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How To Setup PPTP VPN On Linux (Ubuntu)

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

The Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol is often used to implement Virtual Private Networks on computers and mobile devices. The protocol offers up to 128 bit encryption and allows you to secure your online sessions while using wired or wireless networks. The encrypted VPN connection offers protection from hackers and criminals so you can use it to protect your financial transactions, social accounts and identity. A VPN can also be used as an anonymizing service since it helps you to change your IP address and makes it possible to bypass all kinds of firewalls and local censorship and even access web based services that are usually not available in your country. In this article, you will learn how to setup PPTP VPN on a Linux (Ubuntu) machine. As you will discover in the following paragraphs, the setup process is extremely simple and anyone with bare minimum knowledge of Linux can configure the VPN within minutes.

How To Configure PPTP VPN on Ubuntu

While it is possible to setup a VPN using command line interface, we will use an easier approach and use the GUI to configure the VPN. Follow the steps given below to create a new VPN connection:

Step 1:  Click on the “Network Manager” icon located in the Desktop Notification Area. Depending on the type of network connection that you usually use, the icon could be in the form of two computer screens, two arrows pointing in opposite direction or a signal meter (for wireless networks).

Step 2:  Click on “VPN Connections” and then on “Configure VPN” option to configure a new VPN connection. (Refer to Image 2)

Step 3:  Click on the VPN tab which allows you to create new VPN connections and manage existing ones. Click on the Add button located at the right hand side of the window. (Refer to image Image 3)

Step 4:  Next, you need to specify the type of protocol that the new VPN connection will use. Choose “Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol” from the dropdown menu and then click on the Create button. (Refer to image Image 4)

Step 5:  The next screen allows you to edit VPN configuration details. First, choose an easy to remember connection name for the new VPN connection. While there is no restriction on choosing the connection name, it is highly recommended that you choose a meaningful name that helps you to identify and connect to the service quickly. Most VPN providers recommend using VPN company name along with VPN server country/city name as the connection name. You may also include the protocol name within the connection name if you are planning to create multiple VPN connections with different protocols that point to the same VPN server. For example, if want to connect to New York Server of VPN XYZ company with PPTP protocol then you can name the connection as VPNXYZ-NY-PPTP.

Next, enter the VPN server URL or IP address in the “Gateway” text box. Type your VPN account userid and password details in the appropriate boxes and then click on Advanced button. In the Advanced Options screen, make sure that “Use Point-to-Point Encryption (MPPE)” option is checked. You may also need to modify other settings in this screen if it is explicitly specified by your VPN provider. Click on OK button to finalize these settings and then on Apply button to save VPN connection details. You will see that the new connection gets added in the list of VPN providers. Click on the Close button to close the Network Connections window. (Refer to Images 5a, Image 5b and Image 5c)

Step 6:  To connect to the service, click on the newly created VPN connection name available through Network Manager’s “VPN Connections” option. To stop using the service, click on the Network Manager again and click on “Disconnect VPN” available under “VPN Connections”. (Refer to Image 6a and Image 6b)

July 17, 2013

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