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Features overview

What AdGuard VPN for Windows does

  • Protects from network traffic interception (spoofing). AdGuard VPN creates an encrypted tunnel between your device and a remote server. All your Internet traffic passes through this tunnel, so your data is protected along the way. And thanks to AdGuard's unique protocol, you're guaranteed a fast and secure connection.

  • Masks your IP address. Your true IP address is the key to your personal data for cybercriminals. Your name, email address, phone number, credit card information can all fall into the hands of fraudsters if you don't hide your IP. With AdGuard VPN, all your traffic goes through an encrypted tunnel and comes to the VPN server. The web server registers the IP address of the endpoint of the tunnel, i.e. the VPN server, and not the device's real IP address.

  • Hides your real location. By selecting any of the AdGuard VPN servers, you are instantly "teleported" to its location. What does this give you? For example, the ability to book a hotel at locals' rates or hide from geotargeted advertising.

AdGuard VPN for Windows has many advantages, so we've dedicated a separate article to them. Here, however, we want to focus more on the application itself and how it works.

How to start using AdGuard VPN for Windows

To start using AdGuard VPN for Windows, download the app from our website. The installation takes no more than a minute — and you'll see a dialog window where you'll need to check at least one box applying the terms of the User Agreement and the Privacy policy. And it's up to you to decide whether you want AdGuard to collect anonymized data about your app usage. At last the program will ask you to sign in, either via AdGuard account or via social networks (Apple, Google, Facebook). That's all, you can now use AdGuard VPN for Windows.

Home screen

AdGuard VPN for Windows Home Page

The most noticeable item on the Home Screen is the AdGuard VPN connect/disconnect button. Above the button you can see the mode in which the application is running, and below it you can see the selected server. On the right side of the screen you will find all available locations. The fastest location, i.e. the one with the lowest ping, is shown at the top of the list.

At the top of the screen there is a navigation panel with four tabs: Home, Exclusions, Support, Settings.

Exclusions

AdGuard VPN for Windows can operate in two modes. By default, the application works everywhere, and you can list the websites and apps you want to exclude from the tunnel. But you can switch to the opposite mode: AdGuard VPN will only run on the websites and in the apps specified in the list of exclusions. Please note that these two lists are independent from one another.

Exclusions

You can add websites to exclusions manually by entering their domain names. The app also offers you an option to choose popular websites from the list.

Add Exclusions

Add Exclusions from list

When adding domains manually, you should take into account some nuances. For example, if you manually exclude the domain google.com, all the subdomains *.google.com will also be added to the exclusions list. However, domain names with other top-level domains such as google.es or google.it will not be excluded. Or you can add youtube.com to the exclusions, but the domain of the same service youtu.be will not be included in the list.

We recommend using the From the list option. Websites are grouped into eight categories: Social networks, Messengers, Video and Music streaming services, Games, Shopping, Search engines, and Work communication tools. We have placed the most popular services there, including all domain names and subdomains related to each platform.

Import/export exclusion lists

To export the list of exclusions from AdGuard VPN for Windows to your computer, click Export exclusions, select the folder where the list will be stored and click Save. An archive exclusions.zip with two .txt files will be downloaded, one for each of the lists. You can edit them by adding new exclusions or deleting old ones.

On the destination device, open AdGuard VPN, click Exclusions, and select Websites or Apps. Click Import exclusions and select the received archive.

Settings

Settings

The fourth tab contains sections that will help you customize the application.

App settings

App settings

In the App settings section, you can set the app language and also enable Kill Switch, which will block access to the Internet if your VPN connection drops. This is needed to prevent intruders from getting to your data if you find yourself without VPN protection while connected to a public Wi-Fi or mobile network.

You can also activate the following features with a single click: Auto-update, Launch AdGuard VPN at Windows startup, Auto-connect on app launch, and allow AdGuard to collect anonymized app usage data so that the AdGuard team gets the info on potential usability issues. Here you can also change the theme to Light, System, or Dark.

At the bottom of the page there are two sections: DNS servers and Advanced settings.

DNS servers

The DNS servers tab allows you to add your own DNS server. You can set up a DNS server by any provider. We recommend adding AdGuard DNS, a server that can protect against advertising, tracking, and phishing, in addition to the standard functions.

Advanced settings

It is entirely possible to use AdGuard VPN for Windows without ever touching the Advanced settings, but they can be useful if you're willing to take time to learn what they do.

Operating mode

Despite the fact that there are two operating modes — VPN and SOCKS5 — we advise you to use only the one chosen by default (VPN). When the VPN mode is enabled, all the traffic of your device will be directed via AdGuard VPN, while in SOCKS5 mode AdGuard VPN uses a local proxy server which can be used by other applications to redirect their traffic.

Logging level

Two levels of logging are available to choose from: Record by default and Record everything. The first option is enabled by default. The Record everything option should only be activated if our support team has asked you to do so. Using the app in this mode for an extended period of time result in increased battery consumption.

All logs are stored locally on your device, and you can send them to the support team if needed.

Use QUIC

This is an experimental feature that enables AdGuard to use the advanced QUIC encryption protocol. It has many advantages, but the most notable one is that it can improve connection quality under non-ideal conditions, for example, when using mobile Internet or when connecting to public Wi-Fi networks.

App exclusions

Adding an app to exclusions

Not only does AdGuard VPN encrypt the traffic of browsers, but also of other apps installed on your device. If you want to exclude certain applications from the tunnel, put them to the App exclusions list.

Other tabs

About

The About tab provides information about the current version of AdGuard VPN for Windows, an update button, and links to the AdGuard VPN website, EULA, and Privacy policy.

Account

Here you can find information about your license status, as well as a link to your personal AdGuard account, where you can manage your current subscriptions and purchase new ones.

Support

This tab is aimed to solve users' questions: there you can find a link to the FAQ page, report a bug or leave feedback, and export logs if the support team asks you to.