A Virtual Private Network (VPN), as the name indicates, is a virtual version of a private network created across a public network. In other words, a Virtual Private Network allows a computer that uses a public internet connection to send and receive data as if it were directly connected to a private network. In short, a Virtual Private Network combines the benefits of both private network and public network. Thus, a computer that is a member of a VPN can enjoy benefits such as enhanced security, manageability and privacy even though it really belongs to a public network. At the same time, your system can access high speed Internet enjoying its full potential. VPN became so popular because it is one of the great technologies in protecting online privacy.
In today’s world, when it comes to doing office work sitting at your home, VPN is really beneficial for both employees and organizations. Computers can access the private network and the network can control the computers remotely which helps organizations to monitor activities of work from home employees easily. If your Internet connection is fast, you can communicate with your office even while travelling across the globe. Organizations that have various branches can connect to the virtual network over the Internet which is beneficial in terms of security, cost effectiveness and performance.
Incoming and Outgoing VPN
Mainly there are two different methods to setup VPN. First is the Outgoing VPN and second is the Incoming VPN.
In the case of Outgoing VPN, a remote computer is set up to call into the business network. Incoming VPN happens on the network side where a computer allows making secure connections from other connected computers or remote systems. Windows 7 offers easy methods to setup both incoming and outgoing VPN with the built-in Agile VPN Client.
This tutorial is based on Windows 7.
Setup a VPN Windows 7 Tutorial – Incoming
1. Got to Start -> Control Panel -> Network and Internet -> Network and Sharing Center to open a window as given below.
2. Click on “Change adapter settings” to open a new window.
3. Press ALT +F and click on “New Incoming Connection”. You will get a window as given below.
4. Check the user whom you want to give access to this computer or create a new user account by clicking “Add someone”. Now click “Next”.
5. Check the “Through the Internet” option and click “Next”.
6. Check the protocols you wish to enable for this connection and click on “Allow Access”. Click “Close” and the incoming VPN set up is ready. You should remember the Computer name because you will need this information to connect to this computer.
Setup a VPN – Outgoing
1. Go to Start -> Control Panel -> Network and Internet -> Network and Sharing Center to open a window as given below.
2. Click on “Set up a new connection or network” which opens a new window.
3. Click on “Connect to a workplace” and click “Next”.
4. Select the option “No, create a new connection” and click “Next”. Select the option “Use My Internet Connection (VPN)” to get a window as given below.
5. In the “Internet address:” field, enter the computer name or IP address where you want to connect if you have a LAN computer or local resource. If you are connecting to a computer in which DNS is enabled, then you should enter the computer name and if the DNS is not enabled, then you should enter your router’s IP address in the “Internet address:” field. In the “Destination name:” field, enter your connection name.
6. If you just want to set up the VPN now and connect to it later, then check the option “Don’t connect now; just set it up so I can connect later”. If you want to connect soon after the set up is complete, then do not check the option. Click Next.
7. Enter the username and password which is to be granted access to the host computer. Click Connect. (You see the Connect button as “Don’t connect now; just set it up so I can connect later” was not checked. If you have checked the option, then you will find a Create button instead of Connect button.)
8. If the connection is established successfully, you will be asked to classify the VPN connection as a Home, Work or Public connection.
How to Connect to your VPN
When you want to connect through the newly created Virtual Private Network, right click on the Network icon on the desktop or system tray and click Network and Sharing Center. Or go to Start -> Control Panel -> Network and Internet -> Network and Sharing Center -> Connect to a network. You will get the “Connect VPN Connection” window.
Enter the user name, password and domain name correctly and click “Connect”.
Notes About Setting up a VPN in Windows 7
- If you are not able to connect, there could be problems related to server configuration. Click on “Properties” and go to “Security” tab. Select the type of VPN from the drop down list. Check with the network administrator to get details about the type of VPN that is used by your organization. Go to “Options” tab and unselect the option “Include Windows logon domain”. Click “OK” and try to connect again clicking “Connect” button.
- If you still face problems in connecting to the VPN, then it is better to check with the network administrator and resolve the issue.