What is a VPN tunnel?

A VPN tunnel adds privacy and security

A VPN tunnel (often simply referred to as a VPN, or virtual private network) is an encrypted connection between your computer or mobile device and the wider internet. Since your connection is encrypted, nobody along the VPN tunnel is able to intercept, monitor, or alter your communications.

A VPN tunnel is a private connection between your device and the internet.

All your data is traveling in a VPN tunnel that nobody can look into. This protects your browsing, chatting, and all other traffic from the prying eyes of your internet service provider, your government, or people trying to monitor your activity over free public Wi-Fi.

Arrows connecting a globe and devices through a brick wall on fire.

A VPN tunnel hides your location

A VPN tunnel not only protects you from data being intercepted, but it also hides your IP address, which can otherwise be used to identify you when you are browsing the web. Instead of your real location, the sites you visit will only see the location of the VPN server you are connected to.

This is how VPN tunnels can help you both circumvent censorship imposed on your local network and censorship being imposed by the local network of the site you are visiting.

Get ExpressVPN

VPN tunneling protocols

ExpressVPN supports a variety of protocols for all your needs. The app will choose its optimal configuration automatically, but advanced users have the opportunity to configure their VPN tunnel manually.

Types of VPN tunneling protocols

OpenVPN L2TP/IPsec PPTP

Learn more about the different types of VPN tunneling protocols.

VPN tunnel configuration

To use ExpressVPN, sign up below and download your VPN tunnel app for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, routers, and many other devices. Choose a server in one of dozens of countries to connect to and surf the web securely and in private.

The apps provide an easy and appealing interface that allows you to initiate and terminate your VPN tunnel, as well as run tests to determine the proper server location.

Set up a VPN tunnel on:

Windows Mac iOS Android Linux Router

See instructions on how to set up and configure a VPN tunnel on any device.


A member of the ExpressVPN Support Team

VPN tunnel failure? ExpressVPN Support is there for you around the clock to help with any questions or problems you might possibly experience.

Set up a VPN tunnel risk-free

30-day money-back guarantee on red badge with yellow ribbon.

Take advantage of the ExpressVPN 30-day money-back guarantee:

If you’re not satisfied using ExpressVPN for any reason, get a full refund within 30 days of your order.

Get ExpressVPN
Live Chat