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How To Setup PPTP VPN On Windows XP

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

The PPTP protocol (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol) is a popular protocol used to implement virtual private networks (VPNs). Although the PPTP protocol does not provide very high level of encryption, it offers fast speeds and compatibility with a wide variety of computing and mobile devices. As far as Windows OS is concerned, all versions of Windows since Windows 95 OSR2 and Windows Mobile 2003 come bundled with a PPTP client. While a lot of VPN providers provide proprietary VPN software for Windows, some of them do require you to setup the VPN service manually. In the article below, you will learn how to setup a PPTP VPN connection on a Windows XP computer.

How To Manually Configure PPTP VPN On Windows XP

Before setting up a VPN, please ensure that your copy of Windows XP is up-to-date with the latest patches and security updates provided by Microsoft. To download the latest updates, just click on the Start button and then on the Windows Update option. After installing the updates and restarting the computer, follow the steps below to setup a VPN:

1) Open the Control panel by clicking on the Start, Settings and Control Panel options. Click on the Network Connections option that displays the list of existing connections. You can also open the Network Connections window by clicking on Start, Settings and then right clicking on Network Connections option and selecting the Open option.


2) Click on the “Create New Connection” option that is available in the left pane. This will open the New Connection Wizard that allows you to setup a wide variety of network connections. Click on the Next button to start the configuration process.

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3) In the next screen, click on the radio button next to “Connect to the network at my workplace” option and then click on the Next button.

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4) Select the “Virtual private network connection” option in the next screen and then click on the Next button.

[Refer to image http://imageshack.us/a/img825/9549/5d9s.jpg]

5) In the next screen you need to specify the name through which you will identify the VPN connection. You can use an easy to remember value in Company Name field and then click on the Next button. If you are using multiple network or VPN connections then it is best to use the name of the VPN provider in the Company Name field so that you can connect to the correct VPN provider whenever required.

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6) In the next screen you will need to choose the connection options. Select “Do not dial initial connection” and click on the Next button. However, if you use a dial up connection to connect to the internet then you need to choose “Automatically dial initial connection” option and select the dial-up connection from the dropdown list that you wish to use to connect to the internet.

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7) In the next screen, type the host name or the IP address of the VPN server that you wish to connect to. This is usually available on the VPN provider’s website or is mentioned in the welcome email sent by the VPN company. A lot VPN providers use the format CityName.ProviderName.DomainExtension for naming their servers so that it becomes easier for the customers to identify and connect to the correct server. (For example, if a VPN company VPNCom.com has a server in New York, it could be named as NewYork.VPNCom.com or simply NY.VPNCom.com). Click on “Add a shortcut” option if required and then click on the Finish button to complete the configuration process.

8) After the setup is complete, it is vital to check whether the new connection is working. Click on Start, Settings, Network Connections and then on the name of the newly configured VPN connection (or simply double click on the VPN shortcut icon if you created a shortcut in the previous step). Enter the Username and Password in the respective input boxes and then click on the Connect button. You may also click on the “Save Password” checkbox and specify whether the newly created connection is available just to you or to everyone who uses the same computer. Once the connection is established, you should see a new network icon in the system tray. To stop using the VPN service, simply double click on the VPN’s network icon and click on the Disconnect button.

How To Resolve DNS Server Issues

It is possible that Windows continues to use the DNS server of your ISP even after you have set up the VPN. This could result in certain sites getting blocked or your data flowing unencrypted even after you are using the VPN connection. If you face such issues, follow the instructions given below:

1) Click on Start, Settings, Network Connections and then on the name of the recently configured VPN connection.

2) Click on the Properties button and then on the Networking tab.

3) Select PPTP VPN under the Type of VPN category (We did not explicitly specify the type of VPN while configuring the service since Windows uses PPTP VPN protocol by default). Next click on the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) option from the list of available items (do not deselect the checkbox) and then click on the Properties button. In the DNS server area, click on the radio button next to “Use following DNS Server” and enter the IP address of the VPN server provided by your VPN provider.

4) Click on OK button twice in succession. Enter the Username/Password and click on the Connect button. You should now be able to access blocked sites while remaining totally protected.

July 17, 2013

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