Off Campus

Michael Greene

VPN to your Vista machine

VPN to your Vista machine

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This may not seem all that interesting at face value but there are a LOT of people in higher education who have workstations that use public IP's.  There is a secure way to connect to your machine remotely.  Here's how to setup your Windows Vista workstation to accept new incoming VPN connections.  This was also available in Windows XP but you have to know where to look in Vista to enable it.

Start - Network


Open the Network and Sharing Center


Click on Manage network connections


No using your keyboard, press Alt and select File or do an Alt+F to open the File menu and choose New Incoming Connection.


Approve the UAC prompt.

A new wizard opens to walk you through the process.  First select who should have access.


Select how they may access the machine.


Select the protocols that should be available and click Allow Access.


The conclusion screen provides details.  You can print the information if you need it.


Very nice, it adds a new icon on your Network Connections page.


If you view the properties dialogue you can manage the settings you choose in the wizard.

image image image

Out of those dialogues, these are the settings I found to be most interesting.


IOW, encrypt the connection and don't let the VPN connection interfere with connections from handhelds.

That's it, you now have a VPN connection available.  To connect, setup a new VPN connection on your other workstation from the Network and Sharing Center.


Select Connect to a workplace.


Create a new connection.


Choose Use my Internet connection (VPN).


 Provide the name or address of the machine you are connecting to.


Provide the username and password for the account you selected on the first machine.  You may also need to provide the computer name as the domain name.


I choose to let the wizard go ahead and connect when finished.

connecting connected

The new icon on Network Connections shows the VPN connection.  In the future you can right-click on this icon or use the Connect To button on the Start Menu.

On both machines you will be prompted to set the network profile.  Work should suffice.


The connection and remote user appear on your host machine's Network page.  If you right-click on the username, you have the option of disconnecting them from the host.



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  • This may not seem all that interesting at face value but there are a LOT of people in higher education

  • Excellent article!

    New to Vista, needed VPN connections between Vista Home Premium lapton and Windows XP PCs in our wireless home network.  Very well done!

    Sonya Finkey

    Keaau, Hawaii

  • this is amazing!  I have a machine that I can only access to from my building and I just made my desktop into a VPN server!  perfect!!!

  • Very usefull article for newbies. VPN setup in Vista is not the same like XP.

  • I set it up as said, and still get Failed to connect.  "**** is not set up to establish a connection on port "pptp" with this computer"  Please help!

  • Every day more and more people want to protect their privacy on Internet. Governments around the world put different kind of restrictions on Internet connections of their citizens. VPN is solution for all that with which you can bypass all restrictions and protect your privacy. Many expert predict that VPN is future of Internet freedom.

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