Using Windows 10 pro as VPN Server

Ben Spradling
Ben Spradling used Ask the Experts™
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I have set up a Windows 10 pro OS as a VPN server. I can connect to it from a remote location no problem. However once connected I can not access any of the resources. I don't even see the network. Does anyone have any idea as to how to get Windows 10 to work as a VPN server.
The computer is a Dell workstation, 16gb memory, 4tb hard drive. I was hoping that once I connected to the VPN that the client would be in the network and function as if I were at the remote location. Not the case. By the way I am not a VPN expert.
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Top Expert 2013

Commented:
Once connected you should be able to access resources on that machine.  Can you?

As for connecting to other devices PC operating systems do not have routing enabled, which allows access to other resources.  To do so there are multiple issues that have to be addressed but the first is to enable routing on the PC.  I haven't done this in years as there are much better options for remote access, but it should be similar on newer machines to the following link that applied to XP:
http://www.wikihow.com/Enable-Windows-XP-Routing

Once that is done static routes have to be added to client and the machine to which you wish to connect.  The catch with static routes is the IP of the connecting client machine can change every time you connect.

It is not the best option.  Fine if you want to access resources on the VPN server PC, but to access other PC's you are best to buy a VPN capable router, or set up a RRAS server.  

PS- For the record; PPTP is probably one of the least secure remote access options these days.

Author

Commented:
Will use Router solution. Microsoft has no clue as to why it won't work.
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
As mentioned it cannot unless you enable routing on the workstation.  This is part of RRAS/VPN configuration on a server by default, but not a PC.
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Author

Commented:
I am confused. I have a Windows 10 workstation that I am using as the VPN server. I connect to it using Microsoft VPN connection procedure. When I go to the VPN server I see the RRAS/VPN connection.  I am not sure as to what you mean by enable routing on the workstation. Are you talking about the one I am using for the VPN server. Environment is 6 Windows 7 pro desktops, one 2011 SBS server (mainly a file server only) no active directory. Everything is in a workgroup. What I hoping to do is have it where a user can from their home log into the VPN and have access to the SBS server and internet access. As I stated before I am a newbee at this. Thanks for your help.
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
Ah, that changes things. You have additional options.

You can quite easily set up a VPN to access a single workstation but if you want to access all devices there is a lot of tweaking to do.

However if you have SBS, it has a built-in wizard to set up a VPN and allow access to all PC's joined to the domain.  To set up the VPN on the SBS, simply open the SBS console, and choose the Network tab, then connectivity.  On the right there is an option to set up the VPN. It will configure the VPN, DHCP, DNS, and routing.

Note:  in order for remote clients to access devices on the network they  must use a different local subnet than the SBS network.  For example if the SBS network uses 192.168.1.x the remote connecting clients must use something else like 192.168.2.0

Keep in mind though it is also a PPTP VPN which is rather insecure these days.  SBS 2011 offers other options such as Remote Web Access which allos access to shared folders via a web page, or direct access to any desktop to use Remote desktop.  We can help with those options if interested.  You can also still go with a router option that uses SSL or IPsec.
Top Expert 2013
Commented:
PS-  If it is SBS 2011 Essentials, it does not have the wizard but has all the capabilities.  I wrote the following blog to configure a while back.  Again, this method is not necessary if it is SBS 2011 standard.

https://blog.lan-tech.ca/2012/01/28/sbs-2011-essentials-configuring-vpn-access/

Author

Commented:
It is Essentials. I was hoping to keep as much as possible off the SBS server, that is why I purchased the Windows 10 Dell workstation. I will look at your blog and see what I can do. Don't really want to go with the router solution to save cost. I have a Netgear Nighthawk R7000 router that I attempted to set up VPN tunnels not a simple task on that router. You have given me allot to consider. You can email me at sprbe01@gmail.com if you need to.
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
The VPN service adds very little overhead to the SBS.  If you just need file access I would recommend the Remote Web Workplace option.  

https://windowsserveressentials.com/2011/07/15/setting-up-remote-web-access-on-sbs-2011-essentials-part-1/

Author

Commented:
I will give that a try.
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
Though it is not a direct answer to the initial question, it resolves the problem and is the best option in an SBS environment.

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