Using a VPN with Windows 7


Using a VPN with Windows 7




Greetings once again Bloggees:


This month’s tip is for using a VPN in Windows 7.  For information about setting up a VPN in Windows XP, please refer to our blog, “How to setup Microsoft VPN.”


To review, a VPN is a Virtual Private Network.  Wikipedia defines it as a computer network that uses a public telecommunication infrastructure such as the Internet to provide remote offices or individual users with secure access to their organization’s network.  In laymen’s terms, a VPN connects you with your organization’s domain when you cannot be in the office.  It is generally used by people that work from home or travel a lot, or entire offices that are not directly tied to the larger network.


Pros.  Literally you can connect to your network from anywhere as long as you have an Internet Connection.  You are able to view shared files and folders that are made available on the network.  VPN can save an organization money by eliminated the need for long-distance lease lines, reducing long-distance charges, and offloading support costs.  They are also beneficial because they are scalable.  Especially true with Internet-based VPNs such as Microsoft because it taps into the public lines and network tools already available.

Cons.  The reliability and performance of an Internet-based VPN is not under a company’s direct control.  You are at the mercy of your ISP and their quality of service.  Another level of security threats are added when a VPN users connects to the network using an unsecure home laptop or desktop computer.  

Note.  There are software and hardware VPNs.  We commonly use Microsoft’s VPN because it is cost effective for us to do so.  The remainder of this blog will be only referring to Microsoft’s software VPN.


10 Steps to setup a VPN Connection in Windows 7:

1. Go to Control Panel and open Networking and Sharing Center

2. Click on Set up a new connection or network in the Change your networking settings pane

3. Click on Connect to a workplace, then click Next

4. Select Use my Internet connection (VPN)

5. Provide an Internet address or FDQN URL in the Interet Address field

6. Provide a name for this connection in the Destination name field

7. Check Allow other people to use this connection if you want to share this link with all users

8. Check Don’t connect now, and then select Next

9. Enter your specific user name and password credentials for this VPN access, and select Create

10.  Click Close.


Additional Notes.  The VPN connection will drop automatically if the computer is restarted.  You MUST be online for the VPN connection to work.  The VPN connection will not connect initially unless specified when logging into the computer.


5 Steps to log into the VPN Connection at the Windows login prompt:

1. First log into the VPN connection

2. Log completely out of the computer

3. At the Windows login prompt, select Switch Users

4. In the bottom right of the screen, select the Network login icon

5. Enter your credentials for your VPN connection.


As always, continue surfing the web safely and securely.

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James Keel

Systems Engineer
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