PPTP VPN Setup Tutorial
This is a tutorial for setting up a PPTP VPN connection in Windows using the standard windows network properties. This session is for Windows XP.
First we want to open the Control Panel, then open Network Connections. Look for the new connection wizard. If your version of XP is in the new XP mode, you will see a menu of options on the left side of the control panel where you can create a new connection.
Click next and select Connect to network at my work place. This allows you to set up either a VPN connection or a dialup connection.
Click next and select Virtual private network connection.
Click next and enter the name that identifies this connection. This can be the name of the company or any name to identify the icon to you. For the purposes of this demonstration, I will name it "test"
Click next. Normally on this screen you'd select "Do not dial the initial connection. The alternate is if you have to dial up a service to get on the internet. Select do not dial the initial connection.
Click next, enter the IP address or Host name of the remote gateway to your VPN service. This will be a public address. If the address you have starts with 192.168 or 10.0 these are non-public not routable addresses and will not connect you to your network unless your PC is inside the network you are connecting too. For our purposes, we'll connect to test.fws.net. But you might also put in an IP address such as 67.111.282.121 (this is a example IP address. Please do not use it). You will need to obtain the address of the gateway from your system administrator.
Click finish. A window should pop up requesting your username and password. We need to make a few modifications to the properties prior to our first connect, but once these are set, we will not have to edit the properties again.
Click properties and select the networking tab. Change the type of VPN from Automatic to PPTP VPN. Automatic would have worked, but since we know the connection type, we will select it here. Then ensure that the internet protocol (tcp/ip) is selected and click the properties button.
Click the advanced button
Clear the check mark on "Use default gateway on remote network". This can cause some problems as it will either direct all of your traffic for the internet through your VPN and cause a slow connection or it will give you two routes to the internet which will cause the connection to fail.
Click okay again.
Click okay on the last screen and you will be back at the login screen.
Enter your user name and password and click connect. Once connected, your login screen will drop to the system tray and look just like a regular network connection. You can identify it by hovering your mouse over the icons. When you are finished, you will need to disconnect the VPN by right-mouse clicking the system tray icon for your VPN connection and select disconnect.
This will open a portal to allow you to connect to the inside of your work or home network. In order to access those machines, you will use the IP addresses that have been assigned inside with an IP address such as 192.168 or 10.0.
You can now connect to your server using a program such as Remote Desktop Connection. Open the software and enter the IP address of the Terminal Services Machine. We will use 192.168.2.9. You will now need to login to the actual server with the username and password assigned to you on the server which will be different than the username and password to establish the VPN network.
External offices can also setup a permanent VPN using a router to router connection. This will allow all of the PCs on the remote office to connect without needing to authenticate. This requires some planning to ensure that the two offices are on separate IP address subnets in order to keep the router from becoming confused about where to route the connections.
Mac setup for PPTP VPN connection can be found here.
Mac RDP software can be downloaded from here instructions are included.
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