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How To Use a VPN (Regardless of Your Platform)

How To Use a VPN (Regardless of Your Platform)
Dec 27, 2021
If you use multiple platforms, using a VPN can be somewhat tricky. Much of this comes from how VPNs don’t always have complete support for your device. Also, new users might wonder what they can use their VPN for.
Berktug Mutlu
How To Use a VPN (Regardless of Your Platform) - FastVPN
If you use multiple platforms, using a VPN can be somewhat tricky. Much of this comes from how VPNs don’t always have complete support for your device. Also, new users might wonder what they can use their VPN for.
Below, we will teach you how to use your VPN across multiple platforms. This ensures you will remain secure regardless of what platform you are on.

What is a VPN?

A VPN, or virtual private network, is an encrypted server you can use to hide and encrypt your data. A good VPN hides you from ISPs (Internet Service Providers), government groups, and criminals.
Some VPNs work across multiple devices and browsers. Others only work for a few locations.

How to Use a VPN on Any Platform

Below, we will discuss five significant platforms where you can use your VPN. iOS (iPhones and tablets) will receive special attention in a later article.

Using a VPN on Android

Android is Google’s smartphone operating system. Unlike iPhone, Google has a strong habit of gathering your personal data. To find out how to address this, keep scrolling.
When using a VPN on any Android device, follow these steps:
  1. Search VPN using the search bar on the Google Play Store
  1. Choose one that looks appealing
  1. Check out their details under the “About” section
  1. Click the “install” button on their Google Play Page
  1. Click the “connect” button on their dashboard
  1. Select the target location you want to mask yourself with (or select optimal location)
The Fast VPN’s connection page looks like this:
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To ensure that your Android-based VPN won’t use, pay attention to the app permissions section:
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App permissions are on the very bottom of any Google store page. It will tell you about what information they gather.
Compare this information with their privacy policy to determine whether they are a security risk. If the company behind your desired VPN gathers your data and sells it, avoid the company at all costs.

Using a VPN on macOS

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Getting a VPN on macOS is similar to getting it across any app store. In this case, you’ll need to follow these instructions:
  1. Search for a VPN from the Mac App Store
  1. Download it
  1. Click the “Connect” button
  1. Choose your location
Thankfully, Apple isn’t quite the data hog, making them more privacy-centric. Much of this is proven through their statements on data gathering.
All data that some apps (like The Fast VPN) gather cannot connect to any user. Here is an example of what you should look for in any App’s about section:
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The crucial piece comes back to ensuring that data does not come back to you. But not all apps follow these guidelines.
Some apps work on different privacy policies. So be sure you double-check what data a VPN company gathers and how they use it.

Using a VPN on Windows

Much like Google, Microsoft is known for selling user data. Much of this comes from people using their Bing search engine, which you should avoid using.
When getting a VPN on Windows, you have your choice of one of two options:
All Windows 10 (and Windows 7) devices include the option to allow for a VPN for Windows without downloading software. However, this option is no longer available for Windows 11 devices.
To set up a VPN for Windows 10, follow these steps:
  1. Reach your Network & Internet settings
  1. Select “add VPN connection”
  1. Enter your name for the connection (it can be anything)
  1. Enter your address (gathered from your provider)
  1. Insert your username and password
  1. Save the information
  1. Click on the new connection and select “connect”
If you have a provider that does not support Windows 7 or 10, this will be your workaround. Virtual Private Network options are not available for older versions of Windows.
Your alternative, the browser-based approach, is only necessary if you use Microsoft’s Edge browser. The Add-ons Store will be your go-to spot for finding a working VPN extension.
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Microsoft does not personally vet many of the VPNs here. Also, some VPNs are simply proxy’s, meaning you will still have to supplement with a dedicated VPN connection.
Built-in VPNs for browsers also do not encrypt your connection with external apps. An independent VPN is almost always a better choice.

Setting up a VPN in Chrome OS (Chromebooks)

Chrome OS is the primary operating system of Chromebooks. It uses a modified version of the Android operating system, which relies on the same Google Play Store.
Here are the steps you need to follow:
  1. Download The Fast VPN for Android devices
  1. Click the “connect” button
  1. Select a location that meets your needs
Many apps you find under Android are still supported here. However, some Chromebooks rely on older versions of the Android software.
This means that you should double-check to see if the company has any known breaches. You can do this by typing in the company’s name alongside breach in any search engine. However, you might stick with a privacy search engine like DuckDuckGo:
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A browser-based solution is an alternative to setting up a VPN on Chrome devices. The Chrome Web Store is where you can find browser-based VPNs:
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Be careful to check if the “VPN” is an anonymous proxy server. These servers are great in a pinch but not as secure as VPNs due to a lack of full encryption.
When using Chrome OS, stick with Android-based VPNs that aren’t limited to the browser. This way, your connections are encrypted across all applications.

Using a VPN on Firefox

Firefox works across multiple operating systems. It is also one of the most secure browsers I found across this browser review.
Much like other browsers, Firefox has a dedicated web store:
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Clicking on any of the titles and choosing the “installation” button will enable you to download the extension. The upper-right-hand corner will show extensions on a list.
To have a high-quality VPN and Firefox work together, you will either need to ensure your VPN works with your operating system or limit all connections to your browser. This is an option if you are looking for a VPN for Linux, which does not support many VPNs.

Using a VPN on Router

When looking at VPNs for routers, few VPNs participate. Despite this, having a VPN on your router helps prevent accidental IP address leaks and protects your home network (or business) should someone attempt to gather information about you.
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Below is a list of potential routers you can install VPNs on:
  • TP-Link
  • Linksys
  • Cisco
  • Netgear
  • Asus
I will discuss this further in our list of the best routers for VPNs.
Some routers on this list are “pre-flashed,” meaning these already have the necessary software installed. Otherwise, you will need to use one of three open-source broadband software:
All three software types enable you to modify your router to install VPN software. I will discuss how you can do this in another article.

Different Ways To Use Your VPNs

Whether your goal is to access geo-restricted content or hide your data from prying eyes, there are many ways you can use a VPN. Regardless of protecting Wi-Fi or Ethernet, there are different ways you can use your VPN.

Using a VPN on Netflix

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Netflix is one of the world’s top streaming services. However, its habit of producing region-locked content is frustrating, requiring you to pay for multiple services to get what you want.
Despite incurring the wrath of violating terms of service, many online watchers do there. Here’s what you need to do to make sure it works:
  • Clear all browsing data (or app data) if you are doing this for the first time
  • Activate your VPN before you log in
  • Check for signs that you are in a new region (check for new content)
Netflix will likely catch your use of a VPN eventually. This happens because Netflix does have trackers that recognize decrypted data.
Because encryption comes through as nonsense, Netflix will prevent you from viewing its content. You can reset everything (deleting data, logging out, and logging in), but do so at your own risk.

Using a VPN on Kodi

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