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.
2 Then press the <Alt> key and click on “File” you will see a menu pop up. Click on “New Incoming Connection…”
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”.
4You will see this window pop up. Make sure there is a check mark beside “Through the Internet”. Click “Next”
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”.
6 Finally, Take note of the computer name that shows up in the next window. Write it down somewhere. You will need it later.
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.
2Click on “Open Network and Sharing Center” to see the next window.
4Click on the network icon.
5The next window will pop up. Now click on “Details…” to find the server’s IP address.
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.
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.
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.
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.
2The following menu will appear. Select “Open Network and Sharing Center” just like you did with the VPN server PC.
3Now select “Setup a new connection or network”.
4On the next screen click on “Connect to a workplace”.
5Then select “No, create a new connection”.
6Select “Use my Internet connection (VPN)”.
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.
Now let’s see if the VPN connection works.
1From the client PC, LEFT click on the network icon.
2The following charms menu will show up. Now click on the VPN name you created under Client step 7. And click on “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.