How to Set Up a VPN on Windows 7

Melanie Gross
Aug 17, 2011
Updated • Jun 16, 2014
Windows, Windows tips

This is a basic tutorial on how to set up a VPN, or Virtual Private Network on Windows 7. You can use this to set up your own VPN server. This assumes you are using a router to connect to the Internet, and you have permissions to add port forwarding to the settings. You’ll also need access to a second computer to test if your VPN is working correctly.

Firstly, start by going to your control panel in Windows 7. You should see an option called “Network and Internet”. Click on this and then click on “Network and Sharing Center”. You will then be at a screen where you can view all your network information, and set up connections to other networks and computers. On the left hand side, you should see a link called “Change Adapter Settings”. Click on this and you’ll see a list of network connections. There may only be one connection at the moment, the connection you are using to access your existing network.

There should be a menu bar at the top of the screen. If not, press ALT on your keyboard and it should appear. Next, click on “file” and then on “New Incoming Connection”. This will start a wizard, and the first step is to decide whom you’re going to give access to. You may just want to give yourself access, but it might also be a good idea to also select the computer administrator. The next step will be to tell the computer how people will connect to the computer – there’s only one option, and that’s through the Internet. The final page concerns allowing access to different types of computers such as Unix servers and Macs. Just leave the default settings alone and click “Allow Access”.

create virtual private network windows

how will people connect

allow connections

Your computer will now spend a little time setting up the connection for you, and will tell you the name of the connection. The name could be anything, depending on the name of your computer, but remember to note it down, as you’ll need it later. You’ll then be taken back to the network connections screen, and you’ll see your new connection as an icon, called “incoming connection”.

You’ll now need to know the IP address of your computer. The easiest way to find this out if you don’t already know it, is to type “cmd” into the run box on the start menu, and then type “ipconfig” into the DOS window. This will tell you your IP address. It may be something like Also note down the IP address of your default gateway, this is the address of your router.

The next thing you’ll need to do is add a port forwarding on your router. So log into your router by typing it’s IP address into your browser. All router consoles are different, so you may need to hunt around for a bit to find the right settings, but there should be a section called “port forwarding”. What you need to do is create a new forwarding for port 1723, which is the port VPNs use to connect. You need to point that port to the IP address of your computer, which we found out earlier. At this point, you may need to reboot your router once you’ve saved the port forwarding in order to active the new settings. Once this is done, you should have a working VPN server set up on your computer.

Testing your VPN Connection

In Part 1, you will have gone through the steps to set up a VPN server on your Windows 7 computer. The next step is to configure a client machine to connect to your newly created server to check that it’s working correctly.

In order to do this you need to go to the machine you’re going to use to test your VPN and bring up the control panel. Inside the control panel you need to click on “Network and Internet”. Once in the next screen, click on “Network and Sharing Center”. As in Part 1, you’ll be presented with a screen where you can set up new connections and edit existing ones. You’re looking for a setting near the middle of the screen called “Set Up New Connection or Network”. Click on this and you’ll start a wizard. The third option down will be the one you need next, and this is called “Connect To A Workplace”. You’ll need to click “next”, and then you’ll be asked how you want to connect to your VPN. The option to choose is via an Internet connection, and on the following screen you’ll need to enter the IP address of your VPN server.

connect to a workplace

connect to vpn

The IP address of your VPN server is whatever IP address you found in Part 1, but in case you forgot, you can check by going back to your server and typing “cmd” into the run box on the start menu, and then “ipconfig” in the DOS box.. If your client machine is not on the same local network as the server, you’ll need to know the Internet IP address of the server. You can find this out from logging into the router again, or from the server computer you can go to Armed with your server’s IP address, you can now enter this into your wizard, and click next to go onto the next screen.

This next screen will be asking you the username and password in order to connect to your VPN. You should already know these details, as you need them to log into your server locally. So enter your credentials here and click on “connect”.

Your client computer will now be talking to your server and setting up your new VPN connection. First it will verify your username and password, and after a few seconds it should connect. You have successfully set up a VPN between your two computers.

You might now want to check to see if you can access shared folders. This can be done by going to the run box on your client-computer’s start menu, and typing \\SERVER (if server is the name of your VPN server, if not substitute it for your server’s name). If all is well, you will see a list of files and folders and you’ll be all set for using your new VPN. Congratulations!

How to Set Up a VPN on Windows 7
Article Name
How to Set Up a VPN on Windows 7
The article walks you through the steps of setting up a VPN on your Windows system.

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  1. Dan Donx said on January 15, 2023 at 10:29 am

    What mental age of reader are you targeting with the first sentence? 10?

    Why not write an article on how to *avoid* upgrading from W10 to W11. Analogous to those like me who avoided upgrading from 7 to 10 for as long as possible.

    If your paymaster Microsoft permits it, of course.

  2. Dexter said on January 15, 2023 at 11:14 am

    5. Rufus
    6. Ventoy

    PS. I hate reading these “SEO optimized” articles.

    1. cdr said on January 15, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I used Rufus to create an installer for a 6th gen intel i5 that had MBR. It upgraded using Setup. No issues except for Win 11 always prompting me to replace my local account. Still using Win 10 Pro on all my other PCs to avoid the bullying.

  3. sv said on January 15, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    bit pointless to upgrade for the sake of upgrading as you never know when you’ll get locked out because ms might suddenly not provide updates to unsupported systems.

    ps…. time travelling?
    written. Jan 15, 2023
    Updated • Jan 13, 2023

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

      This happens when you schedule a post in WordPress and update it before setting the publication date.

  4. Anonymous said on January 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Anyone willing to downgrade to this awful OS must like inflicting themselves with harm.

  5. basingstoke said on January 16, 2023 at 11:18 am

    I have become convinced now that anybody who has no qualms with using Windows 11/10 must fit into one of the following brackets:

    1) Too young to remember a time before W10 and W11 (doesn’t know better)

    2) Wants to play the latest games on their PC above anything else (or deeply needs some software which already dropped W7 support)

    3) Doesn’t know too much about how computers work, worried that they’d be absolutely lost and in trouble without the “”latest security””

    4) Microsoft apologist that tries to justify that the latest “features” and “changes” are actually a good thing, that improve Windows

    5) Uses their computer to do a bare minimum of like 3 different things, browse web, check emails, etc, so really doesn’t fuss

    Obviously that doesn’t cover everyone, there’s also the category that:

    6) Actually liked W7 more than 10, and held out as long as possible before switching, begrudgingly uses 10 now

    Have I missed any group off this list?

    1. Heinz Strunk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      You have missed in this group just about any professional user that uses business software like CAD programs or ERP Programs which are 99% of all professional users from this list.

      Linux doesn’t help anyone who is not a linux kid and apple is just a fancy facebook machine.

  6. ilev said on August 24, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft has removed KB5029351 update

    1. EP said on August 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      only from windows update though
      KB5029351 is still available from the ms update catalog site

  7. Anonymous said on August 24, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    1. This update is labaled as PREVIEW if it causes issues to unintelligent people, then they shouldn’t have allowed Preview updates ot install.

    2. I have installed it in a 11 years old computer, and no problems at all.

    3. Making a big drama over a bluescreen for an updated labeled as preview is ridiculous.

    This is probably another BS internet drama where people ran programs and scripts that modified the registry until they broke Windows, just for removing stuff that they weren’t even using just for the sake of it.
    Maybe people should stop playing geeks and actually either use Windows 10 or Windows 11, but don’t try to modify things just for the sake of it.

    Sometimes removing or stopping things (like defender is a perfect example) only need intelligence, not scripts or 3rd party programs that might mess with windows.

  8. john said on August 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    Windows 11 was a pointless release, it was just created because some of the Windows team wanted to boost sales with some sort of new and improved Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft cannot support one version well let alone two.

    1. John G. said on August 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Windows 11 is the worst ugly shame by Microsoft ever. They should release with every new W11 version a complete free version of Starallback inside just to make this sh** OS functionally again.

  9. EP said on August 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released a statement regarding the “unsupported processor” blue screen error for their boards using Intel 600/700 series chipsets & to avoid the KB5029351 Win11 update:–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–Error-Message-of-Windows-11-Update-KB5029351-Preview-142215

  10. EP said on August 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    check out the following recent articles:

    Neowin – Microsoft puts little blame on its Windows update after UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR BSOD bug:

    BleepingComputer – Microsoft blames ‘unsupported processor’ blue screens on OEM vendors:

  11. Leonard Britvolli said on August 30, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    While there may be changes or updates to the Windows 10 Store for Business and Education in the future, it is premature to conclude that it will be discontinued based solely on rumors.

  12. sembrador said on September 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    My advice, I left win 15 years ago. Now I’m a happy linux user (linuxmint) but there is Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu depending on your needs.

  13. EP said on September 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released new BIOS/firmware updates for their Intel 600 & 700 series motherboards to fix the “UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR” problem (Sept. 6):–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–caused-BSOD-on-MSI-s-Intel-700-and-600-Series-Motherboards-142277

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