How to Set Up a Simple VPN in Windows 8

How to Set Up a Simple VPN Client and Server in Windows 8

Each VPN has 2 parts: the server part receives the connection and a client part that is the “away” computer. The VPN server is a Windows 8 computer at the office or in your home that waits for a connection from an outside Windows computer called the VPN client and will let you connect to that remote network over the Internet just as if you were there.

Once a VPN is set up you can get files from any computer on the same network as the Windows server. For example, if you use Windows HomeGroups or mapped network drives, you can get to those computers. If you have a file server of NAS, you can also connect to it. If you have music or photos sharing through MediaCenter or Windows Media Player, you can also get to them. See this post if you want to learn how to set up Windows Media player to share your media. Or you can read about other Windows DLNA media players. You can also learn how to remote control a PC through a VPN. And if you want to learn how to set up a home file server we have that too.

The first part of the tutorial shows you how to set up the Windows VPN server. Then the tutorial shows you the changes that need to be made to your router. Later in the tutorial, we show you how to set up the Windows VPN client. Finally we show you how to connect to the remote network through the VPN and how to disconnect.

PPTP VPN Server Set Up

First we show you how to set up the server computer that will receive the PPTP VPN connection.

1 From the Windows 8 VPN server PC, press the <Windows> key and type in ncpa.cpl <Enter> to bring up the Control Panel\Network and Internet\Network and Sharing Center window.

How to Set Up a Simple VPN in Windows 8: Search

 

2 Then press the <Alt> key and click on “File” you will see a menu pop up. Click on “New Incoming Connection…”

 How to Set Up a Simple VPN in Windows 8: New Incoming

 

3 You should see some user names for that computer. Put a check mark for the user you want to give VPN access to. It is this user/password combination that will be used to authenticate the VPN connection. Then click on “Next”.

How to Set Up a Simple VPN in Windows 8:   Incoming Users

 

4You will see this window pop up. Make sure there is a check mark beside “Through the Internet”. Click “Next”
How to Set Up a Simple VPN in Windows 8: How Connect
 

5The next window that pops up confirms that you will use the Internet Protocol to make this connection. Set a check mark for “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)”. Click on “Next”.
 How to Set Up a Simple VPN in Windows 8: Internet Protocol
 

6 Finally, Take note of the computer name that shows up in the next window. Write it down somewhere. You will need it later.
How to Set Up a Simple VPN in Windows 8: Computer Name

VPN Router Set Up

Now let’s set up the router for the VPN. You will need the user name and ID to log in to the router. Hopefully you have that written somewhere. The router needs to be configured because routers and firewalls don’t normally allow any traffic to come in from the Internet. We need to make an exception for the router to let the VPN connection come into your network. We also need to tell it to send that incoming connection to the VPN Windows server.

1 In the icon tray on the server PC, find network icon. It will either look like this if you are using a WiFi connection or it will look like a small computer and plug if you have a wired connection. Right click the network connection icon.
How to Set Up a Simple VPN in Windows 8:  Icon Tray
 

2Click on “Open Network and Sharing Center” to see the next window.
How to Set Up a Simple VPN in Windows 8:  Open Network and Sharing Center 2
 

4Click on the network icon.

How to Set Up a Simple VPN in Windows 8: NCPA choose interface

 

5The next window will pop up. Now click on “Details…” to find the server’s IP address.

How to Set Up a Simple VPN in Windows 8: WiFi Status

 

6The IP address of the server is shown in this window. Write it down. You will need it later. Close that window and all others.

 How to Set Up a Simple VPN in Windows 8: Network Connections Detail

 

7Next we log in to the VPN router using a browser. Connect to it using its address (which usually ends with a “1”) and username/password. All routers are different. So yours may look a bit different than mine. Usually the first screen shows the “Internet IP address”. It will NOT start with 192, 172, or 10. Write it down. You will need it later.
How to Set Up a Simple VPN in Windows 8: Router IP

8There should be another screen in the router for “gaming”. Find that screen and look for “port range forwarding” or something like that. In that screen enter “1723” for both port numbers. Use “both” for protocols. And type in the IP address you gout in Server step 6. Make sure you save everything. You can now close your browser.
 How to Set Up a Simple VPN in Windows 8: Port Number

PPTP VPN Client Set Up

The client is the “away” Windows computer. The client PPTP VPN set up is very simple. You just need to tell it how to find to the server by giving it the Windows VPN server IP address.

1First RIGHT click on the network icon in the icon tray.
 How to Set Up a Simple VPN in Windows 8: Icon Tray
 

2The following menu will appear. Select “Open Network and Sharing Center” just like you did with the VPN server PC.
How to Set Up a Simple VPN in Windows 8: Open Network and Sharing Center 2

3Now select “Setup a new connection or network”.

How to Set Up a Simple VPN in Windows 8: Set Up Net Connection
 

4On the next screen click on “Connect to a workplace”.
 How to Set Up a Simple VPN in Windows 8: Connect to Workplace
 

5Then select “No, create a new connection”.
How to Set Up a Simple VPN in Windows 8:  Create New Connection
 

6Select “Use my Internet connection (VPN)”.
How to Set Up a Simple VPN in Windows 8: Use My Internet Connection
 

7Now type in the IP address you got from the router in PPTP VPN Router in step 7. Then type in any name you want for the connection. And we are done.
How to Set Up a Simple VPN in Windows 8:  Internet Address

VPN Connection

Now let’s see if the VPN connection works.

1From the client PC, LEFT click on the network icon.
 How to Set Up a Simple VPN in Windows 8: Left Click
 

2The following charms menu will show up. Now click on the VPN name you created under Client step 7. And click on “Connect”.

 How to Set Up a Simple VPN in Windows 8: Select Connection
 How to Set Up a Simple VPN in Windows 8: VPN Connect
 

After a moment you will be prompted for the username and password you selected in VPN Server step 3. Once entered you will be connected to the remote network, and should be able to access PCs or a NAS on your home network, map network drives, connect to your Windows HomeGroup, or get music from your media server.
 How to Set Up a Simple VPN in Windows 8: Connected

Summary
Article Name
How to Set Up a Simple VPN in Windows 8
Author
Description
This tutorial shows you how to set up a simple VPN client and server in Windows 8.Virtual Private Networks let you connect to remote computers and networks over the Internet just as if you were there. The Windows built-in VPN is the simplest to configure. It is a hidden feature in Windows 8 and can be a little bit tricky to get working.
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Comments

  1. Fred Antoun says

    I followed these instructions closely and would like to connect remotely to shared folders with my Android. I can’t seem to create a connection. When accessing the vpn server with Android do I need to reference the port? Example http://whatever.dyndns.com:1723

    • André Roberge says

      Right, the port forwarding sends your traffic directly to a server, not the router. If you need to access the router configuration web interface, then there is a different feature that you need to turn on that lets you access the router from the internet side. Note that it is a VERY bad idea to use this feature.

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