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How to Install a VPN

Installing a Virtual private network (VPN) can improve your security and privacy as you browse the web. You may want to use a VPN if you are on a public Wi-Fi network, are generally concerned about your privacy, and for accessing specific content that is not available in your geographic region. This article will explain how a VPN works, show you how to Install a VPN on your computer or mobile device, and finally how to use a VPN to access region locked Netflix content.

What is a VPN

A virtual private network (VPN) allows you to securely connect to the Internet. A VPN simulates an internet connection from a different location.

How Does a VPN work?

When you activate a VPN on your computer, you are actually hiding your IP address and the servers and websites you use and access will see the IP of the VPN service. That is why when you install a program or extension for your browser to allow you to hide your IP address, you can choose the country or city that you want to appear as your place of connection. By changing IP address, you will be able to access region-restricted content and hide your browsing activity when you are on a public Wi-Fi network.

If you’re not sure what you’re looking for and simply want access to a bigger Netflix catalog, we recommend that you select the United States as the location for your VPN, where you can watch a wider range of series and movies.

It is important to note that activating a VPN will not only help you change your geographic location, but also increase your Internet browsing security since it hides your real IP address.

Is a VPN Free

Whilst there are many free VPNs, for example Hotspot Shield, TunnelBear and ProtonVPN, free VPNs are not necessarily the best option. Many free VPNs can compromise your security, track your online activity, limit the amount of data you can use, slow down your Internet connection, and sell your bandwidth. Ultimately it is not worth the risk of using a free VPN.

VPN Options

There are numerous options for installing a VPN on your computer, cell phone or Smart TV. Some are paid, which ensures greater security and others are free. It is very important that you choose a reliable VPN, as this service plays a large role in controlling your internet browsing. It is also important that you check that the VPN you choose has servers available in the countries you are interested in connecting to. For example, if you are interested in watching content from the Spanish catalogue, you should check that the VPN offers a server in Spain.

As can be see, VPNs come in several formats from mobile apps to software programs or browser extensions. Browser extensions are one of the most recommended options-especially for computers-as you can use the VPN in one browser to simulate a connection for example from the United States and use another browser on the Internet without altering your geographic configuration.

See our dedicated article on the best VPN services, for our top 5 VPNs.

Install VPN on Computer

If you want to install a VPN on your computer, the first thing you'll have to do is choose the service of your preference, go to their website where you'll probably be asked to create an account with a username and password (even if it's a free service). Then download the software, which may be in the form of a program or an extension to fit your browser.

Log in with your username and password if you are asked to do so and then choose the country or city from which you want the server to connect and that's it! From then on, Netflix will consider that you are connected from your new fictitious location and you will have access to a whole new catalogue of content.

You should note that if you install an extension on Google Chrome, for example, the VPN will only work if you open Netflix with Chrome. However if you install VPN software on your computer, it will be applied to all your browsers.

Install VPN on Phone

To have a VPN on your cell phone, you'll need to start by downloading an application that offers this service. We've recommended a few of them in the article above. Once installed, open the app and select the geographic area from where you want to be connected. From then on, when you open the Netflix app it will think you're connecting from the selected country and you'll be able to access this larger catalog of content.

Install VPN on Smart TV or Game Console

If you access the Netflix platform through your Smart TV or gaming console, such as the Xbox or PS5, you also have the possibility of installing a VPN to expand the catalog albeit a little more complicated. Many of these devices do not support the internal installation of external software needed to activate a VPN, so you should firstly verify this compatibility and then access the App Store to search for available VPN applications.

There are intelligent televisions such as Android TV that allow this function and one of the VPN apps available for this specific example is the NordVPN, but there are some others.

If your device doesn't allow you to install a VPN program or app, you can share the wifi connection from another device that already has a VPN installed. This way when you connect to Netflix from your Smart TV or video console it will detect your location as the one selected in the VPN on your phone or computer.

Photo: Unsplash

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This document, titled « How to Install a VPN », is available under the Creative Commons license. Any copy, reuse, or modification of the content should be sufficiently credited to CCM (ccm.net).
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June 10, 2021

You mentioned there're free vpns. are they really free or they will just try to trick you into buying their serivices. I hope to get a true free vpn.

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