How to use a VPN? Simple guide for beginners, how a VPN works?

How does a VPN work

If you use a reliable and serious VPN, your IP address and your personal information will not be tracked down. This is made possible thanks to the implementation of military grade encryption (AES-256 bits), a policy of non-management of logs, as well as the use of secure protocols. That said, be aware that some sites are able to detect that you use a VPN. This is for example the case of streaming services that do not want such an application to be used on their platform.

How to use a VPN ? Simple guide for beginners

VPNs literally explode in 2023 and their growth is not ready to stop. If, as always more Internet users, you also plan to pass the course, we will help you understand how to use a VPN. We must still emphasize that one of the reasons for which they are very successful is their ease of use. Even if you are a beginner with very little computer knowledge, you will have no trouble following this very simple guide. Let’s go !

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How to use a VPN ? Key steps

We will decompose this guide in 5 very short subparts that will help you understand how to use a VPN. In this case, we will see the download and installation, the identification, the choice of the server, the settings and the verification of the operation. In 3 minutes, you will know how to use a VPN server.

Download and install it

The first step in this guide is to explain to you how to download and install your VPN. We are not going to dwell on this point for too long because we will dedicate a full article that explains how to install a VPN on all devices (Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, PlayStation, SmartTV, router, …).

In all honesty, download and installation could not be simpler. If you are on a computer, go to the supplier’s website and download the application corresponding to your device. Then simply follow the guide. The process is even simpler if you are on mobile or tablet. In such a case, simply go to the Apple Store or the Google Play Store and download your VPN like any other application.

We do not specify here that you must, beforehand, subscribe to an offer from a VPN supplier. We recommend that you look in our ranking of the 5 best VPNs here.


Your VPN is now installed on your device. But then how to start using it ?

It is simply necessary to identify with your connection identifiers entered when subscribing to the offer. In most cases, you will therefore have to put your identifier/email address as well as your password. Other suppliers, such as ExpressVPN, offer 2 options. The one we have just seen and the possibility of entering an identification code. You can find it in the validation email of your account or directly by connecting to your customer area from their account.

In rare exceptional cases, you will not have to identify yourself to start using your VPN. It’s the case Free VPN, Windscriber, which lets you use its application (within 2GB limit) without identifying yourself.

Choose a server to connect

You are now connected to your account with the application open to your device. But how to start using your VPN server ? It is very simple.

Regardless of the supplier you use (in the example below, ExpressVPN), you will have a list of countries, and servers, in which you will have to choose a server. By connecting to this server, you will turn your data and automatically change IP address. Everything is done without you realizing it and takes 3 to 5s at most.

Once your server are select, press the button allowing you to connect, and that’s it, you are protected !

Expressvpn macOS application

Make settings (or not)

By opting for a premium and quality VPN, you will normally have all the essential settings for your safety which are activated. The most important of them being the Kill Switch. The latter must imperatively be activated because it is he who will cut the internet connection in the event of a problem.

In terms of setting encryption protocols, we advise you to leave the default settings. In the best VPNs, there is an “automatic” function that allows you to find the protocol best suited to your network. Do not start touching these settings only when you start to know how to use a VPN. For beginners, it is really useless. The manual change of protocol can be useful, for example, when you are on certain specific networks, in very censored countries, such as China, for example.

To put it simply: you therefore have no adjustment to make. Everything is turnkey, install your virtual private network, then start using it !

Check that it works properly

Now that your VPN is activated, all you have to do is make sure it works properly. For this, there are lots of very useful sites that exist, or you can use the verification tool offered by ExpressVPN at this address: https: //

Make sure the IP appears is very different from the one you had before connecting to VPN. To do this, simply do the test/after test and look if it changes well. Then make sure there are no DNS or webrtc leaks. If there is none of this, you are safe and your VPN protects you effectively.

You see on the screenshot below that the IP would place us in the United States (while we are in Paris). Everything therefore worked well !

IP test

What are the simplest VPNs to use ?

And there you now know how to use a VPN ! We will now present you very quickly some of the easiest to use VPNs in order to reassure the most reluctant of you.


Sober and efficient, ExpressVPN is the VPN which, in our view, offers the greatest ease of use. This goes from the moment you subscribe to its offer until the connection to a server. The application may not be the most beautiful on the market, but it is the lightest for use. Also, as you may have read in our opinion on ExpressVPN, the VPN supplier is the best in terms of speed and safety.

If it is not the cheapest, it is because you pay for performance well above competitors. Right now, you will be able to take advantage of a 49% reduction on its 1 year subscription. It is absolutely without risk thanks to the satisfied or reimbursed period of 30 days.


Thanks to its very beautiful applications for Mac, Android, iOS and Windows, perfectly translated into French, Cyberghost is also a very simple VPN. If you are afraid of not understanding how to use a VPN, so it’s a very good choice. It is not by for nothing that he is one of the Best VPN for Windows PC in 2023.

Better yet, it offers customer support in French, reachable 7 days a week. If you have any questions, go to its official website and click on the cat online. Someone will then answer you questions under the barely second questions.

Like ExpressVPN, it offers a satisfied or reimbursed period. Here it is 45 days. In the event that you will not be able to use your virtual private network, you can therefore always be reimbursed.


Finally, the third very simple to use application that we can advise you is NordVPN.

This world famous supplier offers very good solutions for all your devices and all the steps, from installation, to use, are simple as hello. No need to be an expert to use it, everything is very clear. The only small weakness that we can blame him for is the non-transduction of its applications in French. Despite this, we find it very pleasant to use, but that could be problematic for people who are not talking about English.

If you hesitate, know that you can test NordVPN without risk thanks to its 30 days satisfied or reimbursed. To subscribe, it’s here:

Most frequent questions

We will now cover some of the most frequent questions that are regularly asked about the use of VPNs in specific cases.

How to use a VPN with Utorrent ?

Many Internet users are looking for a VPN for Utorrent and downloads. Again, nothing special to use a VPN with Utorrent. Just activate it before opening your Bittorrent client and make sure that the Kill Switch is activated. Be careful to choose a VPN that accepts the download of P2P torrents.

How to use a VPN on smartphone or tablet ?

Adin to use a VPN on smartphone or tablet, you must go to the Apple Store or the Google Play Store to download the application of your supplier. Identify yourself, connect to a server, and that’s it, you are protected !

Can we follow you if you use a VPN ?

If you use a reliable and serious VPN, your IP address and your personal information will not be tracked down. This is made possible thanks to the implementation of military grade encryption (AES-256 bits), a policy of non-management of logs, as well as the use of secure protocols. That said, be aware that some sites are able to detect that you use a VPN. This is for example the case of streaming services that do not want such an application to be used on their platform.

What are the drawbacks linked to the use of a VPN ?

The biggest drawback is that regardless of the VPN you will use (this is even for the best), the speed of your Internet connection will decrease. For what ? Simply due to the encryption used by all suppliers.

Now by opting for one of the recommended services in our article, you will not have to undergo large speed drops. The other drawback is that some sites will be able to detect that you use a VPN and may prohibit you access. Again, this constraint can be almost canceled by opting for a VPN like the one offered by ExpressVPN, Cyberghost or NordVPN.

How does a VPN work ?

Today it has become easy for each internet user to use a VPN. If it is easy to understand what is a VPN, Not everyone knows how it works. We will light you today on this point.

That allows a VPN ?

First of all, before you can explain the functioning of a VPN, it is important to take stock of its usefulness. These services allow you in fact many things and we will list everything that is offered to you by virtual private networks.

When you browse the internet, you are identifiable by your IP address. Thanks to the latter, it is possible to go back to you. It is sort of your physical address a bit like the address of your home. Thanks to a VPN: you can then hide this address.

By browsing the Internet, the websites you use can then know your IP address easily. They obtain a more or less exact location easily in the process. The authorities can also in the event of a problem, ask your internet access provider which individual hides behind an IP address.

Your IP address to identify yourself, you understand that no one is really anonymous on the internet. Thanks to a VPN you can hide your IP address. Thus, services and websites can therefore no longer know from which territory you connect and even who you really are. You then become anonymous.

That’s not all, a VPN crypt all the data circulating between you and the web server. As a result, no one can intercept the information circulating there and recovering it for malicious purposes. This is the risk on certain public WiFi networks in particular. Secure its connection through these services is therefore possible.

The bypass of geographic blockages is also a possible use of VPNs. On Netflix, it is impossible to access foreign catalogs from France. However, the latter sometimes have many more films and series that are not available in France.

Thanks to a VPN, it is possible to connect to a server located in the United States for example and then take advantage of the American catalog. Netflix will indeed believe that you connect from the other side of the Atlantic.

A VPN therefore has many interests and it can correspond to various uses. To better understand its functioning, it is essential to have a vision of all the possibilities that this can offer.

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