your VPN server addresses may differ slightly depending on your provider. The basic instructions will be similar for most reliable VPN services. Sign in to your VPN client area, navigate to the section that lists their servers, then copy the IP addresses you wish to use to a text file. Expand Windows' Quick Actions section, then select VPN. Select Add a VPN connection. Under VPN provider, select Windows (built-in). Under Connection name, enter a name that represents the server you're adding. Under Server name or address, enter the IP or URL you copied to a text file in the first step. Under VPN type, select the option your VPN service provider suggests, or Automatic if you're unsure. When using the built-in VPN app in Windows 10, make sure the VPN type matches the server you're using from your provider. Under Type of sign-in info, select the option required by your VPN service provider. Enter your username and password (if using this sign-in method), select Remember my sign-in info, then select Save. Select the VPN (connection name) you just set up, then select Connect. To edit your VPN's settings, select Advanced options. Select Edit to change any of your VPN's connection properties. Expand the VPN proxy settings menu, then select the appropriate option (if applicable). To delete a VPN connection, select it, then select Remove. How to Set Up a Free VPN in Windows 10 Using OpenVPN In addition to the built-in VPN client in Windows 10, you can use free OpenVPN software to secure your connection and protect your privacy. OpenVPN is a free VPN client UI that works with OpenVPN (.ovpn) configuration files. Each config file is assigned a specific server address or location. You'll have to get OpenVPN configuration files via your VPN provider's client area. The steps below show how to generate and download an OpenVPN config file, install the OpenVPN client for Windows, and connect to a server. The steps for generating .ovpn files could be slightly different depending on your VPN provider. The core instructions are generally the same for most popular VPN services. Sign in to your VPN provider's client area, navigate to the OpenVPN configuration generator, then select Windows. Select UDP for the protocol type. Select the server locations you wish to use. Read through and accept the Terms of Service agreement (if applicable), then select Generate. Download the .ovpn config files you just generated, either individually or as an archive (zip, 7z, rar, etc.). Go to OpenVPN's download page, choose the WINDOWS INSTALLER, then select Save File. Go to your Downloads folder, right-click the ovpn-install file, then select Run as administrator. Select Yes when the User Account Control window appears. Select Next when the OpenVPN setup wizard appears. Review the License Agreement, then select I Agree. Choose each component you wish to install (or the default selection), then select Next. Select Browse to change the installation location, or select Install to continue the setup process. Select Next once the installation is complete. Select Finish to close the setup wizard. Navigate to your Downloads folder, then copy the .ovpn files (or archive) you downloaded earlier. Navigate to This PC > Windows (C:) > Program Files > OpenVPN > config, then paste your .OPVN files. Launch OpenVPN from your desktop Start menu. Expand the Windows' Quick Actions center, right-click the OpenVPN icon, choose a server, then select Connect. Once connected, a message will appear in the lower right corner displaying your assigned IP address.