There are several ways to implement a VPN on your Windows computers. In this article, we'll discuss configuring a VPN connection from a client computer using standard Windows XP tools and also using a Checkpoint client to configure VPN access to a network. This is the third part of our series on VPN configuration. Previous tips discussed how to configure VPNs with Linux and Unix.
The basics: VPN connection from Windows XP client
Windows XP achieves the security of VPN by Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) or Layer Two Tunneling Protocol (L2TP).
To set up a connection to a VPN on a Windows XP client, we do the following:
1. Go to Start > Control Panel > Network Connections. In the left-hand corner of the screen, click on create a new connection. At this point, you will see the network connection wizard.
2. Click Next and then connect to the network at my workplace. Then click on VPN connection.
3. When you are prompted to type your company name, do so. Then enter the IP address or the host name of the computer you wish to connect to.
4. Click next and also click don't use a smart card (if you are not using one). Then create the connection for anyone's use (only if you want the connection to be available to anyone that logs in to the computer).
5. You are prompted to add a shortcut to the connection. You should probably do that and then click on Finish. If prompted to connect, answer no, as there is still some more to do.
7. Finally, Click Start > connect to and then click to the new connection. After being connected to the Internet, you will be prompted for your user name and password. Type in this information and connect. You should then be on the network.
Checkpoint VPN: Downloading the Checkpoint client
1. Exit any VPN software that may be currently running on your computer. 2. Click on this link: Customers: NGX Auto-Installation Compact View MSI
3. If prompted to open the file: Save this file to your hard drive and run it. The download is about 7 MB.
4. Run the download. This will take some time, so have patience -- do not exit! When the install process is completed, it will prompt you to reboot.
Checkpoint VPN: Configuring your Checkpoint client 1. Click on Start > Programs > Checkpoint VPN-1 SecureClient > SecureClient
2. In your system tray (bottom right), click on what looks like a key with a little "x" on it.
3. The first time you access your system, it will prompt you to create a new site:
You will then see this screen:
4. When prompted for the server address, type the IP address of the Checkpoint Firewall server.
5. You will then be prompted for authentication types.
Leave the default: authentication user and password.
6. When prompted for Select Connectivity Setting, leave the default Standard.
7. When prompted for a user and password, supply the Checkpoint VPN authentication information provided by your network administrator. This is your checkpoint VPN user name and password. You will need to use this password every time you connect to the network.
8. The configuration will then go through an initial validation process and ultimately connect you to the site. If the communication has failed, it means one of the following may have occurred:
- Your internal LAN network is blocking VPN access.
- You may not have Internet access at all. Try going to a Web page and see if you can get in.
- You may have inadvertently configured a wrong setting during the configuration setting. Try repeating the configuration instructions.
Configuring VPN access on Windows can sometimes be easier than on either Linux or Unix because of the GUI screens. Unfortunately, you will find that when you do run into problems, they are typically harder to troubleshoot than Linux or Unix configurations. Good luck!
About the author:
Ken Milberg is the founder of Unix-Linux Solutions. He is also a board member of Unigroup of NY, the oldest Unix user group in NYC. Ken regularly answers user questions on Unix and Linux interoperability issues as a site expert on SearchOpenSource.com.