(Pocket-lint) - If you are looking to set up a virtual private network (VPN) on your PC or laptop computer and don't quite know how, you've come to the right place. Here, we take a look at the steps required to do just that.
Whichever VPN service you choose to use, all of them usually provide a desktop or mobile client that you can download to your device to that enables a simple set up and configuration.
In most cases, it's just a case of downloading the client software, installing and then launching the program. Whether you choose a paid-for or free service, you'll need to create an account with the VPN provider and then use these details to log into the service.
Desktop clients are very easy to install and the installation process will provide you with a username and password.
As with most other VPNs there are also add-ons for browsers (Chrome, Firefox and Opera), along with mobile phone software for iOS, Windows and Android operating systems.
Logging in to the VPN is simple: just use the login and password that you set up when you signed up for the service.
Most VPN services offer a simple control panel that allows you to turn the VPN on or off as needed, and allows you to change the location of the VPN server that you connect to. Turning it on or off is as simple as metaphorically "flicking the switch".
Clicking on the server location opens up a drop-down list of all of the server locations available. Simply choose the one that meets your needs.
What about free VPNs?
Using the free option that many VPN providers offer enables you to "try before you buy" to make sure that the offering suits your needs.
Generally, the free options are limited in one way of another, either by connection speed or data allowance. Many also only offer a limited number of the available locations that their servers are located in.
However, there should be enough functionality available for you to decide if a given VPN is right for your needs.
Give one a try and you're bound to find something that suits your internet privacy needs. Check out our guide to the best VPNs around.