Although setting up a VPN connection under Windows XP is quite simple, many people are still not aware of what this process involves. This article aims to provide you with the exact steps for creating a new VPN connection in any computer that runs the above-mentioned operating system.
No additional tools are required, since Windows XP has everything built-in, and once the task is completed all your data will pass safely through the encrypted tunnel. Next, the step by step process:
1. Check that your computer is properly linked to the internet. To do this simply open your browser and navigate to a sample web page, or use the Ping command on a well-known host, such as Google.com.
2. Click Start, navigate to the Settings tab, then click Control Panel.
3. Once you’ve entered Control Panel, double-click “Network Connections”.
4. Click on the “Create a new connection” command from the “Network Tasks” panel.
5. Once the Network Connection Wizard shows up, click Next.
6. Tick the “Connect to the network – at my workplace” box (the 2nd option) and click Next.
7. Tick the “Virtual Private Network” box (the 2nd option) and click Next.
8. If you are prompted, you’ll need to select what type of connection you’re currently using. If you connect to the internet via a Dial-up connection, then tick the 2nd box. On the other hand, if you connect via DSL, Cable, T1, Satellite, etc., then tick the 1st box. Click Next.
9. Type the hostname or IP address of the computer which you want to link to. This can also be set- up later if you don’t have the information. Click Next.
10. You might be asked whether you use a Smart Card or not. Tick the appropriate box and Click Next. Now you have almost finished, the rest of the process simply verifies your connection.
11. Select whether you want to add a desktop shortcut of this connection or not. Tick the box accordingly.
12. Now you need to test the connection to see if it’s working. Open the “Network Connections” window again (Start – Settings – Control Panel – Network Connections), right click on the newly-created VPN connection and select Properties.
13. The first tab you’ll see is the “General Tab”. This one mainly covers your connection name, which can also be renamed by right clicking the connection and selecting Rename. Here you can also set-up a First Connect habit, which means that Windows will try to connect to a given public network before it attempts to start your standard VPN connection. This is where Dial-up becomes very important, so if you connect to the internet through this method set-up its coordinates here.
14. The next panel is the “Options Tab”. A lot of settings can be made here. For instance, you may choose to connect to a given Windows Domain by simply ticking the appropriate box (which is unchecked by default), and then the VPN client will ask for your Windows logon domain
information when you access the VPN connection at first. You can also set-up your redial attempts period from here, which is very useful if your computer is connected via a Dial-up network. Dropped lines are very common, thus seek a redialing interval of minimum 60 seconds.
15. The next tab in the list is the “Security Tab”. Here you’ll find basic security configurations of
your VPN client. This is where and advanced IPSec and other security protocols can be set-up, as well as the place where you can choose if you want the VPN client to ask for encryption and credentials or not.
16. The next tab you’ll see is the “Networking Tab”. Here you can select the networking items to be used by your VPN connection.
17. The last tab in the list is the “Advanced Tab”. Here you can make extra configurations for your connection, such as setting-up a firewall or choosing the computers to share it to.
Testing The Connection
Alright, you managed to successfully setup your VPN on Windows XP. Now, the next step is to try a remote connection to your VPN server. To do this simply follow the steps below:
1. Go back to the “Network Connections” menu (Start – Settings – Control Panel – Network Connections) and double-click your VPN connection. This will initiate the link to your corporate office.
2. Type your defined Username and Password, then click Connect. (From the same menu you can also select the Properties panel which will bring the back menu with global/security VPN settings that we discussed a little earlier in this article.)
3. Now your VPN connection should be fully setup and working. To disconnect it simply right click on the icon related to it and select “Disconnect”.
Setting up a VPN connection under Windows XP is by no means a process that should worry you.
Even if you don’t know where the VPN device that came with your client is, Windows XP makes it very easy for you to set-up a connection using its predefined tools.
And if you still don’t manage to connect to it you can always access Microsoft Knowledge
Base at http://support.microsoft.com