VPNs have caught on quickly with small and medium-size businesses, primarily for three reasons:
- VPNs permit employees to connect to office resources from home or other locations using common hardware.
- VPNs provide secure connections.
- The cost to set up and maintain a VPN is low compared to other networking connection solutions.
In this Daily Feature, we’ll describe the process of setting up a VPN client connection within the Windows XP operating system.
Looking for more?
Other TechProGuild articles related to VPNs can be found at the following links:
”SonicWALL PRO-VX provides fast, simple firewall and VPN solution”
”How to configure Win2K client VPN connections”
”Configure Windows XP Professional to be a VPN server”
|You can configure a variety of settings for dial-up and VPN connections.|
If you’re configuring laptops for remote VPN connections via DSL modem, LAN, or WAN connectivity, navigate through Start | Control Panel | Network And Internet Connections and click the Set Up Or Change Your Internet Connection link. Once the Internet Properties window opens (Figure A), click the Setup button, which will open the New Connection Wizard. In the wizard, you’ll find four selections (instead of the five in Windows 2000 Professional). The connection type you’ll select is Connect To The Network At My Workplace. Then, the next window will ask you to specify the type of connection you’re creating. Select the Virtual Private Network Connection option and click Next. The next two screens will ask for the company name and the IP address of the VPN server. Once you've clicked through these screens, you'll be greeted with the final screen, which will ask if you'd like to add a shortcut to this connection to the desktop. If you want a VPN icon, click Yes; choose No if you don’t. Click Finish.
If you’re connecting via dial-up, there are only two differences. In the New Connection Wizard, under the Network Connection screen, you’ll select Dial-up Connection instead of Virtual Private Network connection, and you’ll enter a phone number instead of an IP address.
If you need to change the telephone number or other settings associated with the VPN connection, you can do so easily through the Properties window (see Figure A).
Connecting to the VPN
To connect, double-click the shortcut—if you chose to create one—or select the connection by clicking Start | Connect To and selecting the name of the connection you created. Supply your User Name and Password for the network you wish to access (see Figure B) and you’ll be ready to start enjoying the benefits of secure, remote access.
|Supply your networking User Name and Password for authentication purposes.|
If you want to edit the settings for the connection, you can do so from the Properties window. You can modifyDialing and Redialing options, Security options, TCP/IP, and Advanced options, such as Firewalling and NAT. Several other options can be configured on the tabs in your connection’s Properties window, including:
- Changing security settings of individual components.
- Selecting privacy settings for Internet zones.
- Whether you need to configure a proxy server.
- Which program Windows will associate with a specific service.
XP makes VPN a cinch
Windows XP includes a VPN functionality that is more robust and clearer than in previous versions of Windows. Given that more and more companies are turning to VPNs for security reasons, you need to understand how to configure this networking option.