I recently signed up for Private Internet Access – a well regarded VPN service for just $7 a month and $3 a month if you pay for a year in advance. It’s easy to set up, gives me access to a large number of servers across the world, has excellent bandwidth, and the provider keeps no logs of user activity. Perfect for privacy conscious people especially in today’s world where snooping seems to be the norm.
But I had some trouble getting it to work on Chrome OS with my new Chromebook – mainly because I’m new to the whole VPN scene and didn’t know how to go about it. I finally got it to work in the end and it was pretty easy. You just need to know how.
Generate the L2TP Username and Password
First sign into your Private Internet Access account using your VPN username and password. Towards the bottom, you’ll see an option to generate an L2TP username and password combination. This was the key step I missed in my initial efforts. We’re not going to use the VPN login details, but these. You can regenerate it as many times as you want. Here’s a screenshot:
Create the VPN on Chrome OS
On your Chromebook, click the “Settings” option on the pop up on the taskbar. Under the “Internet Connection” section, hit “Add Connection” and “Add Private Network”.
Next, fill in the details as in the screenshot below. Change the “Server hostname” to any one of the VPN servers available in the list here. In my example, I’m connected to the US-EAST server. Change the “Provider type” to L2TP/IPsec + Pre-shared key and in the “Pre-shared key” value, type mysafety . Finally, enter the username and password that were generated for you in the first step.
Hit “Save identity and password” and click “Connect”. When successful, your Wi-Fi icon at the bottom right should change permanently to include a little “chain” underneath it like in the following screenshot:
And that’s it! You can now safely use your Chromebook at any unsecured Wi-Fi location, happy in the knowledge that you have an unbreakable private high speed connection to a number of servers around the world!