Here is a step-by-step guide on how to create a Windows 10 VPN Server easily on any desktop or laptop. Microsoft has made it convenient to setup a VPN server on Windows 10 with an updated Incoming Connection feature which we are going to use in the method explained below.
Virtual Private Network (VPN) is becoming ever more popular among PC user since it allows easy access to files, apps, webpages, printers, and other devices connected to a single network using an encrypted connection from a remote device.
VPN are commonly used by companies to stretch out in-house private network so that employees can access files and data through a public network even though they are not connected into the company’s network.
Windows 10, like previous versions of the operating system, has an Incoming Connection feature that makes it possible to create a VPN server for establishing remote connection to your home network for accessing files, connected devices, and other PCs on the network.
In this tutorial, we are going to look at the complete process of setting up a secure VPN server on your Windows 10 desktop PC/laptop without any third-party software. This guide is for both Home and Pro editions of the Windows 10 OS.
How to Find Public IP Address Information
First of all, you need to know your public IP address information, this is the same IP address assigned to you by your Internet Service Provider (ISP). IP address is needed to remotely contact your VPN server.
Easiest way to find out your IP address is to open any web browser, go to any search engine and type ‘What’s my IP’, which will then return the IP address information.
Note: In case you are setting up Incoming Connection on your computer, it means you might be using a dynamic IP address, which keeps changing all the time. To fix this, configure DDNS (Dynamic Domain Name System) in your network router to avoid having to reconfigure the VPN setup every time your public IP address changes. Most network router manufacturer website’s have suggestions to configure DDNS.
DDNS changes complicated IP address into an easy to remember domain names for user’s convenience.
How to Create Port Forwarding on your Network Router
For connecting your home VPN server through a public network, you will need a forward port 1712 (point to point tunneling protocol (PPTP)) to allow VPN connections. Best way to setup port forwarding is to follow instructions available on your router’s manufacturer website.
How to Create Windows 10 VPN Server
After creating and setting up DDNS and port forwarding 1723, you are all set to set up a VPN server on Windows 10.
1 – Press Windows key + X on keyboard to open the Power User menu and click Network Connections.
2 – Go to the File menu, press the Alt key and click on the New Incoming Connection…
3 – Select user accounts who you want to grand VPN access to your computer and hit the Next button when done. Or you can click on the Add someone button to manually create a new VPN user.
4 – In the next window, check the Through the internet option and hit the next button.
5 – Next, on the networking software page, select Internet Protocol Version (TCP/IPv4) and click Properties.
6 – Under Network access, check the Allow callers to access my local area network.
7 – Under IP address assignment, click Specify IP addresses, and enter the number of clients you want to give access to using a VPN connection. For that, specify an IP address range in the respective boxes.
Note: To find the IP address range, go to your router’s settings page where you will find the required information in the DHCP settings.
8 – Hit OK button and then Allow access when finished.
9 – Click Close button to complete the VPN server setup process on Windows 10 PC.
How to Set Firewall to Allow VPN Connections
Although when you configure the Incoming Connection feature on Windows 10, it automatically opens up the required Windows Firewall ports so that it doesn’t block access after the setup. However, it’s better to manually check and configure firewall ports to prevent connection issues later on.
1 – Go to Start, type Allow an app through Windows Firewall and hit enter key.
2 – In the resulting window that opens, click the Change settings button.
3 – Scroll down to make sure that both Private and Public check-boxes for Routing and Remote Access option are ticked.
4 – Hit OK button when done.
How to Create a Windows 10 VPN Connection
Now once you have performed all the above mentioned steps to setup Windows 10 as a VPN server, final steps in to configure the devices that are allowed to access your local network remotely. You can setup desktop PC, laptop, tablet, Windows phone, iPhone, and Android.
Now follow the steps in this guide to create a VPN connection on Windows 10 devices.
After setting up a VPN connection on your Windows 10, follow these steps to adjust settings.
1 – Press the Windows Key + X keyboard shortcut to open the Power user menu or right-click on Start button icon and click on Network Connections.
2 – Right-click the VPN connection icon and select Properties.
3 – Make sure General tab is selected, and also ensure that the domain your created while configuring DDNS above is entered in the box. Or else, make sure correct public IP address is entered in the required field.
4 – Click the Security tab and make sure Type of VPN is set to Point to Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP).
5 – Under Data Encryption make sure to select Maximum strength encryption (disconnect if server declines) from the drop-down menu.
6 – Hit OK button.
7 – Now click the Networking tab and uncheck the Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6) option.
8 – Check the Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) option and select it and then select Properties.
9 – In Properties, click Advanced button.
10 – Uncheck the Use default gateway on remote network option.
Note: Disabling this option stop web traffic through remote connection, which can slow down the internet speed. If you want to access the internet through a VPN connection, then keep this option checked/enabled.
11 – Hit OK, OK again, and then OK button one more time.
12 – Now, go to the Settings app.
14 – Click Network & Internet > VPN.
15 – Select the VPN connection and click Connect.
16 – That’s all.
Although there are many software tools available to remotely connect to a private network using a VPN connection, you can set up your owns server using built-in Windows 10 tools as described in the process above. This way you won’t need any third-party software for creating a VPN server/connection on Windows 10.
Moreover, creating a Windows 10 VPN server using manual process above also gives you all the benefits of a safe and stable connection. This is a great way to access devices through a remote desktop through a VPN. It also offers a great way to save data if you don’t prefer cloud services for that purpose.