Windows VPN Setup: How to VPN from Home in Windows

Learn how to connect to your work or private VPN on Windows.
Ash Ash (362)
6 minutes

Using a VPN can make working from home a breeze. Connecting to a VPN in Windows is simple enough; all you need is a VPN to connect to. This is especially helpful if you're trying to work remotely on your work or personal computer. This guide covers the VPN creation process for Windows machines.

What is a VPN?

VPN stands for virtual private network. You can log in to a VPN from anywhere with an internet connection, but your machine will register as having a local connection to the VPN. It's common for businesses to have a company VPN that can be accessed remotely. By logging into the VPN from home, your machine will behave as though it's connected to the company network. Many people also use a VPN to stream video from another country.

Using a password manager like 1Password or NordPass will add an extra layer of security when working remotely. However, a password isn't required to create a VPN.

Which VPN provider should I choose?

While Windows does have a built-in SSTP VPN, we aren't completely convinced about its security. At Howchoo, we use NordVPN. We feel that it's the best in terms of speed, so it doesn't slow down our work too much. They also have a free option if you're looking for something on the cheap. Check out our full review of NordVPN to see why we love it.

And if you're using something like NordVPN, then it's even easier to connect. All you need to do is click connect in the NordVPN app.

Note: This guide gives instructions for Windows 10 but should work for other versions of Windows too. If you're looking to set up a VPN on a Mac, we have a separate guide on that.

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If you want to connect to a VPN, you'll need access to the internet. Connect your machine to the internet. You can use a private or public network, but you'll put yourself at greater risk by using public internet. If security is a concern, consider using an ethernet cable instead of Wi-Fi.

Add VPN Profile Windows 10

In order to connect to a VPN on Windows 10, you'll need to create a profile for it. This is essentially a file that contains the name, address, and authentication information for the network you want to connect to. You can edit or remove the profile any time after it's created.

  1. Open the VPN settings under Start > Settings > Network & Internet > VPN.
  2. Select Add a VPN Connection.
  3. Fill out the information for the VPN you want to connect to. You can choose a name, enter the VPN address, and adjust authentication credentials. You don't have to, but you can choose to enter your username and password on this screen.
  4. Click Save.
Connect to VPN Windows 10

Connecting to your VPN profile is easy. The icon we need is the Network icon in the taskbar next to the clock. It looks like a computer monitor. If you don't see it, use the arrow to show hidden icons.

  1. Click on the Network icon by the system clock.
  2. Select the VPN you want to connect to.
  3. Choose Connect. If you don't see the option to connect, select the VPN profile one more time.

Some VPNs require you to log in before a connection can be made. If prompted, enter the username and password to connect. If you're using a digital certificate, plug your smart card into the reader to authenticate.

Check to make sure it's active

You'll want to periodically check that your VPN is active and secure, particularly if multiple Windows users are using the VPN.

Edit VPN Windows 10

If something you entered wasn't quite right, don't worry! You can make changes at any time to VPN profiles.

  1. Open the VPN settings under Start > Settings > Network & Internet > VPN.
  2. Select VPN profile you want to edit.
  3. Click Advanced Options.
  4. Go to Edit.
  5. Add the changes you want to make and click Save.

Working remotely can comprise security for the VPN you're connecting to. It's important to be aware of and follow any requirements from the VPN administrator.

Here are a few general tips to maintain good security practices while working on a VPN.

  1. Use a private network. Avoid using public Wi-Fi to connect to sensitive VPNs.
  2. Use an ethernet cable. Avoid using Wi-Fi if using a cable is an option. Wireless connections are easier to intercept.
  3. Do not save your VPN login credentials. Enter your authentication details every time you log in.
  4. Log out of the VPN when it's not in use.

Working from home can be easy to set up, and it doesn't take much to maintain a good level of security.

Congratulations! You're ready to work remotely and connect to your work VPN. You may want to check out our guide on how to reset your network settings if you run into trouble.

We do it everyday! We'll show you how!
Michael Michael (175)

When you're doing anything over the internet or saving data to the Cloud while on your Mac, your data and internet usage are being tracked.