How to Configure a VPN

Five Methods:Connecting to an Existing VPNCreating a VPN Server in WindowsCreating a VPN Server With Third-Party ProgramsCreating VPN Connection on Mobile device (iOS)Creating VPN Connection on Mobile device (Android)

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) allows you to connect to a private network from anywhere that you have internet access. While this is very beneficial to corporate users, it can be useful for home users as well. Setting up a VPN will allow you to access files and printers on your home network while away somewhere else. Data transferred through a VPN is encrypted, so your information is protected from snoopers. Learn to connect to an existing VPN on a computer, set up a new VPN server, and connect to VPNs on your iOS and Android devices.

Method 1
Connecting to an Existing VPN

  1. Image titled Configure a VPN Step 1
    Connect using Windows Vista/7/8. Open the Network and Sharing center. You can access this by searching for “network and sharing” and selecting it from the results list.
    • Click the “Set up a new connection or network” link. In Vista, this will be located in the sidebar.
    • Scroll down and select “Connect to a workplace”.
    • If you have a wireless connection already select No,create a new connection.
    • Select “Use my Internet connection (VPN)”.
    • Enter the VPN information. In the “Internet address” field, enter in the server domain name or IP address. Enter any description you would like in the “Destination name” field. Click Next when ready.
    • If you’re setting the connection up for later, select the “Don’t connect now” box.
    • Enter your login information if you want. When creating the connection, you are given the option to enter your username and password for the VPN. If you’d rather be prompted for this when you start the connection, leave the fields blank and click Create.
    • If you didn’t check the “Don’t connect now” box, you will need to enter the login information now, as Windows will attempt to connect to the VPN when you click the Create button.
    • Connect to the VPN. When you want to connect to the VPN, click on the Network icon in your system tray. Your VPN will be listed in the available networks list. Select it and enter your login information to connect.[1]
  2. Image titled Configure a VPN Step 2
    Connect using Mac OS X. Click the Apple menu and select System Preferences. Open the Network section.
    • Click the (+) button at the bottom of the list on the left. Select VPN from the Interface menu.
    • Select the type of VPN that you are connecting to. You can ask your VPN operator what type of VPN you are connecting to.
    • Label the VPN however you see fit in the “Service Name” field. Click the Create button once you are finished.
    • Enter the VPN and log in information. Enter the domain or IP address of the VPN server into the “Server Address” field. Enter your username and password provided by the administrator of the VPN.
      • Check the “Show VPN status in menu bar” box to have the VPN appear in your status bar near the normal connection icon.
    • Click Connect to connect to your newly configured VPN.[2]
  3. Image titled Configure a VPN Step 3
    Connect to a PPTP VPN using Linux. In order to connect to a VPN, you will need to install the Network Manager applet. Most Linux distributions come with this preinstalled, but you will still need to install a plugin specific to the type of VPN you are connecting to. Your VPN administrator can tell you the type of VPN you are using.
    • Download the Network Manager applet and plugin. You can install both the applet and the plugin at the same time with the following command. Note, this is for PPTP VPN connections, the most common type for home users and small businesses:
      sudo apt-get install network-manager-gnome network-manager-pptp
      • If you already have the Network Manager applet and just need the plugin, remove network-manager-gnome from the above command.
      • Once the installation is complete, restart the applet with the command:
        sudo Network Manager restart
    • Click on the Network Manager icon. Select the VPN tab. Click the Add button to create a new VPN connection.
    • Enter your VPN information. In the “Gateway” field, enter the IP address or domain of the VPN that you are connecting to. Enter the username and password that you received into the appropriate boxes.
    • Click the advanced button. You will need to make a few settings adjustments before you can connect.
      • Uncheck PAP and EAP in the Authentication field.
      • Check CHAP, MSCHAP, and MSCAPv2 in the Authentication field.
      • Check the “Use Point-to-Point encryption (MPPE)” box.
      • Select 128-bit encryption in the Security pulldown menu.
      • Check “Allow stateful encryption” and “Send PPP echo packets”. Uncheck everything else.
    • Connect to the VPN. Once you are finished making changes, right-click on the Network Manager icon and select your VPN. You may need to restart your computer before this appears.[3]

Method 2
Creating a VPN Server in Windows

  1. Image titled Configure a VPN Step 4
    Configure your router. You will need to open a port on your router that points to the IP address of the computer hosting the VPN. Enter your router’s IP address into a web browser address bar. This is typically,, or Refer to your router’s documentation for details.
    • Navigate to the Port Forwarding section. This may be labeled Virtual Servers or Applications.
    • Create a new port forwarding entry. Set the external port to something random, such as 23452. Set the internal port to 1723. Forward to port to the IP address of the computer running the VPN server.
  2. Image titled Configure a VPN Step 5
    Open the Network Connections window. You can access this directly by searching for “ncpa.cpl”. Click on the result in the search list.
  3. Image titled Configure a VPN Step 6
    Press the Alt button to show the menu bar. Click File and select “New Incoming Connection”.
  4. Image titled Configure a VPN Step 7
    Determine which users can connect to the VPN. By default, the list will include users registered on your Windows network. You can add other users by clicking the “Add someone…” button. You can create new usernames and passwords this way.
  5. Image titled Configure a VPN Step 8
    Check the “Through the Internet” box. This will allow users to access the VPN using any internet connection.
  6. Image titled Configure a VPN Step 9
    Decide whether or not to share your files. Depending on who you are giving access to your VPN to, you may want to disable “File and Printer Sharing” to protect the security of your files. If you are using the VPN to access your files remotely, leave this checked.
  7. Image titled Configure a VPN Step 10
    Copy down the computer name. Connecting users will need to enter this when they make the connection to the VPN.
  8. Image titled Configure a VPN Step 11
    Check your VPN connection. Open the Network Connections window again (ncpa.cpl). Your VPN connection should appear in the list, and will notify you if other clients are currently connected to it.[4]

Method 3
Creating a VPN Server With Third-Party Programs

  1. Image titled Configure a VPN Step 12
    Find a VPN program that suits your needs. There are a variety of programs available for setting up a personal VPN. Many are paid products, but some offer free versions for basic users. LogMeIn Hamachi and OpenVPN are two such programs. If you use the free version of Hamachi, you are limited to 5 connections to your VPN, which is usually enough for most personal users.
    • For Mac OS X, check out iVPN as well. Hamachi works on Mac OS X too.
    • This section will be based on LogMeIN Hamachi.
  2. Image titled Configure a VPN Step 13
    Install the VPN program on an always-on computer. In order for Hamachi to be effective at creating a private network, the server should be configured on a computer that is generally always connected.
    • When you run Hamachi for the first time, click the blue Power button to start the server program.
    • Select the Network menu, and then choose “Create a new network”.
    • Enter a network name of your choice and create a strong password.
  3. Image titled Configure a VPN Step 14
    Install the VPN program on the computers that you want to connect to the VPN. Each client that you want to connect will need to have the VPN program installed.
    • On the connecting computer, open the VPN program. Open the Network menu and select “Join an existing network”.
    • Enter the network information, including the network name and password. Press connect and you will be connected to the Hamachi VPN.

Method 4
Creating VPN Connection on Mobile device (iOS)

  1. 1
    Go to Settings > General > VPN
  2. 2
    Click Add VPN Configuration
  3. 3
    Choose PPTP VPN and enter you VPN account data. You will receive your VPN server, username and password in the e-mail
  4. 4
    Save your VPN configuration. Once you have created VPN connection you can switch it ON and OFF on the main settings screen.

Method 5
Creating VPN Connection on Mobile device (Android)

  1. 1
    Click Settings icon
  2. 2
    Select Wireless & Networks and tap on VPN
  3. 3
    Tap Add VPN Network
  4. 4
    Input connection name, select the type of your VPN connection - PPTP VPN, input VPN server address from your account data.
    • Please be careful - don't use any additional symbols like spaces, http://, www, / ...etc in the server address.
  5. 5
    Input your Username and password that you received from VPN account service in e-mail.
  6. 6
    Save it and tap Connect.
  7. 7
    Connect. To connect to the VPN server:
    • Select Home > Menu > Settings.
    • Tap Wireless & networks.
    • Tap VPN settings.
    • The VPN connections you have added are present in the list.
    • Tap the VPN you wish to connect to.
    • A dialog box will open asking for your credentials, enter them and click connect.
    • When you are connected to VPN, you will see an ongoing notification in the Status bar on your Android device. If you are disconnected, you will receive a notification and an option to go back to the VPN settings section.


  • If you have Windows 2003 server as VPN server, you can assign a static IP under user's properties. If you use other Windows OS as VPN server, you may want to create a DHCP reservation.
  • If your VPN client cannot find servers or cannot ping computer name, you may need to add DNS and WINS into your VPN server. For example, to add DNS and WINS on a Cisco Firewall PIX, add vpdn group 1 client configuration dns dnsservername and vpdn group 1 client configuration wins winsservername.
  • If you are running w2k/xp pro setup for a domain controller, you will have an option to "log on using dial-up connection" on logon screen after creating a VPN/dial-up connection. In the Log On to Windows dialog box, the user can select the Log on using dial-up connection check box. After clicking OK, the user is prompted to choose a network connection.

Article Info

Categories: Networking