How to Set Up VPN Connections in Windows XP

A virtual private network connects two private networks over the internet

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A virtual private network securely connects two private networks over the internet. Setting up a VPN on a Windows XP computer isn't difficult if you know the steps to take. A VPN connection allows Windows XP clients to connect to a VPN remote access server. Microsoft VPN uses the PPTP and LT2P network protocols. Before you start, you'll need the host name and/or IP address for a VPN remote access server. Ask your company network administrator for the VPN connection information.

How to Set-Up a VPN Connection

  1. Open the Windows XP Control Panel.

  2. Open the Network Connections item in Control Panel. A list of existing dial-up and LAN connections appear.

  3. Choose to Create a new connection to open the Windows XP New Connection Wizard.

  4. Click Next to begin the wizard, and then choose Connect to the network at my workplace in the list and click Next.

  5. On the Network Connection page of the wizard, choose the Virtual Private Network connection option and click Next.

  6. Enter a name for the new VPN connection in the Company Name field and click Next. The name chosen need not match the name of an actual business.

  7. Choose an option on the Public Network screen and click Next. The default option, Automatically dials this initial connection can be used if the VPN connection will always be initiated when the computer is not already connected to the internet. Otherwise, choose the Do not dial the initial connection option. This option requires that the public internet connection is established first before this new VPN connection is initiated.

  8. Enter the name or IP address of the VPN remote access server to connect to, and click Next.

  9. Choose an option on the Connection Availability screen. The default option, My Use Only, ensures that Windows will make this new connection available only to the currently logged-on user. Otherwise, choose the Anyone's use option. Click Next.

  10. Click Finish to complete the wizard and save the new VPN connection information.

Tips for VPN Setup

  • While no practical limits exist on what may be entered in the Company Name field, choose a connection name that will be easy to recognize later.
  • Take special care to key the VPN server name/IP address data correctly. The Windows XP wizard does not automatically validate this server information.