In 2022, most people are already familiar with the concept of virtual private networks (VPN) and their increasing importance in maintaining your online privacy and anonymity. But if you think that by installing a VPN on your main workstation, you’ve got yourself covered ― think again.
In this article, find out:
- Why you need to have a VPN on all your devices
- How to connect all of your devices to one VPN
- How to install VPN on different devices and operating systems
- What to do if you have too many devices to add to the VPN
Find What You’re Looking For
What Does a VPN Do?
A VPN lets users connect to the internet from a secure, encrypted server that hides their internet protocol (IP) address and prevents snoopers and hackers from finding information about their browsing habits, the websites they visit, and the actions they take online. It also helps to unblock georestricted content and access video streaming sites.
Accessing the world wide web through a VPN is a simple act you can do to keep your browsing anonymous, but to fully hide your identity online, you need to be using a VPN across all your devices, at all times.
Why Do You Need To Have a VPN on All of Your Devices?
Let’s say your business has 10 workstations, all connected to the office network. You’re a responsible manager, so you made sure they all have a VPN installed. You’ve even set a kill switch so that, on the rare occasion that the VPN times out, no one in the office would be able to go online without reconnecting the VPN.
That’s all great, but if your employees are using their personal phones or laptops on the office network, other devices may still be visible to outsiders. The last thing you want is for team members to have to switch the VPN on and off because they can only use it on one device at a time.
Perhaps you’ve gone as far as installing a VPN on your router, ensuring that everyone on the office network is routed automatically through a secure, encrypted server. But if team members are also using public Wi-Fi to access work files or send work emails, and they don’t have a VPN on those devices, they might still be putting your business data at risk.
To give you an example, a small online clothing brand recently had its Instagram account hacked. Their social media manager, a digital nomad, was using her mobile phone on public Wi-Fi when she suddenly got locked out of the account. The password had changed and a new company bio was composed to contain a ransom demand in return to freeing up the account.
This kind of attack can easily be done by another user on the network and it’s likely that the attacker was sitting in the same room with her while doing it. This is just one of many examples where using a VPN could have prevented a great deal of trouble.
Even an employee’s home network is potentially vulnerable if someone on it is accessing malicious or illegal content without using a VPN.
To truly remain anonymous, you need to have all those devices connected to a VPN, and preferably a good one that doesn’t log data.
How Many Devices Can You Connect to a VPN?
While all major VPN providers support multiple devices, the number of devices allowed per account ranges from one provider to the next, with free VPNs usually allowing only a single connection and paid VPNs offering between five and seven devices per account. Some VPNs, such as Surfshark and Windscribe VPN, offer an unlimited number of connections, making them ideal for a business setup.
Before buying a VPN subscription, make sure it covers every single one of the devices that your team is using to do their job. If you’re planning to expand your team, it might be wise to also think about the number of devices you’ll need connected in one year from now and choose your provider accordingly.
Which Devices Can You Connect to a VPN?
The vast majority of VPNs support multiple types of devices and operating systems, such as Windows, Android, iOS, and Linux. If you’re using a relatively old operating system like Windows 7, you may find that some VPNs don’t support it, so be sure to check that in advance, before placing your order.
Additionally, some operating systems, such as Apple Watch, Sony PlayStation, or Amazon Fire TV Stick, may not be available by default and require special configuration. The same goes for router VPN, which is only available with specific router models that are generally more expensive. If you’re considering this option, be sure to check out our router VPN installation guide.
If you purchased a VPN package accidentally and realized it’s not compatible with one of your devices or operating systems, try to cancel it before the trial period ends, and move to a different provider that does support it.
How Do You Connect All Your Devices to a Single VPN?
- First, find out how many devices you can connect to your account.
- Download the VPN to each of your devices. Make sure you download the right files as there are probably different versions available for each operating system.
- Insert the license key you got from your VPN provider into all devices so they connect to that same account.
- Be sure to turn on the VPN every time you go online or turn on the kill switch to ensure no users are allowed into the network unless their VPN is switched on.
What Should You Do Next?
Now that you have an idea about the importance of having a VPN on all your devices, browse our list of best VPN services to find the one that’s right for you. Use our VPN installation and configuration tutorials to help you with the onboarding. A VPN may not solve all your problems, but having one is always going to be safer than not having it.