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Getting Started With Viscosity (Windows) – SparkLabs
Welcome to the Viscosity for Windows Quick Start Guide. This guide is designed to get you started using Viscosity in the fastest way possible. If you require more detailed instructions, walkthroughs, or troubleshooting information please refer to other Knowledge Base articles.
Before you can use Viscosity it must first be installed using the instructions below. You must have administration rights on your computer to be able to install Viscosity.
Run Viscosity file, usually located in your Downloads folder, by double-clicking it, or by clicking Run once you have finished downloading it.
You may see a User Access Control window asking “Do you want to allow the following program to make changes to this computer? “. If so, click Yes
When you are greeted with the “Welcome to the Viscosity Setup Wizard” window, click Next.
After reading the License Agreement, you can select “I accept the agreement” and click Next.
Select where you would like Viscosity to be installed, then click Next. We highly recommend you use the default install location that the installer selects for you.
Select where you would like Viscosity to be located in your Start Menu then click Next. We highly recommend you use the default location the installer selects for you.
Tick the “Create a desktop icon” checkbox if you would like a shortcut to Viscosity to be located on your desktop. If you do not, you can always start Viscosity from the Start menu.
At the next window, click Install. Any missing requirement will be automatically downloaded and installed.
During installation, you may be asked if you wish to install a Viscosity Device driver. Allow this by clicking “Install” on Windows 8. 1 or earlier.
Once installation has completed, click Finish. You can untick the displayed checkbox if you do not wish Viscosity to run straight away.
Viscosity can be launched from your Start menu by going to Start->All Programs->Viscosity->Viscosity (if you selected the default location), or if you selected to have a desktop icon during install, you will see the Viscosity Icon on your desktop.
Viscosity allows you to connect to any VPN server that supports the OpenVPN protocol. Viscosity is only one end of the VPN connection: your VPN provider provides the other end of the connection (the server you wish to connect to). Your VPN Provider is the person or company who controls this server.
Typically your VPN provider falls into one of the following categories:
Workplace: Your workplace may provide a VPN server so you can remotely and securely access the work network and Internet. In most cases the person to contact for more information or connection details would be your IT/System Administrator.
VPN Service: Many third party companies specialize in offering both free and paid VPN services to users. There are a number of reasons why you may want to subscribe to a VPN Service, including protecting your privacy and security while on public networks, accessing location restricted websites, and accessing blocked content due to restrictive censorship. Most VPN Service providers provide a webpage or support site where you can obtain connection details. A list of VPN providers with Viscosity setup guides can be on our VPN Service Providers page.
Personal: If you are familiar with VPNs you may have setup your own OpenVPN server so you can access your home network, and/or to have the same benefits as using a VPN Service Provider.
It is important to identify who your VPN provider is and obtain the details you need to setup your connection. Your VPN provider may provide you with the settings and files you need to manually enter into Viscosity, or a configuration file Viscosity can automatically import (see below).
In addition many workplaces and VPN Service providers provide customized versions of Viscosity that already contain all of your connections, allowing you to skip the steps below. You may like to check with your VPN Provider to see if they offer this.
You can create a connection in Viscosity by manually configuring a connection, or by importing a connection from a bundle or OpenVPN configuration file.
Importing A Connection
You can import a connection into Viscosity by double clicking on a Viscosity connection bundle or OpenVPN configuration file, or by following the steps below:
Open Viscosity, right click the Viscosity menu and select “Preferences…” preferences window should appear.
Make sure the “Connections” toolbar item is selected, and then click the “+” button in the bottom left hand corner of the window. Highlight “Import Connection” then select “From File… ” from the menu that appears.
Select the connection bundle () or OpenVPN configuration file ( or) supplied by your server administrator. Click the Open button.
Your connection will now appear in the Viscosity menu. To connect, select your connection from the menu. The menu icon will update to let you know when your new connection has connected.
Manually Creating A Connection
You can manually create a new connection in Viscosity using the instructions below. You’ll need to obtain the necessary settings and any certificates/keys from your VPN provider.
Open Viscosity, go to the Viscosity menu and select “Preferences…”. The preferences window should appear.
Make sure the “Connections” toolbar item is selected, and then click the “+” button in the bottom left hand corner of the window. Select “New Connection” from the menu that appears.
Give your connection a name, which can be anything you want. In the Address field enter the address of the OpenVPN server. Change the port if the server doesn’t used the default value. Select the protocol and device that matches the OpenVPN server’s settings.
Click on the “Authentication” tab. From the Authentication Type menu select the authentication type your OpenVPN server requires. Different options will be displayed depending on the type. To use multiple authentication types, simply select each type in turn from the menu and configure it. Most fields require you to select a certificate or key file. Your server administrator should have provided you with these if required. To specify a file, click the “Select…” button, locate the file, and click Open.
Use the tab bar to configure the remaining sections (Options, Networking, Proxy, and Advanced) as required. In most cases the default settings will work. If your server requires you to enter a username and password to connect, make sure you tick the “Use Username/Password Authentication” checkbox under the Options tab. Click the Save button when finished.
Your connection will now appear in the Viscosity menu. To connect, select your connect from the menu. The menu icon will update to let you know when your new connection has connected.
The following sections provide a brief overview of Viscosity’s interface and options.
The Viscosity menu is the main way of interacting with Viscosity and your connections. The Viscosity menu can be found in your system tray, usually down the bottom right hand corner of your screen (near the clock). Left or right clicking on the icon once will bring up the menu.
The Viscosity menu allows you to connect or disconnect a connection by selecting it from the menu, open Viscosity’s Preferences window, open Viscosity’s Details window, and to quit Viscosity. Your connections will be automatically disconnected when Viscosity quits.
The Details Window
The Details window allows you to monitor your VPN connections. If you wish to check the status of a connection, experience trouble connecting, you should first check the details window for information. The Details window has three main sections, as outlined below. You can switch between these sections by clicking on the relevant buttons near the middle of the window.
Traffic Graph: The traffic graph will graph network traffic. It will automatically scale to match the maximum traffic rate. The vertical axis on the left will list the range of data rates, while the In/Out values list the current data rate of traffic passing through the VPN connection.
Traffic: The traffic section lists total data amounts that have passed through the VPN network adapter. These values are reset each time the connection is re-established.
Log: The log section displays the OpenVPN log output. The log will contain important information if you are having trouble connecting.
The Preferences Window
Viscosity’s Preferences window allows you to access and edit your VPN connections, as well as change Viscosity’s overall settings. The toolbar at the top of the window can be used to navigate between the following sections.
Connections: The Connections area allows you to manage your VPN connections. Use the “+” button to add new connections, the “-” button to remove a selected connection, and the “Edit” button to edit a selected connection.
General: The General area allows you to modify general global preferences, including automatic update settings.
Appearance: The Appearance area allows you to change the look and feel of Viscosity, including the menu bar icons and the behaviour of the Details window.
Advanced: Settings in the Advanced area should only be changed by advanced users. This area allows you to change the OpenVPN version Viscosity uses, as well as options to aid troubleshooting.
For full information regarding the options available please see the Using Viscosity and [[kbarticle:connection-settings] articles.
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Introduction To VPNs – SparkLabs
This guide is designed to act as an introduction to those new to VPNs. If you haven’t used a VPN connection before and wonder what they are, or unfamiliar with what a VPN lets you do, then this guide is for you.
If you’re already familiar with VPN connections, we recommend instead visiting the Viscosity page, which provides more information on the features Viscosity offers.
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) provides a secure way of connecting through a public network (such as the Internet) to a remote network/location. This remote network is typically a private network, such as a workplace or home network, or one provided by a commercial VPN service.
A VPN can be thought to create a “tunnel” through the public network to your private network at the other end. All network traffic through this tunnel is encrypted to ensure it is kept secure and private.
What Does A VPN Let Me Do?
A VPN allows you to do a number of things you wouldn’t otherwise be able to do connected to a standard network. This includes:
Network Security & Privacy: All network traffic through your VPN connection is kept secure. This allows you to use public networks (such as at hotels, conferences, coffee shops, etc. ) and wireless networks knowing your network traffic is kept safe and secure. Otherwise it is relatively easy for other people to view your network traffic, such as see what you are viewing, steal your information and login details, etc.
Access Your Workplace Remotely: You can connect to your workplace’s VPN and have access as if you were physically in the office. You can then do things like access file servers, computers, databases, email, internal webpages, and other services you might not have access to outside of your work network.
Access Your Home Network: Connecting back home using a VPN allows you to access your computers remotely. Access files on your computer, view iTunes shares, take remote control of your computer, and access other services.
Access Location Restricted Content: By connecting to a VPN server in another location you can make it appear to websites using geolocation that you are physically in the correct location for access. So when you’re travelling overseas you can still view websites you would normally use at home, such as television, movie and music streaming websites.
Bypass Restrictive Networks: Some networks may restrict access to the web services that can be accessed, meaning that many applications like VOIP, instant messaging, video chat, and games will not work. However using a VPN you can tunnel through such restrictions and allow all of your network applications to work. Viscosity even allows you to tunnel through a HTTP or SOCKS proxies to establish your VPN connection.
Escape Censorship: VPNs allow you to bypass restrictive censorship and access websites and services that would otherwise be blocked. Some countries impose censorship on Internet access while in that country, and a VPN provides a way to still maintain access to the services you would normally use.
Why Should I Use A VPN?
Even if you have no desire to be able to access a private network remotely, a VPN is vital to ensure the security and privacy of your network traffic.
Public networks, and in particular public wireless networks, provide an easy way for hackers and malicious users to listen in (“sniff”) on your network usage. This may allow them to see what web pages you are viewing, steal username and passwords, steal session information to be able to log into sites as you, and extract other private data. In addition, skilled hackers may perform a “man in the middle” attack. This allows them to not only monitor in depth your network traffic, but also alter your traffic or inject their own in an attempt to fool a user into revealing important data.
Using a VPN protects you from such attacks, as your network traffic is authenticated and encrypted, making it secure and private.
How Does A VPN Work?
A typical VPN consists of two components: the VPN client and the VPN server.
A VPN client is the software that allows a user to connect their computer to the VPN server and establish the VPN connection. It is installed on the user’s computer and communicates with the VPN server to create a secure link for the user’s network traffic. The VPN Client is what the end user uses to control their VPN connection. Viscosity performs the duties of a VPN client.
A VPN server is setup at the location users want to connect to, such as at a workplace or at home. A VPN Server usually configured and maintained by IT staff, however home users often set up their own VPN personal VPN server at home or at a remote location as well. End users rarely have to interact with the VPN Server. A VPN server will also perform authentication to ensure only registered users can connect to the VPN.
All network traffic through the tunnel created between the VPN client and the VPN server is encrypted to keep it private and secure.
Viscosity is a VPN client for macOS and Windows. As discussed above, it allows a user to connect to a VPN server and establish a VPN connection. Viscosity provides a clear and intuitive user interface for creating, editing, and controlling VPN connections, and makes it easy for users new to VPN to get started.
Viscosity supports the OpenVPN protocol (see below). Viscosity can connect to any VPN server supporting OpenVPN, including almost all popular free and commercial VPN providers. Viscosity allows connections to be completely configured through a GUI, without any need to know how to use the command-line or OpenVPN’s configuration file syntax. Advanced users still have full manual control over configuration options if desired.
With Viscosity and OpenVPN you can securely connect to your home or company network from a remote location, protect your network traffic when using public or wireless networks, access websites with country restrictions, and tunnel through restrictive firewalls and proxy servers to give your computer full Internet access.
Why Should I Use Viscosity?
Viscosity is no ordinary VPN client. It has been designed to be simple and intuitive for new users, however customizable and powerful for VPN experts. We encourage you to visit Viscosity’s Features page for a full overview. However, some notable features for new users include:
Viscosity allows connections to be fully created and edited through a graphical user interface, without any need to manually edit configuration files or use the command line.
Viscosity can easily import connection configuration files supplied by your VPN provider, giving you a ready-to-use VPN connection in a snap.
Viscosity has been designed to keep you secure in almost any network environment. It will automatically adjust to varying network conditions to keep your VPN connection active, warn you about changes, and automatically reconnect when network dropouts occur.
Viscosity makes it simple to monitor your VPN connection and network. Its global menu gives quick access to connections, and its attractive Details window allows you view traffic graphs and view other connection information.
Viscosity is cross-platform, meaning you can run it on any computer running macOS or Windows.
What Is OpenVPN?
OpenVPN is a popular VPN protocol that is based on SSL/TLS encryption. Like IPSec and L2TP, OpenVPN handles the connection between the VPN client and server. OpenVPN is a popular VPN protocol thanks to its high level of security, customizability, and compatibility with most network environments.
Viscosity supports the OpenVPN protocol. Viscosity can connect to any VPN server that supports OpenVPN connections.
Viscosity makes it easy to get started using a VPN. However as we looked at previously, Viscosity is only one end of the VPN connection. A VPN consists of two components: the VPN client and the VPN server. To get started you will first need to determine who your “VPN Provider” is. Your VPN Provider is the company or person who provides the VPN server for you to connect you. You may already know who your VPN Provider is, you may want to be your own VPN Provider, you may want to subscribe with a professional VPN Service Provider, or you may still be unsure who your VPN Provider should be.
Your VPN Provider
Your VPN Provider is the company or person that is responsible for providing you with a VPN server for Viscosity to connect to. You may already have a VPN Provider that you want to connect to, you may be looking at setting up your own VPN server and becoming your own provider, or you may be looking at using Viscosity with a commercial VPN Service Provider.
It is important to identify who your VPN provider is and obtain the details you need to setup your connection. Your VPN provider may provide you with the settings and files you need to manually enter into Viscosity, or a configuration file Viscosity can automatically import. Typically your VPN provider falls into one of the following categories:
Workplace VPN Provider: Your workplace may provide a VPN server so you can remotely and securely access the work network and Internet. In most cases the person to contact for more information or connection details would be your IT/System Administrator.
VPN Service Provider: Many third party companies specialize in offering both free and paid VPN services to users. There are a number of reasons why you may want to subscribe to a VPN Service, including protecting your privacy and security while on public networks, accessing location restricted websites, and accessing blocked content due to restrictive censorship. Most VPN Service providers provide a webpage or support site where you can obtain connection details.
Personal VPN Provider: If you are familiar with VPNs you may have setup your own VPN server so you can access your home network, and/or to have the same benefits as using a VPN Service Provider.
We discuss these VPN Provider categories in greater detail in the following sections.
Connecting to Your Workplace
Most workplaces offer a VPN server so you can securely connect back to the office, allowing you to work securely while on the road or from home. If this VPN server supports the OpenVPN protocol you will be able to use Viscosity as your VPN client. Many workplaces provide customized versions of Viscosity that are bundled with all of your settings and VPN connections.
To determine whether you are able to connect to your workplace using Viscosity, along with the information and/or files you need to setup Viscosity, you will need to get in touch with your workplace IT staff or VPN administrator.
VPN Service Providers
There are many companies that specialize in providing a commercial VPN service. These companies are known as “VPN Service Providers”. VPN Service Providers often have servers in multiple countries, allowing you to not only get the security and privacy benefits on a VPN, but also making it easy to access websites that restrict access to certain counties. Most VPN Service Providers charge a small monthly or yearly fee for access to their servers, however there are also a number of free service providers.
If you are looking for a VPN Service Provider please see our list of VPN Service Providers that provide setup documentation and support for Viscosity. Viscosity will be able to connect to any VPN Service Provider that supports the OpenVPN protocol (which is almost all of them).
Setting Up Your Own VPN Server
If you setup a VPN server at home you’ll be able to establish a VPN connection back to your home network and access your resources while on the road. This is particularly handy for accessing home file and media servers, viewing security cameras, controlling home devices, or as simple way to act as your own VPN Service Provider. Many consumer routers and file/media servers have inbuilt support for acting as an OpenVPN server, making getting started easier than ever (please see the guides linked below).
You can also setup an OpenVPN server on a Virtual Private Server (VPS) or dedicated server in a data center. Popular VPS providers include Amazon EC2, Digital Ocean, Linode, OVH and Vultr. This approach lets you act as your own VPN Service Provider, but with a server completely under your control. By running your own VPN server in a datacenter (as opposed to at home), you’re also not limited by the VPN server’s Internet connection when it comes to the maximum possible download and upload speeds.
We have put together a detailed Introduction to Running an OpenVPN Server guide, that covers everything from the basics to actually getting started. We recommend that as a starting point for anyone considering running their own OpenVPN server.
We have also written a large number of guides that cover the process of setting up your own OpenVPN server. These guides cover popular home routers and media servers (such as Netgear and Synology devices), enterprise grade firewalls (such as Sophos UTM, Ubiquiti EdgeRouter, and pfSense devices), and popular operating systems (such as Ubuntu and Red Hat). Please view the full list of guides by visiting the VPN Server Setup Guides section.
Once you have a VPN server you want to connect to you are ready to begin using Viscosity.
Viscosity enables this to be as simple as possible making it easy to import connections or create them from scratch. Please see the Getting Started Guide (for Mac) or the Getting Started Guide (for Windows) for a detailed setup guide and overview of Viscosity’s features.
Many workplaces and VPN Service Providers who support Viscosity provide custom versions of Viscosity that are already bundled with everything you need to connect to your VPN. If you have been supplied with a copy of Viscosity by your workplace it may be ready to go as soon as you install it.
Viscosity Review 2021: Before You Buy, Is It Worth It? – WizCase
While not the best choice for beginners, Viscosity is a good fit for you if you have previous experience with OpenVPN. If you want a more hands on style for setting up VPN connections, this is the perfect product for you. It’s also a great application for storing and managing a wide array of VPN servers that run the OpenVPN protocol.
For a beginner, you won’t get much out of this product. It requires a bit of knowledge about VPN servers and security to get the most out of it. If you’re interested in how VPNs can mask your IP address to watch shows on Netflix, there are plenty of providers who can meet your needs. ExpressVPN is a reliable choice as you can access thousands of servers, unblock all major streaming websites, and comes with a verified no-logs policy backed by third-party audits.
Viscosity’s value comes in its function as a VPN storage app. It’s great if you have multiple VPNs since it can save usernames and passwords for each server. Then you can connect to all of your servers with the click of a button. There’s no more hassle in needing to remember multiple login information when one app can streamline that process for you. The best part is you can try it free for one month with no payment of any kind required.
Is Viscosity the right fit for me?
If you have multiple VPNs for private use, work, and school, I’d highly recommend Viscosity. Its value comes in a VPN storage pack where you can easily access any of your servers with a stable and secure connection backed by military-grade encryption.
As far as beginner-friendly VPN products go, Viscosity isn’t the best option. Viscosity isn’t a VPN provider at all — it’s an OpenVPN software. It puts more responsibility on you to find and use servers that run OpenVPN protocol. If you’re not tech savvy then this isn’t the best product for you.
If you’re a beginner looking for a VPN, your best bet would be to find a high-quality VPN provider. ExpressVPN is a great all-around VPN, as it comes equipped with everything you’d need. You’ll have access to 5, 500+ servers, guaranteed access to region-locked websites like Netflix and Hulu, and reliable speeds. If you want to test its features first, you can also try it for free for 30 days!
Can I get Viscosity for free?
Yes, you can get Viscosity for free for one month. The free trial doesn’t require an email nor a credit card. You just need to download it on your macOS or Windows device. The 30-day trial gives you full access to the application, letting you explore all of its features before deciding whether to commit to a payment. However, Viscosity has a very strict refund policy so you might want to be sure it would be a good fit before you subscribe.
If you’re interested in a VPN provider that offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, there are some great options. ExpressVPN doesn’t ask any questions during the refund process. If you’re dissatisfied with the service, you can get a refund within just a few minutes. When testing it out myself, I got my money back in my back account 2 days later.
Will I be safe using Viscosity?
Viscosity is a safe VPN client when it comes to making sure your data remains encrypted. While you can connect to servers that run OpenVPN security protocols, Viscosity adds IPv6 for another layer of security, ensuring you remain safe while browsing the web.
However, I can’t say this is a safe VPN client without a kill switch. If your server connection drops, a kill switch will disconnect you from the internet so you won’t surf the web unsecured. The issue here is that Viscosity can disconnect at random, leaving you unsecured without notification. While this only happened to me once during testing, this is a significant risk to your personal information and security that doesn’t have a failsafe option.
For a safe VPN alternative, you can try ExpressVPN’s top-notch security features. With ExpressVPN, you’ll have access to a kill switch that guarantees you only have an internet connection while secured. Backed by its staunch no-logs policy, you won’t have to worry about your data being sold off to any third-parties.
Try Viscosity for yourself
Frequently Asked Questions about how to use viscosity vpn
How does Viscosity VPN Work?
Viscosity has been designed to keep you secure in almost any network environment. It will automatically adjust to varying network conditions to keep your VPN connection active, warn you about changes, and automatically reconnect when network dropouts occur.
How do I setup a VPN viscosity?
Viscosity Setup Guide1) Download and install Viscosity – http://www.sparklabs.com/viscosity/download/2) Download our OpenVPN config – SlickVPN .ovpn.3) Find the Viscosity icon by the clock.4) Right-click the icon and choose ‘Preferences’5) Click the + button and import connection from file.More items…
Is Viscosity VPN good?
There’s one thing you should understand before reading the rest of this review: Viscosity is not a VPN. It’s a high-quality VPN client that establishes fast and secure connections to external servers that run OpenVPN protocol. … It’s not a beginner-friendly program, so I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re new to VPNs.Sep 4, 2021