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
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.
- 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