What is a VPN and what is it for
Before getting to the heart of this tutorial and explaining yourself how Panda VPN works, I would like to take a small step back and clarify it better what a VPN is and what it can be used for.
As already mentioned in the opening of the post, one VPN is a network that, by exploiting the tunneling, connects different nodes, i.e. different computers, smartphones, tablets, etc. on the Internet, making all the information circulating within it private and allowing access only to authorized users. This allows you to disguise your connection and keep your data away from prying eyes (which can be, for example, the eyes of cybercriminals or those of the government authorities of some regimes).
In other words, if we imagine the Internet as a huge virtual highway, a VPN is a kind of private access tunnel that allows those who pass through it (in this case our computers, smartphones and tablets) to hide from the eyes of those who pass through it. stands outside. All without any effort and without slowing down your "journey", ie the Internet connection.
Having clarified this fundamental concept, let's move on to the heart of the matter: what can a VPN do? I'll explain it to you right away. Since VPNs disguise the identity of the devices that are part of them and protect all the information that circulates within them, it is possible to exploit them to secure communications on potentially insecure networks, disguise your real IP address and "deceive" sites. geo-restricted (making them believe you are connecting from countries other than the ones you are currently in). Let's take some practical examples. Using a VPN you can.
- Connect to public Wi-Fi networks without risking someone intercepting your data. In fact, although public networks remain the preferred "hunting ground" for cybercriminals, using a VPN it is possible to hide your data and all the information exchanged during your browsing session.
- Connect to sites and access online content that is normally blocked in your country. VPNs, in fact, disguise the IP address of the device in use by making the outside believe that the connection comes from a certain country (i.e. the country where the VPN resides) rather than the country where the user is actually located.
- Working remotely from your home computer and access systems located in the office without compromising the security of the data transferred during the connection.
- Make online purchases even safer, avoiding sensitive data such as credit card numbers, bank details, etc. are intercepted by potential attackers.
The list could go on and on. In any case, by now you should have quite clear the concept of VPN and you should have understood quite well the advantages that can derive from using such a solution: it is therefore time to talk in more detail about Panda VPN.
Minimum requirements for Panda VPN
Before you find out how Panda VPN works, make sure your computer, smartphone and tablet are compatible with the product in question. Below I report i software requirements necessary to run Panda VPN on the various devices with which it is compatible.
- PC - Panda VPN requires Windows 7 SP1 or later and the .Net Framework software installed on the computer. If you have not installed the .Net Framework software, you can download it for free from the Microsoft website.
- Mac - as of this writing, Panda VPN is not yet available for macOS. In any case, the Mac version of the software is on the way and will require macOS 10.9.5 or later to work.
- Android devices - to use the Panda VPN app on Android you need a smartphone or tablet equipped with Android 4.0.3 or a later version of the Google home operating system.
- iPhone / iPad - at the time of writing, the Panda VPN app is not yet available on iOS. In any case, it should arrive soon and will be compatible with all devices equipped with iOS 8 or later.
Panda VPN features and prices
As mentioned above, Panda VPN is free to download and use, but with limitations. Going into more detail, the free version of the service offers 150MB of traffic per day e it does not allow you to choose the nationality of the VPN to use- The closest VPN geographically to your real location is automatically chosen.
To eliminate the traffic limit and freely choose the nationality of the VPN to use, you need to subscribe to Panda VPN Premium choosing from one of the following plans.
- Monthly subscription - 7,99 euros / month.
- Annual subscription - 71,24 euros / year (on offer compared to the 94,99 euros of the standard price).
Both solutions provide for automatic renewal at the end of the subscription period, but offer the possibility of cancellation at any time at no cost.
It should also be noted that Panda VPN is part of two more complete software: on PC it is part of Panda Dome, which also includes an antivirus, a tool for locating lost devices and a tool to create a recovery kit on a USB stick useful for "cleaning" the system from malware. On Android, however, it is part of Panda Mobile Security, which inside includes an antivirus, an anti-theft and a privacy control utility.
Panda Dome and Panda Mobile Security are also free, but offer a greater number of features if you subscribe to a paid plan starting from 26,24 euros / month and 4,89 euros / year respectively. If you need more information about it, consult the Panda Dome official website and Panda Mobile Security website.
How to use Panda VPN on PC
Now you know what VPNs are and why it's important to use them, so let's get down to the practical side of it and see, together, how to use Panda VPN.
To download the free version of Panda Dome (the program that contains Panda's antivirus and free VPN) on your PC, connect to the official website of the product and click on the button Free download located in the center of the page. When the download is complete, start the executable PANDAVPN.exe you just got and, in the window that opens, click on the button first Yes and then Following.
So choose if install Panda Safe Web with additional security tools and Identity Security, set Panda Safe Web as the default search provider in your browser and yes set Panda Safe Web as the default home page keeping or removing the check marks from the appropriate boxes and click on the button Accept and install to start downloading all the files necessary for Panda VPN to work.
At the end of the download, the program will be installed automatically. Afterwards, all you have to do is click on the button end to close the window or, alternatively, on the button Open now to start the software.
Once Panda Dome is launched (which you can find in the Start menu and on the Windows desktop), you have to wait a few seconds for the program to be prepared for the first run and you need to create a free account to use the latter (as long as you don't already have one, in which case all you have to do is log in by entering your email address and the password of your Panda account).
In the window that opens, type yours email address and click on the button Continue. Then log in to your inbox, open the message you received from Panda Security and click on the button Activate your account.
You will be offered a web page with, in the center, a form in which you will have to type the password to use to access your Panda account and, consequently, to Panda Dome: the password must be at least 6 characters long and must contain at least one number and a letter.
Then type the keyword you want to use in the fields Password e Confirm password, make sure that in the drop-down menu Country your country of residence is selected (eg. Italy) and click on the button Activate account to activate your Panda account.
After activating your account, you will be asked to fill in a form with your personal data: name, last name, date of birth, telephone number, address e State / region of residence. You can choose whether to proceed immediately, by filling in the fields in question, or at a later time by clicking on the button Not now check if you trova in bottom the page.
Perfect: now you can go back in Panda Dome and click on the button Continue to access your account and start using the program which, as already mentioned above, includes thefree antivirus of Panda, the VPN and other useful functions, such as location of lost devices (on which Panda's anti-theft software must be installed in advance) and the creation of a recovery kit to "clean" an infected PC via USB key.
To use Panda's VPN, click on the button VPN present in the main window of Panda Dome. After that, if you are using the free version of the program, make sure the option is checked Automatic in the drop-down menu Virtual server (as you cannot manually select the nationality of the server to connect to, this possibility is reserved for users of the Premium version of Panda VPN), that the counter of thedata usage has not "overstepped" i 150MB (the daily traffic available for free users) and click on the button Connect.
At this point, wait a few seconds and the VPN should start working: the icon will appear to notify you of the successful connection to the private network Connected in the center of the Panda Dome window (with the country name of the server used for the VPN in brackets).
Now, to verify the connection to the VPN, open the browser you usually use to surf the Internet (eg. Chrome) and connected to a service for the verification ofIP address, for example WhatIsMyIP.com.
If the VPN is working correctly, your IP address will be different from your real one. Furthermore, it should correspond to a geographical location different from the one where you really are (unless your location is the same as that of the server used by Panda VPN!).
After this further verification, all you have to do is open your favorite browser and surf the web safely thanks to Panda's VPN. You do not need to configure or install any add-ons: everything works automatically regardless of the browser used.
Once your browsing session with Panda VPN is complete, to disconnect from the private network, open Panda Dome and click on the button first VPN e poi quello Disconnect.
If you realize you need more traffic than the 150MB / day provided by the Panda VPN free plan and / or you would like to be able to select the nationality of the servers to connect to, consider subscribing to a Premium subscription.
To activate a Panda VPN Premium subscription, start Panda Dome and click on the button first VPN and then on the button Upgrade to Premium. In the screen that opens, choose whether to subscribe to a monthly subscription for 7,99 euros / month or annual subscription for 71,24 euros (on offer compared to 94,99 euros of the standard price) and presses the button Go to the checkout.
Now, enter your personal data (name, surname, email address, postcode and country of residence) in the form on the left, choose a payment method between Credit card e PayPal, enter the relevant data in the form on the right and click on the button NEXT.
Verify, therefore, that the information entered is all correct and, if so, complete the transaction by placing the check mark next to the item Confirm your subscription e pigging your pulse Buy it now.
Both the monthly subscription and the annual subscription to Panda VPN Premium provide for automatic renewal, which however can be deactivated at any time via the management panel of your Panda account.
To manage your Panda VPN subscription (and possibly disable the automatic subscription renewal), connect to the Panda website and log in to your account or, alternatively, click on thelittle man located at the top right of the Panda Dome main window and select the item Personal products give the menu check if you press.
For more information on Panda Dome and Panda VPN for PC, consult the official website of the program.
How to use Panda VPN on smartphones and tablets
Panda VPN it is also available as a mobile application. It includes an antivirus, VPN, and other useful tools, such as the anti-theft and privacy control utility. To install it on your smartphone or tablet Android, april il Play Store (the icon with the colored play symbol on the home screen), search "Panda antivirus" in the search field at the top and enter by pressing the icon of magnifying glass.
On the search results screen, locate the app preview card Free Antivirus and VPN di Panda Security, press on it and proceed with the installation of the same by tapping the button Install. If you are reading this tutorial directly from Android, you can open the Play Store page dedicated to Panda VPN by visiting this link.
Once installation is complete, start the app Panda Mobile Security by tapping on its icon on the home screen or in the drawer (i.e. the screen with the list of all the apps installed on the device) and answer in the affirmative to all the requests that are made to you by the system (you must give consent to allow Panda Mobile Security to manage calls, contacts, access the SD card, location and camera). Once this is done, press the button Free version to accept the conditions of use of the application and start using its free version.
At this point, your device is already protected against malware and each new app installed on Android will be automatically checked by Panda Mobile Security. If you want to start a "manual" scan of the apps already installed on the device, tap the button Analyze now present on the main screen of the app and wait for the outcome of the operation.
Now is the time to take action and enable secure browsing via VPN. To use Panda VPNs are Android, pigia sull 'hamburger icon located at the top left of the Panda Mobile Security main screen and select the item VPN from the menu that appears on the screen.
At this point, if you are using the free version of the service, make sure that in the drop-down menu Virtual server the option is selected Automatic (the free version of Panda VPN does not allow you to choose the nationality of the server to connect to), check that the counter of thedata usage has not "exceeded" the daily limit of 150MB e pulsing sul pulsating Connect.
At first use, to connect to the Panda Mobile Security VPN, you will need to give the application a particular authorization: then answer in the affirmative to the warning that appears on the screen (by pressing the button OK) and wait a few seconds for the connection to the protected network to be established. The successful connection will be signaled by the appearance of the message Connected up.
To test the correct functioning of the VPN, open the browser you usually use to surf the Internet (eg. Chrome) and connected to a site for the verification ofIP address, such as whatismyip.com. If the VPN works correctly, your IP address will be different from your real one, as will your geographic location (unless this matches the location of the server used by the VPN).
At the end of your secure browsing session, to disconnect from the VPN, all you have to do is start Panda Mobile Security, go to the menu VPN (viahamburger icon located at the top left of the app) and press the button Disconnect.
Would you like to be able to choose the nationality of the server to connect to? Does 150MB of daily traffic hold you tight for the use you'd like to make of Panda Mobile Security's VPN? Then you should consider subscribing to a Panda VPN Premium subscription.
To subscribe to Panda VPN Premium, start the Panda Mobile Security app on your device, go to the menu VPN e pulsing sul pulsating Upgrade to Premium. Then choose which browser to open the plan subscription page (eg. Chrome o Firefox) and choose one of the offers available from monthly subscription for 7,99 euros / month o annual subscription for 71,24 euros (on offer compared to the 94,99 euros of the standard price). Both plans provide for automatic renewal but, at the same time, they can be deactivated at any time without any restrictions or costs.
Once you have chosen the most suitable plan for you (by placing the check mark next to the appropriate item), scroll down the page and fill out the form with all your personal data: email address, name, last name, POSTAL CODE e paese of residence.
Then choose a valid payment method between credit card e PayPal, enter the data and press the button NEXT. Therefore, check that the information entered is correct and proceed with the subscription to your Panda VPN Premium subscription following the instructions on the screen.
If any of the steps are not clear to you and / or you need more information about Panda VPN for Android, consult the official website of the product.
Article created in collaboration with Panda Security.Panda VPN: what it is and how it works