How to Use ProtonVPN: A Step-by-Step Guide

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VPN used to be one of those dodgy words whispered around dark corners of the web. Now, everyone uses it to protect their web traffic.

If you’re planning on dipping your toe into the world of virtual private networks, you might have already heard of ProtonVPN – a tried and true software with bells and whistles to attract professional users. Take a look at our guide on how to use ProtonVPN and protect yourself from being snooped on by your internet service provider. We’re pretty sure you’re going to love it.

About ProtonVPN

Conceived in 2014 in Switzerland as a shield for protecting independent journalists and activists, ProtonVPN’s mission since has been providing online privacy and security to its users.

Besides promoting civil liberties online, it brings forth top-notch features for streaming Netflix or downloading games from torrent websites. The company values transparency, honesty, and security, but its top priority is the community – it provides full support to its customers, no matter the tier they choose.

Before we dive into the detailed instructions on how to use ProtonVPN for all devices, let’s admit that the name of the game is connection speeds. The provider promises high speeds of up to 10 Gbps. With more than 1237 servers in 55 countries worldwide, using ProtonVPN is a breeze.

protonvpn free version

ProtonVPN Security Features

The software is filled to the brim with security features that promise a safe and sound experience. Wherever you are, your web browsing history will be protected, so you don’t even have to ask yourself: ‘Is ProtonVPN safe?’

  • Secure Core – Multihop servers in secure facilities based in countries with strong privacy laws act as a shield barrier to protect your ProtonVPN. How to use and maintain a private connection if the server you choose gets corrupted? SecureCore knows the answer.
  • NetShield – This feature blocks ads and protects you from malware. 
  • Strong encryption – The technologies the company uses for encrypting data are: AES-256, 4096-bit RSA, and HMAC with SHA384.
  • Strong protocols – ProtonVPN uses two tunneling protocols widely considered the best ones: OpenVPN and KEv2/IPSec.
  • No-log policy – Even those who use the ProtonVPN free tier can rest assured that the company is not obligated under Swiss law to save any user connection logs. 

Using ProtonVPN on Different Operating Systems

How to use ProtonVPN on Windows?

ProtonVPN has a standalone Windows app, and installing it is a piece of cake. Simply download the installation file of this VPN for Windows 10 or any version you might be using and let the automatic process do the rest. You might be required to install .NET Framework to help you along the way. Unfortunately, no browser extensions are available yet.

Another thing you have to complete upon kickoff is creating an account. First, choose a subscription plan among the three: Basic ($4 per month), Plus ($8 per month), or Visionary ($24 per month). There’s also a highly functional ProtonVPN free trial and tier that comes with unlimited data but without access to Netflix or torrenting.

Next up in our VPN guide is providing account details. The only information you’ll ever be asked for is your email, according to the no-log policy. Other than that, you’ll need to choose a username and password, and you’re good to go.


Now, how to set up a VPN? Once you’ve created your account and installed the Windows 10 VPN app, you’ll be greeted with a sleek and intuitive interface. The world map will open, and you’ll be free to zoom in and pin a preferred location among 55 countries. If you find the map confusing, you have the option of filtering all the server locations listed.

You might wonder how to use ProtonVPN while making use of OpenVPN clients. It shouldn’t be a problem: simply find the OpenVPN configuration files while installing the software, tick “choose depending on your device/operating system,” and connect to our secure VPN servers using a third-party client.

The best asset is the feedback you get along the way; the client sends you the info on your new IP address, connection duration, download and upload speeds, and server load. The last one can come in handy – if your internet slows down, you can simply check the server load and, if it’s too high, switch to a different server.

How to Use ProtonVPN on Android and iOS?

The smartphone apps for ProtonVPN are similar in design and functions to the web client. Similar interfaces across all platforms are a given as that’s the most straightforward solution for all users, including non-tech-savvy ones.

This VPN for Android and iOS devices offers the same functionalities and features as the web platform: you’ll get the map, the list of servers, and the Quick Connect button that picks the best server for you. You’ll also be able to use Open VPN and download data using the safest protocol on the market, or you can pick the faster and more stable IKEv2; it’s up to you.


If you are worried about how to use more than one device, ProtonVPN allows connecting up to five of them. Rest assured, you’ll be able to enjoy complete privacy regardless of whether you are browsing the internet from your PC, tablet, or mobile phone.

We also love the possibility to customize both the ProtonVPN free and paid subscription tiers according to the platform and protocol you want to use. You just need to create a connection profile in the Profiles tab and adjust the connection settings to your preference.


How to Use ProtonVPN on Linux and macOS?

ProtonVPN supports other operating systems, too. Again, make sure to install the additional OpenVPN package. OpenVPN download is not necessary for Mac users as it comes with the app.

The installation process on your Linux OS can be tricky, but we’re sure you’ll get it right. There are two options for the setup of the VPN: by adding a new connection in the system menu or by using the terminal (CLI), provided you have administrator privileges.

When it comes to VPN Mac configuration, it’s a no-brainer. All you have to do is download the app, install it with a couple of clicks, fill in your account details, and you’re good to go. Some Mac users may ask how to use ProtonVPN, and the basic tip is to make sure to allow the software to add VPN configurations to your Mac settings. It will enable ProtonVPN to redirect your traffic through a safe tunnel. Finally, don’t forget to type in your Mac password and click the Always Allow button to establish the connection.

Welcome to the safe bubble; enjoy your ride.

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