Anyone know how to configure a VPN (Virtual Private Network)?

Discussion in 'Silicon (v)Alley' started by Senior PoopiePants, May 27, 2010.

  1. Damn - if I only knew what a VPN was earlier...

    Anyway, here's my problem: My "server" is running Windows 7 64-bit. My laptop is running XP.

    Suffice to say, I would like to connect to my server through a VPN from my XP laptop.

    Now, I believe I have it set-up correctly on the XP computer, but how do I make the Windows 7 computer receptive to it??

    +rep for the help. Thanks.
  2. Sounds like a VPS, not a VPN. Maybe you can tunnel via SSH through it, but if you couldn't figure this out, there's no way you're doing that.
  3. Fooey.
  4. a vpn is a network that you connect to through the internet. Like for example, I used to work for my local county government as an IT technician and I would have to connect to the county mainframe from home using my internet connection and when you go to the secured website and login in it would be as if I was in a county building. I could access the same stuff from the servers and access the same programs. I think what your trying to do is create a home network and if thats the case you could create an adhoc wifi network in which both computers talk to each other. Or you could make one computer the server and then on the client computer you put the servers IP address as the default gateway. If you dont want to do any of that then you could try using remote desktop software such as teamviewer and remotely control the server computer as if your right in front of it. Sorry if I am rambling, im bad at giving directions even though I know how to do
  5. No, man - I appreciate it.

    This is exactly what I want to do: I have all of my main files on my Desktop Computer (Windows 7) and I want to be able to access those files via network remotely from my laptop that is running XP.

    Like, I want to be able to be on a Starbucks WIFI or even my friend's WIFI and hit my network :) That would be fucking AWESOME.

    But I can't get it to work on the Windows 7 side.
  6. #6 Fëanor, May 28, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: May 28, 2010
    It isn't working yet because there is a missing piece to the puzzle. Your firewall will need to support VPN tunnels (often the IPSec protocol although SSL VPN is out there as well).

    You would log into the firewall and configure it to allow a certain username to access all or part of your network. For example, you could set it to allow access only to your sever or you could allow access to your entire network (what you allow access to is known as the 'Local Group'. This part gets a little complicated so I would start off just allowing access to the IP address server; it will be easier to set up and it'll be more secure as well.

    On Windows XP you most likely configured the VPN Client. This VPN Client will need to be set up to connect to the external IP address of your firewall. Since you are on a home Internet circuit this IP address will change occasionally, which will require you to update the configuration of the VPN Client. To avoid this, your firewall would need to support Dynamic DNS from a provider like
  7. This is definitely a little complicated, and it's pretty much guaranteed that a VPN is the wrong solution to whatever problem you have. Its utility in small networks is pretty limited. It would be much easier to show you how to access the computer via ssh, and easiest for you to simply use a (secure) VNC program to remotely access your machine. The VNC program should also let you copy files between computers easily -- google tells me that RealVNC at least supports that, I'd expect it to be a common feature.

    Microsoft has its own remote desktop viewing software, but it's that thing where certain versions get certain features, and I'm not going to do the research on it.
  8. Dude, just turn on RDP(Remote Desktop Protocol). It's built into every Windows distro since Windows 2000, and its' fairly easy to turn on.

    When you enable it on your "server", it should automatically pop a hole in the Windows firewall to allow it(FYI, it's TCP port 3389 if you need to configure the firewall)

    On the XP machine, Start Menu: All Programs: Accessories: Remote Desktop Connection. Put in the IP address of your "server" and poof! Instant remote desktop with full GUI.
  9. Its cool man, just letting you know those remote desktop software programs have a file viewer so you can access your files from anywhere. I use them to get my tivo recorded programs when I am at my parents house or not able to be home and watch my shows. Its the easiest way of accomplishing what your trying to do. If you want to go the hard road though you can configure your router for port forwarding and adjust your firewall to allow you to access the files on the server remotely.
  10. OK now that you've explained what you want a LOT better, I can offer you something far easier than fucking with firewalls and routers and crap, especially when dealing with dynamic IP addressing, which is likely what you have where your "server" is.

    Just download dropbox and install it on both machines. Get it from You get 2GB for free to host files in their cloud, and any file you "drop" into your dropbox folder on either machine will automatically get synced up with each computer that is using the same dropbox account.

    If you need more space, you can buy more. It's a few bucks a month.
  11. I actually found something else that is rather interesting, EXTREMELY EASY to set up, and free. It's called Gbridge. It somehow tunnels through your gmail account (if I used that term correctly). You install it on both computers, input your gmail account, and you can share entire folders , stream mp3's. It comes up in your web browser and the format is reminiscent to FTP. It's fucking awesome!

    I do appreciate the advice though, so +rep to you.

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