How to Setup VPN on Windows 10.
On Windows, you can create your own VPN server to access shared folders or other internet applications on the go. Windows does this using the PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling) protocol. In fact, most companies use this method to give their employees access to company resources, files, and applications. Since this is a good old VPN, your connection is completely encrypted. If you’re curious, follow these steps to create your own VPN server on Windows.
Read: How to access files on your computer from anywhere with TeamViewer
Before you create a Windows VPN server to access specific applications or shared folders over the Internet, you should be aware that this procedure is not suitable for beginners. You should know things like port forwarding, creating a new user account, basic firewall settings, local IPs, etc.
It will also be helpful if you have a static IP address. However, most ISPs only assign dynamic IP addresses. If this is your case, I recommend that you register with a dynamic DNS service like OpenDNS or No-IP and get a static address for your dynamic IP. This simplifies VPN setup.
To make it easier to understand, I have divided the entire procedure into four parts. Follow each section and you will be fine.
How to set up a VPN on Windows 10
The first thing we need to do is create a VPN server on the machine that you want to access over the internet. You can think of this machine as a server with a static address. As I said, if your IP is dynamic, use a dynamic DNS service and create a static address for your dynamic IP.
To get started, find Control Panel in the Start menu and open it. Here go to “Network and Internet Network and Sharing Center”. Then click the “Change adapter settings” link in the left pane.
In a new window, press the ALT key on your keyboard to open the top navigation menu. Click on the “File” option and select the “New incoming connection” option.
In the new window, select the user account you want to access over the Internet and click the Next button. If you want, you can create a new user account for this specific purpose. To do this, click the “Add someone” button and fill in the required information.
Now select the option “Online”.
Leave the default settings and click the “Allow Access” button.
The above action will create an inbound connection adapter. After that, the window will display the name of your computer. Click on the “Close” button.
If you look at the control panel, you will see a new adapter.
Typically, Windows will automatically assign an IP address to this adapter as needed. However, under certain circumstances, this behavior can cause problems. To avoid this, you can manually assign a range of IP addresses. To do this, right-click on the inbound adapter and select Properties.
In the properties window go to the Networking tab. Here select “Internet Protocol Version 4” and click “Properties”.
Select the Specify IP Addresses option and enter the range of local IP addresses that you want to assign to this VPN adapter. Make sure these IP addresses are not in use by other systems. For example, I assigned a range of IP addresses from 192.168.100.100 to 192.168.100.121, which is outside of my commonly used range of 192.168.100.1 to 192.168.100.20. Click the OK button to save your changes.
Then proceed to create a firewall exception.
Windows Firewall configuration
After the VPN is created, you need to make an exception for it in the firewall. Otherwise, the connection may be blocked by Windows Firewall.
Search for Windows Defender Firewall in the Start menu and open it.
In the firewall window, click the Allow an application or function through Windows Defender Firewall link that appears in the left pane.
Now scroll down the list until you find the Routing and Remote Access feature and check both checkboxes next to it. Click the OK button to save your changes.
That’s all. You have finished adding the firewall exception.
Configure Port Forward on your router
For this to work, you need to forward your router ports to your VPN server. In case you’re wondering, without proper port forwarding, your router doesn’t know where to send incoming traffic and simply rejects the connection. This is a built-in security feature. Depending on your router manufacturer and firmware version, the placement of the port forwarding option may be slightly different. However, setting up port forwarding is very simple.
Regardless of which router you are using, login to it, find the port forwarding option and configure it as shown below.
- Service type: PPTP.
- Protocols: Select TCP and UDP.
- IP Address: Enter the IP address of the computer hosting the VPN server. In my case, it is 192.168.100.1.
- Start port: 1723
- End port: 1723
After you are done with your changes, save them and exit the router page.
Create a Windows VPN client
Finally, you can create a VPN client on the machine from which you want to access another computer over the Internet. The good news is that Windows has built-in features that allow you to connect to another computer over the Internet.
In Windows, open the Settings app, go to Network & Internet VPN, and click the Add VPN Connection button.
Now set up your VPN connection as follows.
- VPN provider: Windows (built-in).
- Connection name: name it whatever you want.
- Server Name or Address: Enter your public IP address. You can find it with a simple Google search. If you are using a dynamic DNS service, enter the address provided by the service.
- VPN type: PPTP
- Login information type: username and password
- Username: Enter the username you chose when you created the VPN server. In my case, the username is “techwiser”.
- Password: Enter the password for the above user.
Select “Remember my login information” and click the “Save” button.
Finally, click the VPN connection you just created and then click the Connect button.
If all goes well, the VPN should connect to your other system over the Internet.
From this point on, you can access any shared folders through File Explorer by selecting the Network option in the left navigation bar, or work with other enabled services or applications through this connection. To access the application, you need to additionally configure the specified application to monitor the port and respond to the incoming connection. The configuration will be completely different depending on the application.
That’s all. Comment below to share your thoughts, and using the above, approve the creation of a VPN server in Windows to be accessed over the Internet via another computer.
Read: 7 Ways to Remotely Access Your Computer’s Files Over the Internet