How to share a VPN connection from Windows, macOS, or Linux

Ever wanted to share your VPN connection with a friend or family member? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. VPNs are great for security and accessing geo-blocked content, so it’s only natural that you’d want to spread the love. The good news is, sharing a VPN connection is pretty straightforward, whether you’re using Windows, macOS, or Linux. In just a few simple steps, you can have your nearest and dearest browsing the web safely and accessing their favorite shows. All you need is an internet connection, a VPN subscription that allows multiple connections – most of the major ones like ExpressVPN and NordVPN do – and a few minutes to configure the settings. Before you know it, you’ll be the most popular person in your household, the go-to tech support for all things streaming and internet-related. Read on to find out how to become a VPN superhero.

How to Share a VPN Connection in Windows

Sharing your VPN connection with other devices on your network is pretty straightforward in Windows. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Make sure your VPN connection is set up and working properly on your Windows PC first. Once connected, open the Network Connections window. You can get there by right-clicking the network icon in your system tray and selecting “Open Network and Sharing Center“.
  2. Next, locate your VPN connection in the list. It’ll likely be named something like “Your VPN Provider“. Right-click it and select “Properties“.
  3. On the Sharing tab, check the box next to “Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s Internet connection“. Click “OK” to save the changes.
  4. Now other devices on your network like laptops, tablets and phones can use your VPN connection. They’ll connect through your Windows PC which acts as a gateway.

To connect, just select the new network that shows up named something like “Your VPN Provider (Windows PC name)“. Enter the password for your WiFi network and you’ll automatically be connected through the VPN. How easy is that?

With just a few clicks, all your other gadgets can enjoy the same privacy and security benefits of your VPN service. No more configuring individual apps or logging into the VPN provider’s website on each device. Your Windows PC handles it all seamlessly in the background while you surf safe and sound.

Pretty clever, right? Now get out there and start sharing that VPN love so all your digital toys can come out and play!

Sharing a VPN on macOS: Step-by-Step Instructions

Sharing your VPN on a Mac is pretty straightforward. Here are the steps:

To get started, open the Apple menu and select “System Preferences”, then click “Sharing”. Make sure “Internet Sharing” is checked.

Next, click “Wi-Fi” in the list on the left. From the “To computers using” drop-down menu, select “Wi-Fi”. Then, check the box next to “Internet Sharing: Share your connection from: Wi-Fi”.

Now you need to name your network and choose a password. In the “Wi-Fi Name” field, enter a name like “MyVPN” or something easy to recognize. Then enter a secure password with at least 8 characters in the “Password” field. Click “OK”.

  • Your Mac will now be broadcasting a Wi-Fi network with the name you chose. Any device that connects to that network will use your Mac’s VPN connection.
  • You may need to turn on Wi-Fi sharing on other devices like iPhones, iPads or laptops in order to connect to the shared network.
  • Note that while your VPN is shared, other connected devices will see the same IP address and location as your Mac.

To stop sharing your VPN, just uncheck the “Internet Sharing: Share your connection from: Wi-Fi” box. All connected devices will lose access to the shared network.

Sharing your VPN is a simple way to give other computers and mobile devices secure access to the internet through your connection. Let me know if you have any other questions!

How to Share Your Linux VPN Connection

Enable IP Forwarding

To share your Linux VPN connection with other devices, you’ll first need to enable IP forwarding on your Linux system. This allows the VPN connection to be passed through to other network interfaces.

  • Open a terminal and run the following commands:


sudo nano /etc/sysctl.conf“`

  • This will open the sysctl configuration file. Add this line:“`

net.ipv4.ip_forward=1 “`

  • Save and exit. Then run:


sudo sysctl -p “`

  • to reload the settings. IP forwarding is now enabled.

Install a DHCP Server

Next, install a DHCP server which will automatically assign IP addresses to the devices connecting to your Linux system. The dnsmasq package works well for this.


sudo apt install dnsmasq “`

  • Once installed, edit the dnsmasq configuration:


sudo nano /etc/dnsmasq.conf “`

  • Uncomment this line:

“` dhcp-range=,,12h “`

This will assign IP addresses between to with a 12 hour lease time. Save and exit.

Enable NAT on the VPN interface

The final step is to enable Network Address Translation (NAT) on your Linux VPN interface. This translates the IP addresses of devices connecting to your Linux system to the VPN’s IP address.

  • Find your VPN interface name, it will likely be tun0 or tap0. Then run:


sudo iptables -t nat -A POSTROUTING -o tun0 -j MASQUERADE “`

  • Replace tun0 with your actual VPN interface name.

Your Linux VPN connection is now ready to share with all your other internet-connected smart devices! Reboot your Linux system and any devices you want to share the VPN with. They will automatically receive IP addresses and access the internet through the VPN.

some Windows, macOS, and Linux

Using a Router to Share a VPN Connection

Sharing your VPN connection with multiple devices on your network is actually pretty straightforward. The easiest way is to enable VPN sharing right on your Wi-Fi router. This allows any device that connects to your router’s network to access the VPN.

Check if Your Router Supports VPN Sharing

Not all routers offer this functionality, so you’ll want to check if your router supports VPN sharing or “VPN passthrough“. If it does, the options to enable it are usually found under the router’s “VPN” or “Security” settings. Some popular router brands that support VPN sharing include Linksys, Netgear, ASUS, and TP-Link.

Enter Your VPN Account Details

You’ll need to sign in to your router’s admin page, typically accessed by entering your router’s IP address into a web browser address bar. Then, enter the details of your VPN provider account, like the server address, username, and password. This allows your router to authenticate and connect to the VPN on behalf of any devices on the network.

Enable VPN Sharing

Look for an option like “VPN sharing”, “VPN passthrough” or “VPN network access” and toggle it to the “On” position. This enables the VPN connection to pass through your router to other devices. Some routers may require a router reboot to activate the settings.

Connect Client Devices to the Router’s Network

Any Wi-Fi enabled devices like laptops, tablets, streaming devices, gaming consoles that connect to your router’s network will now have access to the VPN connection and appear as if they’re connected from the VPN server’s location. Be sure to connect all the devices you want to use the VPN to your router’s network.

Additional Considerations

Keep in mind that with VPN sharing enabled, all traffic from all connected devices will pass through the VPN tunnel. If you only want some devices using the VPN, you’ll need to disable VPN sharing and set up the VPN individually on those devices. Also, the more devices connected, the more it can impact your router and VPN performance. You may need a more powerful router to handle many connected devices at once.

FAQs: Common Questions About Sharing Your VPN

Once you have your VPN set up and running, you may want to share your connection with other devices in your home or office. Here are some common questions about sharing your VPN:

Can I share my VPN with family or roommates?

Absolutely! Sharing your VPN with trusted individuals in your household is typically allowed by most VPN providers. You’ll just need to provide them with the login credentials to access the VPN. Keep in mind that any activity on the shared connection will appear to come from your account.

How many devices can use my VPN at once?

This depends on the specific VPN plan you have. Many VPNs allow 3-5 simultaneous device connections for a personal account. Business plans typically offer more. Check with your VPN provider to see how many devices are included with your subscription and if they offer add-on plans for more connections.

What types of devices can I use with my VPN?

You can use your VPN with:

  • Windows, Mac, and Linux computers
  • iPhones, iPads, and Android phones and tablets
  • Streaming devices like Fire TV, Fire Stick, and Roku
  • Wi-Fi routers (requires router configuration to share the VPN with all connected devices)

Some VPNs may have specific setup guides for certain devices. Check your VPN’s support site for details.

Will using a VPN slow down my internet connection?

Connecting to a VPN does require some of your bandwidth, so you may notice a minor drop in speed. The amount of speed reduction depends on several factors like your base internet plan speed, the VPN protocol used, and current network traffic. For the best performance, choose a VPN server location close to you and try different protocols to find the fastest one for your connection.

Can I torrent or stream with a shared VPN?

Torrenting, streaming, and other high-bandwidth activities are typically not allowed when using a shared VPN connection. These types of internet traffic can slow down the connection for other users. It’s best to avoid them altogether on a shared VPN. For streaming or torrenting, you’ll want to get a separate plan with enough bandwidth to support multiple high-speed connections at once.


So there you have it. Sharing your VPN connection doesn’t have to be complicated. With the right tools and a few clicks, you can securely share your VPN with friends and family or configure a network-wide VPN for all your devices. Whether you use the built-in options on Windows and macOS or install third-party software on Linux, setting up VPN sharing is easier than ever. Staying safe online and accessing geo-restricted content doesn’t have to be a solo activity. Share the benefits of your VPN and enjoy the internet freely together.

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