How to enable your computer to use software VPN
- Essential information required to set up software VPN
- How to enable software VPN in Windows 7
A software VPN (virtual private network), also known as a 'remote access VPN', is an encrypted network connection between your own Internet-connected computer and a VDC local network, which bypasses (also called 'tunneling through') the firewall controls (firewall blocks, port forwarding, or load balancing) of a 'Local with Internet Gateway' network. The term software VPN is used to indicate that a private network is established based on open internet connections, through the use of encryption; other forms of VPN may use private physical networks.
The basic VPN setup procedure for 'Local with Internet Gateway' networks is described in How to enable a software VPN connection to a VM.
On your own computer, you will need to configure your VPN client software. Details will vary depending on your operating system and the client software that you have installed. The setup is illustrated for the case of Windows 7 with its built-in VPN client.
Take care that you have set a secure Administrator/root password for your virtual machines, before you activate any Internet network connection.
Here is the essential information you will need to provide from your VDC setup:
the public (external) IP address for your Local with Internet Gateway network;
the IPSec pre-shared key;
a user name and password for the VPN;
the internal IP Address for the virtual machine(s) you want to connect to.
See How to enable a software VPN connection to a VM for more about the VDC setup.
The VPN protocol used by VDC is 'Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol with IPSec', which is abbreviated to L2TP/IPSec. This may not be a default in your computer or client software and you may need to enable it.
In the following, we use the VPN client software that is built-in to Windows 7. Other versions of Windows will be similar to this.
Open the Network and Sharing Center (either click theicon in the taskbar, or open the in the Start Menu).
Click. This opens a new dialog.
Click. Click .
Click. In the dialog, enter the (public IP address) of your 'Local with Internet Gateway' network. Set as something memorable for the name of this VPN connection. Click the check box.
In the next dialog, type in yourand .
If you clickyou won't need to type it again (be careful doing this on a computer that you share with others). Click . If successful, you will see a dialog with the message 'This connection is ready to use'. Do not click the 'Connect' button now, because another configuration step is required. Click .
In the Network and Sharing Center, click. You will see an adapter with the VPN destination name you entered above.
Right-click this adapter and click.
In the Properties dialog, click thetab. Under Type of VPN, select 'Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol with IPSec (L2TP/IPSec)' from the drop-down list.
Click. Click the button and enter the IPSec pre-shared key number in the text box.
You should not need to change anything else. Click, and then again click .
That completes the initial configuration. You can close the Control Panel now.
Click theicon on the taskbar. You should see a new item under the heading 'Dial-up and VPN' with the VPN destination name that you entered above. Click this name. A Connect button will appear; click to proceed. Alternatively, right-click on the VPN name.
In thedialog, you may need to enter the VPN password if you did not check the 'Remember' option above. Click .
A dialog shows while the connection is setting up. This may take a few moments to complete.
Now if you click theicon you should see a new active connection and under the 'Dial-up and VPN' heading the status should be 'Connected'.
To disconnect, click on the VPN name and click.
When the VPN is connected, your computer becomes part of the VDC internal network maintained by your 'Local with Internet Gateway' network. You are then able to connect to any of your VMs that are joined to that network, by using the internal (local) IP address for the VM.
For example, to connect to a Linux VM for administration purposes, you should use an SSH application, such as the PuTTY telnet/SSH client for Windows, to open a secure shell connection.
To connect to a Windows VM, use thesoftware on your own computer, and use the virtual machine's internal IP Address as the remote destination. You will probably need to click and enter a user name. For example, to login as Administrator:
As is usual in Remote Desktop Connection, you may want to save these VPN-based connections for later use.