In this guide I will show you how to connect your Windows (all versions) PC/laptop to any VPN service that’s using the L2TP/IPsec protocol. L2TP over IPsec is a relatively common and secure protocol and most VPN service providers and workplaces will support it.
Before we start the connection setup process, you will need to find out the following details (best have them written or printed). If you are connecting to a paid VPN service, just login and your details and settings will be there. If you are connecting via a workplace, please contact your Network Administrator and ask them for the following details:
- Your VPN username
- Your VPN password
- The server name or IP address (ie. contoso.com or 102.562.243.12)
- The pre-shared key (PSK)
(PSK will be a series of characters like a password)
- Optional or required encryption
- The password protocol (PAP, CHAP, MSCHAP or EAP)
Once you have this info you can then watch the video above or follow the text guide below.
Connect via L2TP/IPsec to VPN on Windows
- Click on the Start icon bottom-left of your screen
- Inside the search box, type Control Panel, then click on the first result
- Click on Network and Internet, then click Network and Sharing Center
- Now click on Set up a new connection or network link
- In the window that opens, select Connect to a workplace, then click Next
- Click on Use my Internet connection (VPN)
- Enter the server name or IP address into the Internet address box
- Enter a unique name you will recognize, ie Contoso (Work) or HomeVPN
- Leave the Use smart card check box unchecked
- (Windows 8.1 & 10) Leave Remember my credentials checked
- Leave Allow other people to use this connection unchecked (unless you trust everyone using the computer)
- (Windows VISTA, 7) Check the Don’t connect now checkbox
- Now click on Create (the window will now close)
- On the left pane, click on Change adapter settings
- Look for your new connection, then right-click on it, and choose Properties
- In the Properties window, select the Security tab
- For Type of VPN select Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol with IPsec (L2TP/IPsec)
- For Data encryption, select the encryption level your VPN service provider requires, if you’re unsure, select Require Encryption first, if you cannot connect, choose Optional Encryption
- For Authentication, select the method your VPN service provider requires, if you’re unsure, select Allow these protocols option, then check PAP, CHAP and MS-CHAP v2 check-boxes
- Now click the Advanced settings button, the Advanced Properties window will open
- Select the Use a pre-shared key for authentication option, then enter your pre-shared key, then click OK
- Finally click OK to close the Properties window
- For extra convenience, Right-click on your connection icon again and choose Create shortcut, choose Yes to the alert box. This will create a handy icon on your desktop.
- Now simply right-click on the connection icon and choose Connect/Disconnect
- Windows will tell you if the connection was successful
- If you have any errors or the connection was unsuccessful, double-check all settings or contact your VPN service provider or network administrator.
- All done!