Setting up a VPN connection from an XP Professional laptop to Windows Server 2003 server

Hello Experts,

I need to be able to access my work server from home on my laptop with full administration rights.  The server is running Windows Server 2003, and the laptop is running Windows XP Professional.

Could anybody run me through a step by step guide on how to configure the server and laptop.  Also if possible I would like to do this without purchasing any additional software.

Kind regards,

Who is Participating?
Rob WilliamsConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I agree with Fatal_Exception, the better alternative is using a VPN router, however there is nothing wrong with using the built-in Windows VPN function. I have a little outline as to how to configure below:

The basic server and client configurations can be found at the following sites with good detail:
Server 2003 configuration:
Windows XP client configuration:
You will also have to configure the router to forward the VPN traffic to the server. This is done by enabling on your router VPN or PPTP pass-through, and also forwarding port 1723 traffic to the server's IP. For details as to how to configure the port forwarding, click on the link for your router (assuming it is present) on the following page:
The only other thing to remember is the subnet you use at the remote office needs to be different than the server end. For example if you are using 192.168.1.x at the office , the remote should be something like 192.168.2.x

Once this is configured you can then use services similar to how you would on the local network. You will not be able to browse the network unless you have a WINS server installed. Also depending on your network configuration you may have problems connecting to devices by name. Using the IP address is less problematic such as \\\SharenName. If you want to resolve NetBIOS names we can elaborate on how to "fix" that, if not working properly.

Kruno DžoićSystem EngineerCommented:
You may have two options to setup VPN server on Windows 2003.
1) Create an incoming networking connection if you have small network or you want to setup one PC to PC VPN;
2) If you have large numbers of incoming connections on a server that operates as part of a distributed network or as a domain controller, you should use RRA to create a VPN server.

client setup:

server setup:

This would be one heck of a lot easier on you if you go with a separate VPN concentrator...  like a Linksys BEFVP41...   especially if you are not fully versed on setting up RRAS on your server...

Here is the setup if you wish to try it..
Free Tool: Port Scanner

Check which ports are open to the outside world. Helps make sure that your firewall rules are working as intended.

One of a set of tools we are providing to everyone as a way of saying thank you for being a part of the community.

Nice explanation and links, Rob..  am going to link your comment to another thread!  :)  feel free to come on over to comment!
Rob WilliamsCommented:
Great !  Thanks FE.
Rob WilliamsCommented:
Thanks Mark,
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