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Knowledgebase: Windows
Creating a VPN server
Posted by Michael Upton on 04 June 2008 12:36 PM

A VPN (Virtual Private Network) allows you to gain access to your works network or server from any location as long as you have internet access. Once connected you can gain access to various resources such as documents stored on the network and gain internet access through the server.

Setting up a VPN takes just a few steps. Before you begin make sure you have remote desktop access (RDP) to your server. If you are unsure about this please see the guide on Remote Desktop

Setting up a VPN on the dedicated server.

  • Firstly establish a remote desktop connection to your server. Make sure you know the IP address of the server and have administrator access.

  • Once logged on go into the Control Panel via the start menu. From here enter Administrative Tools and then select Routing and Remote Access.

  • In this menu on the left hand panel you can see a 'Server Status' tab. Click the server icon that matches the local server name. Under this should be the name of your server, if not right+click on server status and click on 'Add Server'. Leave the check box as 'This computer' and press OK.

  • Now right+click on the server and select 'Configure and Enable Routing and Remote Access'.

  • On this menu click 'Custom configuration'. Next select ‘VPN access and NAT and basic firewall’ from the options. Click next and when you see an option to start the service select 'yes'.

  • Now you will see more tabs appear in the left hand panel. All computers connected to a network are assigned a private IP address. This differs from a public IP in the sense that people outside of the network on the internet cannot directly access the private IP's on a network. People on a private network accessing the internet will be shown as having 1 public IP address assigned to the network via the network owner’s internet provider.

  • The reason for specifically allocated private IP pools is that there is a finite amount of IP addresses to go around and as more and more electronic devices are able to connect to the Internet these days they'll soon run out. Also there’s not much need for each computer on private networks to have publicly accessible addresses.

  • So now right+click the hostname in the left hand panel again and click ‘Properties’. From here click the IP tab. Here you can allocate IP addresses to connecting VPN clients. You can click 'Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP)' if you want to automatically assign addresses to remote clients, or click ‘Static address pool’ if you want remote clients to be given an address from a pre-defined pool of addresses. In most cases, the DHCP option is simpler to administer. However, if DHCP is not available, you must specify a range of static addresses.

  • If you clicked ‘Static address pool’ for a specified range of addresses click the ‘Add’ button. Type the first IP address in the range of addresses that you want to use in the Start IP address box. Type the last IP address in the range in the End IP address box. Windows calculates the number of addresses automatically. Click OK to return to the Address Range Assignment window and OK to finish this setup option.

  • Back in the Routing and Remote Access window, click the ‘NAT/Basic Firewall’ option from the left hand menu. In the main area that opens up to the right of this right+click in this area and select ‘New Interface’ and pick ‘Local area connection’ from the options.

  • In this menu make sure both ‘Public interface connected to the Internet’ and ‘Enable NAT on this interface’ are selected and press OK.

  • To set a specific private IP to the connecting VPN client user use the following:-

  • On your server click Control Panel > Administrative tools > Computer Management. In this menu on the left hand panel select ‘Local Users and Groups’ and select the user account registered with the system you wish to connect to the VPN with. In this users profile click the ‘Dial-in’ tab, click ‘Assign a static IP address’ check box and enter the private IP address you wish to assign to that user every time he/she connects. Also make sure the ‘Allow access’ box is checked at the top of this page under the heading ‘Remote Access Permission (Dial-in or VPN)’.

Please be aware that VPN servers are only available on our dedicated servers, not our VPS (Virtual Private Server) range.

Note: Sometimes remote desktop requires console access to be activated. To do this click the Start button on your desktop and click the Run option. In this box type the following -
mstsc /console
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