VPN for Dummies

Win 8.1 laptop
I am looking into setting up a VPN for use in my travels.

I've seen a number of tutorials for setting up a VPN in 8.1 but I have a few questions up front..

Who are reliable VPN providers? [my google was relatively unhelpful]
What do they generally charge?
What are the limitations to a VPN connection?
Can I enable/disable my VPN without causing problems?
LVL 10
Al JeeAsked:
Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Tj aCommented:
I recently searched for a VPN and did a bit of research and this was probably the most useful article for me,


and this article if you prefer free VPNs,


Some VPNs log you out after a specific number of hours, others are much slower than normal, others just don't have a lot of IP addresses to choose from. Hopefully these articles answer your questions.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Al JeeAuthor Commented:
Thanks. I will look into the pcmag link.

I'm always leery of those websites with names like "best[anything].com.
I'm suspicious of their impartiality, but I'll have a glance.
Tj aCommented:
Yes me too, hence the pcmag review. They seem a bit more credible.
Defend Against the Q2 Top Security Threats

Were you aware that overall malware worldwide was down a surprising 42% from Q1'18? Every quarter, the WatchGuard Threat Lab releases an Internet Security Report that analyzes the top threat trends impacting companies worldwide. Learn more by viewing our on-demand webinar today!

Al JeeAuthor Commented:
Dan CraciunIT ConsultantCommented:
If you only want to use VPN when you're away from home, then why pay someone else for it?

Most $100+ routers have a VPN server included. You just need to check "Enable" and setup a user and password.

After that, you can use your home's internet connection from anywhere, and the transfer between your laptop and your home router will be encrypted.

PS: routers usually have some form of ppptp server, which was broken. But it's still "good enough" for the average user.

Al JeeAuthor Commented:
I'll have to see if my Verizon router will let me pull that off.
I'd rather use OpenVPN but this might be fun to play with.
Dan CraciunIT ConsultantCommented:
If you have an old unused machine (or can borrow one of Dave Baldwin's) you can turn that into a VPN server.

OpenVPN is not directly supported by Windows, but you can use L2TP/IPSEC if you want to use Windows' built-in VPN client and better encryption.

I've setup a VPN server with StrongSwan for IPSEC and xl2tpd for L2TP.
Fairly straightforward and fun to debug when things go south :)
Al JeeAuthor Commented:
A bit of points for Dan's helpful comments and the accept to Takunda Jora for the link that gave me what I needed.
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.