During confinement, many teleworkers discover secure connections through a VPN. Our colleagues at IDG tell us how to use Windows’ built-in VPN.
VPN (virtual private network) technology allows a computer using a public Internet connection to join a private network through a secure “tunnel” between that machine and the network. The tunnel helps prevent malicious actors from seeing or tampering with the data. The two most common uses are consumer VPN services, which allow individuals to surf privately from home or a public place, and business solutions, which allow employees to connect remotely and securely to a network. of business.
Today, the coronavirus pandemic is forcing a large number of people to work from home. Hence the importance of checking that the procedure is up to date and that it works correctly. Most of the time, VPN connections are handled by custom software, including many mainstream VPN services where you can find various reviews online, or by generic third-party software like the OpenVPN client or Cisco AnyConnect.
But, another option generally supported by most virtual private networks, is to use Microsoft’s built-in VPN client. This possibility can be useful when some VPNs do not have their own client or if you want to use a VPN protocol not supported by your VPN client, such as IKEv2. But the built-in client has a drawback: it requires you to select a specific server and does not allow you to switch from one location to another as you would with a commercial VPN service. Additionally, most employer-provided VPNs offer a limited number of servers to connect to, which makes using this client ideal.
Configure a VPN in Windows 10
Click the Cortana search bar or taskbar button and type “vpn”.
Normally, the first option offered is titled “Edit Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)”. Otherwise, open the “Settings” application and go to “Network & Internet > VPN”.
At the top of the VPN screen in the “Settings” app, click on “Add VPN connection”.
In the screen that appears, enter your VPN connection details. Under “VPN provider”, click the drop-down menu and select “Windows (built-in)”. The choice will also change “VPN Type” to “Automatic”, and “Credential Type” to “Username and Password”.
Then fill in the “Connection name” and “Server name or address” fields. They vary depending on the VPN provider, whether it’s a third-party service or their employer. For this example, our colleagues used Acevpn, a clientless VPN service that supports different connection types like IKEv2, L2TP, and PPTP.
Scroll down this screen to a field where you can enter your VPN username and password, provided by your VPN service. Once this information has been entered, click on “Save” and close the “Settings” application.
Click on the WiFi icon in the system tray of your taskbar, and select your new VPN connection, which should normally be at the top of the list. The connection should start automatically, and if all goes well, the connection process should go fairly quickly.
The process above works for the simplest VPN connection types, like PPTP and L2TP. However, if you want to use IKEv2, you will need to install a root certificate provided by your VPN provider. Remember that not all services support IKEv2. The choice of this method is therefore highly dependent on your VPN service provider or employer.
Anyway, here’s how to do it in Windows 10.
First, download your VPN provider’s IKEv2 certificate to your desktop or another easy-to-reach location. Next, double-click the certificate file. A security alert appears. Click on “Open”.
In the next window, click on “Install certificate…”
This will take you to the “Certificate Import Wizard”. Select the “Local Machine” button and click “Next”.
On the next screen, make sure to select the button labeled “Place all certificates in the following store”, and click “Browse…”
A smaller window opens with a folder tree. Select “Trusted Root Certification Authorities”, then click “OK”. This will bring you back to the “Certificate Import Wizard” window. From there, click “Next”.
At this point, the hard part is done. On the next screen, click “Finish” and then “OK” in the small window.
Now that the certificate is installed, you can configure IKEv2 VPN using the same step-by-step instructions above. Just be sure to select IKEv2 as the “VPN Type” in step 4, then use the server name, address, username, and password provided by your service provider.
Once you have connected to the VPN, verify that your VPN is working by going to IPleak.net. Your IP address, and DNS servers should be different than your non-VPN connection. If not, there are various possible causes that we cannot address here. The best way to solve the problem is to contact your company’s IT department or your VPN’s help desk.
However, a simple and common solution to IKEv2 problems is to right-click on the WiFi or Ethernet icon in the system tray, and select “Open Network and Sharing Center” from the context menu . When the “Control Panel” opens, click on “Change adapter settings” on the left side, then right-click on the name of your VPN connection and go to “Properties > Internet Protocol version 4 (TCP/IPv4) > Properties > Advanced… > IP Settings”. Check “Use default gateway on remote network” and click “OK”. Close all windows and re-check IPLeak.net.
Configure a VPN in Windows 7
Click on the “Start” button. In the search bar, type “vpn” then select “Set up a virtual private network connection” (VPN).
Enter the IP address or domain name of the server you want to connect to. If you are connecting to a corporate network, your IT administrator can provide you with the best address.
If you want to establish the connection, without logging in, select “Do not connect now”. Otherwise, leave the field blank and click “Next”.
On the next screen, you can either enter your username and password or leave the screen blank. You will be prompted again during the actual login. Click on “Connect”.
To connect, click on the Windows network logo in the lower right of your screen, then select “Connect” under “VPN connection”.
In the “VPN connection” box, enter the appropriate domain and your login credentials, then click “Connect”.
If you cannot connect, the problem may be related to the server configuration. (There are different types of VPNs.) Ask your network administrator what type of VPN they use – PPTP for example – then, on the “Connect a VPN connection” screen, select “Properties”.
Go to the “Security” tab and select the specific “VPN Type” from the drop-down list. You may also need to deselect “Include Windows logon domain” under the “Options” tab. Then click “OK” and log in.
It’s a fair bit of fiddling, but setting up a VPN using Windows’ built-in client is relatively quick, and as a user, it’s a good thing to know how to do it.