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Secure VPN For Windows Xp, Vista, And Win 7
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Secure VPN for Windows Xp, Vista, And Win 7

Windows is still the most popular operating system in the world, regardless of Apple's recent success with Mac OS/X. It's no secret that Windows OS are more susceptible to hacking and malware though, so using a secure VPN for windows can protect you while connect to shared networks. Most people don't realize that their true identity is exposed while sharing internet connections, and many types of identity theft go unnoticed for months or years.

What is a VPN?

VPNs are a private network of servers used to virtually relocate your computer to another location. It could be across town to your home office or across the world in another country. VPNs provide a secure and private way for remote users to access local servers. Sometimes this is useful for business, but for our purposes, it's for privacy and security.

VPNs use data encryption and VPN tunneling protocols to not only code your data in such a way that hackers can't read it, but also transport the data safely so it can't be intercepted. I read recently that although some advanced forms of hacking can actually intercept the data of VPNs, there has never been a documented case of being able to decrypt it. Usually you won't have to worry about Neo-wannabes trying to hack into your system (unless you're Bill Gates), so a standard VPN will keep you more than protected.

How to use a VPN

So to get set up with a secure VPN on your Windows OS, you need to sign up for a VPN service. The VPN service will provide you with their version of the VPN software that will allow you to access their VPN servers. You need to decide where you want your IP to be from (country, city) because the location of the VPN server will change your IP. If the server is in the US, you get a US IP. If the server is in Japan, you get a Japanese IP. Your IP will affect the language settings of some sites, and IPs from some countries may cause some of your more secure accounts to get red flagged because an IP from across the globe is accessing your account. For security, choosing a local IP is recommended.

PPTP is a common choice for VPN users because it's fast and effective for IP changing needs. However, for security, OpenVPN or SSTP is recommended. I usually say that OpenVPN is easier to remember and just as secure as SSTP (since they both use SSL encryption). Plus, more services offer it, and it's compatible with XP, Vista, and Win 7. SSTP on the other hand is not as widely available and only works with Vista and Win 7. It however a Microsoft product and will be the new standard for future Windows VPNs. Both are good choices. Some VPN services may give you access to both, while other require to choose between them.

Once installed and you've signed into a server, all data from all online activity will be encrypted. You will have been virtually transported to another location. Other users monitoring your network will no longer see you on the shared network, and your data will be locked from anyone overstepping their boundaries!

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