As we discussed, VPN may be necessary for various issues, like drives, files and printerssharing, secure connection establishing, dedicated IP usage. Even though it is highly recommended to use a server OS like Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2007 or Unix-based OS, it is possible to establish VPN server on Windows 7, which would be enough for your home usage. Those users who need multi-connections or usage of Active Directory may face lack of flexibility in Windows 7 VPN. In this case they are advised to use third party software or server OS.
In order to setup VPN Server for WIndows 7 and allow remote users to connect to the server, we need to follow a few simple steps.
Open Network Connections - click Start and then choose “Control Panel” and in the window opened – “Network Connections”. In case you do not have Control Panel in your Start menu, simply type into the search box “network connection”.
Network Connections window will appear. Now we need to set up a new connection which will act as a VPN server under Windows 7. In otder to do it, click File -> New Incoming Connection. Set-up wizard window will appear.
There are a few steps within the Wizard itself. First we need to select those users who will have access to the Windows 7 VPN server (this very computer). You might have only one user (you), so choose this user account.
After that we should choose the connection method. We do not want anyone to call us by phone to connect, do we? Simply check “Through the Internet”.
Here we need to choose internet protocol to be used for incoming connection. Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) should be more than enough. However, if you are experienced user and know what TCP/IPv6 is, you might want to use that one as well. Do not forget to choose File and Printer sharing for Microsoft Networks if you will need printer and files sharing, that’s simple. QoS Packet Scheduler is recommended to choose, as this protocol is used for traffic formation.
Ok, now we neet to setup TCP/IPv4 protocol. Click on it and choose Properties, then you can assign IP address to the remote user (static) or allow DHCP to choose (dynamic).
Now our VPN server is almost ready! What is good in Windows 7, it is really user-friendly. This step will require a few seconds to enable the connections …
… and coming up with a Computer name.
That is it! You have successfully set up VPN Server in Windows 7 environment. The network for incoming connections is ready and waiting.
As you see, setting up VPN server for Windows 7 is a piece of cake. However, as Windows 7 is not a server OS, there are some limitations. Practically, the most serious one is that only one user can connect at the same time. Moreover, VPN server in Windows 7 will require local user accounts and is not able to use Acrive Directory.
Should you need more advanced VPN server on Windows 7, you might want to use third party software.