PPTP Setup Guide for Windows XP

wizard-connect_250A VPN connection works like a tunnel over the public network, securing and encrypting the access for any of those who connect to it. Thus, your network resources will be safe from the eyes of unauthorized viewers, and only those who you grant access to it will be able to access the files. PPTP is one of the most common VPN protocols, which is mainly due to its ease of use and setup. In Windows XP, setting up a VPN connection using the PPTP protocol can be done using the OS’s built-in tools. More specifically, here’s what you have to do step-by-step:

1. Begin by clicking on the Network Connections Panel (you can also right-click “Network Places” and then select Properties).

2. Click on “Create New Connection” from the left-hand menu of “Network Connections”.

3. You will now be presented with a Wizard. In order to continue, click “Next”.

4. Select the “Connect to the Network from my Workplace” option (2nd in the list) from the menu and click “Next”.

5. From the next panel select “Virtual Private Network Connection” (2nd option). This will allow you to continue with the setup. Click “Next”.

6. Now you have to name the connection. Enter the Hostname or PPTP Server’s IP address. This is usually supplied by your Personal VPN provider. For example:

7. In case you are the system admin, you will be asked whether you want to be the only one who uses this connection or you want to grant everyone’s access. It’s recommendable to limit the access to your VPN network unless you don’t want to let everyone on your workstation access it.

8. Now you can safely click on “Finish” or tick the option to add a desktop shortcut for your newly created connection.

How to test if the VPN connection is working:

Once you finished with the above steps, you should now check whether your VPN connection is working properly or not. To do this, you have to launch the VPN client from either the desktop shortcut you created or from the “Network Connections” window. The first time you open it you’ll be prompted to supply a username and password, which can be memorized for later use. Once you’re done typing in the information, simply click connect in order to gain access to your VPN server. For example:

If you successfully followed the above instructions, you should now be able to connect to your VPN service provider and browse the internet securely and anonymously. Note that a VPN works by encrypting all the data that comes and goes through your computer, and thus it will privatize not only your web browser’s traffic, but also everything you send via IM clients such as Skype, YM, etc., e-mail clients such as MS Outlook, games that make use of your online connection and so on. Thus, no one will be able to see what you’re doing or gain access to your network files unless you specifically grant him/her access. This is very useful for those who work at a big company or simply want to protect their online activity from bystanders.

Finally, to confirm that your newly created VPN connection is truly working, it’d be a wise idea to access an identity uncovering website such as www.whatismyip.com, where you should see the IP address of your VPN provider instead of your own.

About Author:Maya is a part time blogger and a freelance writer. For as long as she remembers, writing has been her release. She has contributed to many websites and blogs with her technology tips and tricks articles. She’s currently working on a project for SwitchVPN and doing research on safe and anonymous surfing. She loves spending her spare time reading books and cooking for her friends and family.