You can prevent your ISP from tracking your online actions with a VPN, conceal your public IP address, and even simulate browsing from a different location. Normally, a VPN client application would be used to accomplish all of this, but you might wish to set up Windows 11 to connect directly to a VPN. We explain how to do it and why you shouldn’t normally do it.

Simply use a VPN app, PSA Commercial VPNs, as opposed to VPNs offered and managed by corporate IT, are the focus of this article. Manual configuration makes perfect sense if you’re utilizing a business VPN, but it will likely be done by your organization. Before attempting to do anything yourself, make sure to speak with your IT team.

Installing the client program offered by the VPN provider of your choosing is the simplest way to use a commercial VPN in Windows 11 when it comes to client applications. And in this instance, the simplest choice is the best choice.

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The graphical user interface of a VPN client app is considerably easier to use than any alternative DIY solution. Additionally, the app will be updated with all the setup data required to connect to any VPN server. You can only connect to servers whose configuration information you have, as you’ll see below, if you use manual configuration, which requires you to maintain those updated manually. That equates to thousands of servers for some businesses. You want the app to handle everything, I assure you.

The most crucial benefit of VPN apps is that they get you access to all the services that VPN providers include in their offerings. You can route specific app traffic into or out of the VPN connection using VPN client apps, for example. For commercial VPNs, that isn’t really feasible with a manual configuration, but it is for corporate VPNs.

Therefore, before continuing, think about just installing the VPN client program of your choosing. The official VPN client will always be preferable and simpler, unless you have a strong reason not to.

HOW TO BEGIN A MANUAL VPN CONFIGURATION IN WINDOWS 11 If you’ve made it this far in the article, you either have a convoluted technical justification for wanting to manually establish a VPN or you have a lot of arrogance. In either case, the first step is to choose the VPN servers you want to use and the type of VPN connection you want to establish.

The answer to the first query revolves with VPN protocol. The encryption used to establish a connection between your device and the VPN server is made possible by the technology described above. There are a few common choices:


PPTP and L2TP are no longer supported by the majority of VPN providers since they are outdated and insecure. These procedures probably shouldn’t be used unless absolutely necessary.

Most devices come with compatibility for the IKEv2 protocol, which is a solid option for setting up a secure VPN connection. However, in order to use it, you must install unique certificates on your device in order to authorize the connection. This requires more work and will undoubtedly lead you to fewer often utilized parts of Windows.

Because both OpenVPN and WireGuard are open-source VPN protocols, all potential flaws have been thoroughly analyzed. Both of these protocols require the official client software from their respective authors in order to be used with Windows 11. You might as well just install the official VPN program if you’re going to do that.

Next, choose the VPN servers to which you want to connect. Since your data won’t have to travel as far, choosing servers close to you will probably result in faster speeds. Choose a server that is farther away if you want to tunnel around local restrictions or make it appear as though you are in a different country.

Once you’ve figured it out, visit the help section of your VPN and search around for the official instructions on how to manually configure a VPN. Every service is a little bit different and not every type of manual configuration is supported. Although the instructions I used for them should apply to any VPN service, it’s ideal to have the official ones. I utilized the information from Proton VPN and Surfshark VPN.

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– VPN Operation CONFIGURATION OF WIREGUARD IN WINDOWS 11 Fast becoming as the industry standard for VPNs is WireGuard. It is brand-new, employs robust cryptography, and guarantees faster speed than alternative protocols. The majority of devices don’t support WireGuard by default, and you have to obtain particular client software for Windows.

The official instructions for configuring WireGuard can be found on the website of your VPN, so do that first. I’ll be utilizing Proton VPN for the example that follows. The location of the relevant information is slightly different for each service, so have the official paperwork close at hand.

I started by logging in to the VPN service’s portal and going to the page that included the WireGuard configuration details. This is a single form for Proton VPN (Opens in a new window) that creates a configuration file based on the inputted parameters. To create the files, Surfshark VPN (Opens in a new window) follows a step-by-step procedure somewhat akin to a software wizard.

downloaded the client app (Opens in a new window) and the official WireGuard website. It installed in a short while.

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0 (Credit: PCMag) I chose it and went to the WireGuard configuration file I had previously downloaded.

After clicking the Activate button, my VPN connection was established. I verified that my public IP address had changed by comparing my IP address while the VPN was active and when it wasn’t.

Proton VPN (Opens in a new window) for the instructions below, other VPNs have settings that are comparable. Find the support materials for your preferred VPN so you are aware of where to find everything needed to use OpenVPN.

I began by signing in to the Proton VPN web portal and going to the area where the OpenVPN and IKEv2 login and password are stored. I saved this knowledge for later.

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3 (Credit: PCMag) I downloaded the configuration file after choosing the VPN servers I wanted to use.

Be aware that certain VPNs’ configuration files grant access to various cutting-edge features, including Proton VPN’s. For example, Proton VPN offers guidance on how to use DNS filtering and multi-hop connections. If possible, install the official client from your VPN instead of installing the documentation, which is not recommended.

The official client application (Opens in a new window) was then downloaded from the OpenVPN website. In a short time, it was installed.

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5 (Credit: PCMag) I typed my saved username and password when asked to do so.

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7 (Credit: PCMag) The OpenVPN app can store many VPN configurations, just like WireGuard. Explore it thoroughly.

CONFIGURATION OF IKEV2 IN WINDOWS 11 You won’t need to install any client software because Windows by default supports IKEv2, and you can manage the VPN connection right from the taskbar. To connect successfully, you’ll most likely need to install certificates. These must be installed precisely in order for them to function. IKEv2 is acceptable to utilize, however WireGuard and OpenVPN are definitely preferable options. The best option, though? installing the default program that comes with your VPN.

I used Proton VPN to create these instructions. To discover the correct configuration details and certifications, you should search for the official documentation from your preferred VPN.

One thing to keep in mind is that you should only use certificates that you obtain from official documentation from a VPN you trust because this entails installing Trusted Root Certificates. This is yet another strong argument against using this specific technique, but since you’ve read this far, I suppose I can’t stop you.

I had to first acquire the data needed to establish the VPN connection. Every VPN server I intended to use needed to have its exact server name provided to me. Confusingly, Proton VPN pointed me to a page for OpenVPN configuration, but I quickly remembered the server name. I put this away for later.

I also required a login and password for IKEv2. The login and password I use to access the VPN service are different from this. You can find directions in the manual for your VPN. Keep in mind that if you ever have any concerns that the previous credentials have been hacked, you should be able to reset them to new ones. When I discovered this data, I put it aside.

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9 (Credit: PCMag) According to the literature I followed, I had to choose the Place All Certificates in the Following Store option after choosing the option to install on a local machine. I was instructed to choose the Trusted Root Certificate Authorities folder, click Next, and then click Finish from this point on.

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1 (Credit: PCMag) Network Settings now included a new option that displayed the name I had given the VPN connection. After clicking Connect, the VPN was launched. Success! I checked to see if my public IP address had altered.

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