Two decades ago, most households relied only on their computers to connect to the Internet. The rapid advance of technology has changed that.
Modern people access the Internet from various devices like computers, video game consoles, mobile devices, TVs, routers, and other devices in the comfort of their homes. These so-called home networks connect to the World Wide Web with the help of a wired or wireless connection (often, both types are in play).
At the same time, more and more people use VPNs to mask their original IP addresses. They do this for various reasons, such as preventing the government and ISPs from spying, unblocking geo-restricted content, protecting their online activity from hackers, and more. Although you can activate a VPN on specific devices, there are situations when people need a VPN for their home networks. The following guide will help you learn how to set up a VPN to a home network.
How to set up your home network VPN server
We can’t say that setting up a home network VPN server is challenging, even for beginners. However, you should still follow some tips to speed up this process and ensure it will end successfully. Experts might suggest different approaches, but everyone must take a few steps. Here’s the step-by-step guide:
1. Ensure that your router has a VPN functionality and vice versa (that your VPN service provider supports router connections).
2. The next step is to log into your router. Typically, you need to enter the default IP address provided by the manufacturer in a web browser. Those who have never done something like this should probably use this moment to change the default password.
3. This is probably the most challenging step because you have to configure the router. In most cases, you will have to use the Advanced tab or Advanced setup tab to get an opportunity to alter the settings. Some of them have special VPN sections with on-screen instructions. Remember that some VPN providers and routers have specific instructions that you should follow to complete this step.
4. When the configuration process is over, you should open the browser on your computer, TV, mobile device, or any other device to check whether the connection works.
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Can I use VPN in my home?
The answer to this popular question is YES. Every individual can use VPN in their home. In fact, they can use such a service in more than one way. As we said before, if you plan to use a VPN on your home network, the easiest way is through your router. Since all devices are connected to the same network, you can turn the VPN on or off for all devices in the home network at once.
Of course, you can do this individually on any device you want. In any case, there are a few things you should consider. First, you must ensure that the VPN service provider you are interested in supports your router and that the router is capable of delivering VPN connections. Next, suppose you want to do this on each device individually (Smart TV, video game console, PC computer, laptop, smartphone, tablet, etc.). In that case, you should check whether the VPN provider has apps for them. With dedicated apps, controlling and using VPN connections is much more convenient.
Do I need a VPN at home?
Since most VPN service providers require paid subscriptions, asking if anyone needs a VPN at home is wise. It turns out that there’s more than one good reason why most people should be interested in paying for a VPN at home. To start with, the Internet service provider you have chosen can quickly check when you have been online and what you did on the Internet (sites you visited, movies watched, etc.). Even though ISPs claim they don’t do this, you never know. With a VPN, these problems can be resolved with a single click by connecting to any of the global servers.
Furthermore, it’s also possible for some of your housemates to check what you’ve been doing online. Of course, this is true only when you browse the Internet or do other stuff without VPN protection. Another reason why you should consider using a VPN at home is to avoid geo-restricted content. If you install a VPN on your home network, you can use your TV to access US Netflix regardless of your location, for example. You can also use your tablet to access otherwise unavailable websites in your country.
Can I use an office network with a home VPN?
This is important for both business owners and employees. As we are all aware, the number of remote workers is growing, and it’s not just the pandemic that fueled this trend. Apparently, there are many benefits of remote work for both parties. However, when employees use their personal computers or devices to access the office network, it puts the network at risk.
This won’t happen when there’s a VPN involved. With a home VPN, you get a secure tunnel through which you can securely transfer from your computer to the office network and vice versa. In theory, no one should be able to see what you are sending or receiving. This is important because some of these files can be very sensitive.
Can I get to a home network via VPN?
Yes. A good VPN solution allows users to access their home networks remotely. In other words, you can use your computer or any device as if you were there. Once again, you must ensure that you use a router that has VPN functionality and enable it. In addition, you should also allow remote access.
You will most likely have to install VPN apps created for specific devices to access them remotely. Also, you must know your home router’s IP address. So, it might take a few steps to set these things, but in the end, you can expect smooth and secure access to your home network via VPN, regardless of your current location.
Should I use VPN for IoT and Smart Home
The IoT (the Internet of Things) is an umbrella term covering all smart home devices. So, we’re talking about door locks, security cameras, refrigerators, washing machines, lighting, and other smart devices. What all of them have in common is that they can be controlled remotely with the help of your smartphone, tablet, or computer. Amazon Echo Plus, Google Home, and Nest are good examples of IoT devices.
Undoubtedly, these are all helpful things that will make living easier. However, they also make our households vulnerable. There are cases when hackers could enter homes thanks to these devices. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should stay away from them because a good VPN can help you.
A home network with a VPN will encrypt the internet connection making it (almost) impossible for hackers to take advantage of your smart home devices. As we said before, in addition to hackers, your Internet service provider and even employees in government agencies might spy on you.
Does VPN work on all home devices?
The answer to this question depends on a few things. First, you should check whether the VPN service provider you have chosen is available on the devices that you want to use. As we said, the top VPN providers have separate apps for mobile devices, TVs, computers, video game consoles, routers, etc. They also have applications for specific operating systems – Android, iOS, Mac, Linux, Windows, etc.
Second, if you want to use VPN through your router, you should ensure that the router has a function like this. Remember that you won’t have to purchase a new router with special features in most cases because most modern options have such a feature.
Conclusion – What can I do with a VPN on a home network?
Now that we have shown you how to use VPNs on home networks, it’s time to discuss why you should use them.
First, many people will find VPNs helpful in watching their favorite movies and series through popular streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, or Hulu. Recently, these platforms have become available in many countries across the globe. Still, the truth is that not everyone can watch the same content. Generally speaking, users from the United States have the best libraries, but sometimes there’s content exclusive to specific countries. With a VPN, you can change your IP address and enter (almost) any library you want through your smart TV, computer, or mobile device.
Next, thanks to a home network VPN, you can protect your devices connected through your router. Remember that when the VPN is active, it’s almost impossible for hackers to hack into these devices. The same goes for the ISPs who want to monitor your online activities.
Similar to video streaming, online gaming can be geo-restricted. It’s not uncommon for some games to block players from specific countries or regions. With a good VPN, this can become a thing of the past.
Don’t forget that these are some things you can do with VPN at home networks!