How to connect to VPN on laptop [Complete Guide]

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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  • For business or personal purposes, Windows 10 comes with a built-in client to let users connect to their VPN server securely.
  • We will show you how to create a VPN profile and connect to it. Third-party VPN services come with their own software which is much more user friendly.
  • If you have any issues after connecting, visit our VPN Errors & Solutions page.
  • Check our VPN Guides Hub and get the latest tips to get the most out of your virtual private connection.
connect laptop to vpn

Do you need to connect your Windows 10 laptop to VPN? Having a good and reliable VPN is important, and in today’s article, we’ll show you how to connect your PC to a VPN network on Windows 10.

When you want to connect your Windows 10 laptop to a VPN , there are a few things you need to do to get to that point.

Whether it’s for work purposes, or your own personal use, a VPN or virtual private network, gives you a more secure connection to your network and the Internet, like if you’re working from a public place.

In order to successfully connect your Windows 10 laptop to VPN, you need to have a VPN profile on your laptop, either by creating one by yourself, or setting up an office or work account so as to get a VPN profile from your workplace.

How to connect to a VPN on Windows 10? Follow these steps

  1. Use a third-party VPN client
  2. Create a VPN profile on your laptop in Windows 10
  3. Connect your Windows 10 laptop to VPN

Use a third-party VPN client

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By far the easiest method is by using a third-party VPN client provided by the VPN service you have a subscription for. The next methods described will seem a bit complicated, in comparison to this one. Here you just download the app, login with your credential and that’s it.

As far as VPN services go, we highly recommend PIA also known as Private Internet Access, owned by Kape Technologies. It provides really good services, with thousands of servers around the world which basically means it can offer good Internet speeds wherever you are.

Here are the main benefits of joining PIA:

  • privacy-friendly: they have a really good no-logs policy
  • leak protection: they have their own DNS servers to prevent leaks
  • latest protocol support: they support OpenVPN but also the brand new WireGuard protocol
  • P2P allowed: they don’t block P2P connections
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Create a VPN profile on your laptop in Windows 10

Here are the steps you can take to create a VPN profile on your laptop, if you don’t have one:

  1. If the VPN profile you want to create is for your work account, check the VPN settings, or check for a VPN application within the intranet site in your workplace, or check with your company’s IT support person about it. However, if the VPN profile is for a VPN service you’re subscribed to for personal use, go to the Microsoft Store and check whether there’s an app for the VPN service, and then go to the VPN service website to see if the connection settings are listed therein.
  2. Once you have either the VPN for work or VPN for personal account confirmed, click Start button.
  3. Select Settings.
    settings VPN for laptop Windows 10
  4. Click Network & Internet.
    settings app VPN for laptop
  5. Select VPN.
  6. Select Add a VPN connection.
    add a vpn connection VPN laptop
  7. Under Add a VPN connection, go to VPN provider.
    vpn provider VPN for laptop Windows 10
  8. Choose Windows (built-in).
    vpn provider windows built-in vpn laptop
  9. Go to Connection name box and type any name, for example My Personal VPN for the VPN connection profile. This is the same name you will look for when you want to connect in the Server name, or address box.
    connection name VPN for laptop Windows 10
  10. Type the address for the VPN server.
    server name or address VPN for laptop Windows 10
  11. Under VPN type, choose the VPN connection type you want to create. This means you need to know which type your company or VPN service uses.
    VPN type VPN laptop
  12. Under Type of sign-in info, choose the type of sign-in info or credentials to use, such as username and password, certificate, one-time password, or smart card used to connect to a VPN for work. Type your username and password in the boxes.
    type of sign-in info VPN for laptop
  13. Select Save.

If you want to edit the VPN connection information, or additional settings specifications like proxy settings, choose the VPN connection then click Advanced options


Connect your Windows 10 laptop to VPN

Now that you’ve created a VPN profile for a work account or personal use, you are all set and ready to connect to a VPN.

Here are the steps you can take to connect to the VPN:

  1. Go to the right hand side of the taskbar.
  2. Select Network icon (with the Wi-Fi symbol).
  3. Select the VPN connection you want to use.
  4. Based on what happens when you select the VPN, either select Connect (if the connect button is displayed under the VPN connection) or, if VPN in Settings opens, select the VPN connection from there and then click Connect.
  5. Type your username and password (or other sign-in credentials) if prompted to.

Once you’re connected, you will see the VPN connection name displayed with the word Connected under it. If you want to see whether you’re connected, select Network icon, and then check if the VPN connection displays the word Connected under it.

Have you managed to connect to a VPN for laptop Windows 10 after following the steps described above? If so, share with us your experience.

We also compiled a guide on how to fix VPN connection issues, just in case you can’t connect to VPN.

If you’re not able, let us know what happens when you try these steps by leaving a comment in the section below.

FAQ: Learn more about connecting Windows to VPN

  • Does Windows 10 have a built in VPN?

Yes, Windows 10 comes with a built-in client where you can enter your configuration and connect to the VPN server. See more on how to create a VPN profile.

  • How to connect a laptop to a domain using VPN?

Use the built-in VPN client that comes with Windows to join laptop to domain via VPN connection. Follow the steps in this article to learn how to do that.

  • Is using VPN legal?

A VPN service by itself is legal, and using a VPN is also legal. Some services prohibit their users from accessing their services via VPN. For that you need to see the terms and conditions of each one.

  • How do I stop VPN detection?

If your VPN client allows port forwarding, you can use that option in order to change the default ports. It’s one method of evading detection.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2017 and has been since revamped and updated in May 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.