Windows 10: How to redirect all network traffic through VPN

Vlad Constantinescu
by Vlad Constantinescu
VPN Expert & Privacy Advocate
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  • Using a VPN is an excellent way of keeping your online privacy safe if you use it right since it can redirect all your network traffic through a private server, away from prying eyes.
  • Sometimes, your VPN connection might leak sensitive data about you. In this article, we're going to show you how to prevent these leaks from ever occurring on your PC.
  • Feel free to check out the best VPNs for Windows 10 PC to improve your online privacy and PC security.
  • To discover more, make sure you don't miss our wide collection of VPN guides.
How to route all traffic through VPN

Using a VPN is an excellent way of protecting your online privacy if it’s done right. It’s effective because the VPN service redirects all your network traffic through a private server, away from prying eyes.

Many casual users turn to VPNs to hide their IP address, spoof their location, or unblocking streaming services. But there are also businesses that use corporate VPNs like Cisco AnyConnect or SonicWall Global VPN Client to secure their networks.

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However, in some cases, certain bits of traffic might escape the private tunnel and expose you. We call these incidents leaks. In this article, we’re going to show you how to prevent these leaks from ever occurring on your PC.

Does VPN redirect all traffic?

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Yes, a VPN redirects all your network traffic to its secure tunnel, unless you use split tunneling or a browser with a built-in VPN or VPN extension.

By routing all your Internet traffic through VPN servers, you protect all applications with web access on your computer or mobile device.

How to route all traffic through VPN on Windows 10

1. Using a VPN client’s kill switch

  1. Launch your VPN client (we used PIA in this example since it’s the best in the business)Main window of PIA
  2. Open its configuration section
  3. Look for the kill switch option
  4. Make sure it’s set to Auto or AlwaysKillswitch settings PIA

It goes without saying that using a reliable VPN such as Private Internet Access can save you a lot of hassle. You just go to its configuration section as we’ve described in Method #1 and make sure to activate the kill switch feature.

This tool makes sure that all your network traffic goes straight through the private VPN tunnel. If the VPN connection fails, PIA automatically blocks all traffic, eliminating the risk of accidental leaks. It’s the best VPN with a built-in kill switch.

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2. Modifying a VPN connection manually on Windows 10

  1. Go to your Network Connections window
  2. Locate the VPN connection you normally use
  3. Right-click it and select Properties in the menuProperties of VPN Connection
  4. Select the Networking tab in the VPN‘s properties window
  5. Choose the Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)
  6. Click the Properties buttonProperties button IPv4
  7. In the newly-opened window, click the Advanced buttonAdvanced IPv4 settings
  8. Make sure that the Use default gateway on remote network option is checkedDefault gateway remote network setting
  9. Click OK
  10. Restart your PC

3. Using OpenVPN

  1. Locate the OpenVPN configuration file associated with your server (OVPN)
  2. Open it in a text editor
  3. Add the following line somewhere in the OVPN file: redirect-gateway def1
  4. Save the file and close it
  5. Restart your OpenVPN server

OpenVPN won’t work on Windows 10? Our comprehensive guide can help you fix this issue.

Make sure that your network traffic is routed entirely through VPN

All things considered, there are several ways to ensure that all of your network traffic stays inside your private VPN tunnel. Depending on your setup, you can tackle the issue in various ways.

However, your safest bet would be picking a reliable VPN service and let it do all the work. Kill switches are some of the best tools you can use to ensure that all your network traffic is encrypted before getting out in the open.

As a general rule, you should avoid trusting free VPNs like Turbo VPN with your sensitive data. While they’re a great starting point to get used to VPN technology and see how it changes your Internet experience, a premium VPN is worth it in the long haul.

FAQ: Learn more about redirecting network traffic through VPN

  • What is an Internet kill switch?

An Internet kill switch is a useful feature offered by certain VPN providers such as PIA. It makes sure that your PC can connect to the Internet only through the private VPN server. If the VPN connection fails, you won’t be able to access the Internet.

  • How to turn on the Internet kill switch on PIA?

After purchasing PIA, launch the desktop client for Windows 10. Click the button and select Settings from the menu. Go to the Privacy section and make sure that the VPN Killswitch feature is set to Auto or Always.

  • What are the best VPNs for Windows 10?

We recommend you PIA, as it is an excellent VPN service and fared great in all of our tests, security– and speed-wise. We’ve also handpicked the best VPNs for Windows 10.