How to set up VPN server on Windows 10

Do you need to create a VPN server? Here are the steps to set up a VPN server using the built-in Incoming Connection feature on Windows 10.

Windows 10 set up VPN server
Windows 10 set up VPN server

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a common method used to access files and resources such as apps, intranet websites, and printers using an encrypted connection from a remote location through the internet. Companies usually use VPNs to extend their private network to allow employees to access resources through a public network as if they were directly connected to the company’s network.

Windows 10 comes with the “Incoming Connection” feature that enables you to set up a VPN server to connect remotely to your home network to access your computer’s files, peripherals, and even other computers.

This guide will teach you how to set up a “VPN server” on Windows 10 without extra software on the Home or Pro version of the operating system.

Find public IP address information

First, you must determine the public IP address your Internet Service Provider (ISP) assigned you. You will need this information to contact your VPN server remotely.

To determine the current public IP address, use these steps:

  1. Open web browser.

  2. Open search an engine like Google or Bing.

  3. Search “What’s my IP.”

  4. Confirm your public address information in the first result.

    Check public IP address

If you are setting up the “Incoming Connection” feature on your home computer, you probably have a dynamic public IP address, which can change anytime. If this is the case, you must configure DDNS (Dynamic Domain Name System) in your router to avoid configuring the VPN setup whenever your public IP address changes.

Set up port forwarding on router

To be able to connect through a public network (such as the internet) to your home VPN server, you will need to forward port 1723 (Point to Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP)) to allow VPN connections.

Here are the instructions to help you set up port forwarding on your router. You can also visit your router’s manufacturer’s website for more specific assistance configuring Port Forwarding. 

Set up VPN server on Windows 10

Once you have set up DDNS to use a domain name instead of a complicated IP address and forwarded port 1723, you are ready to set up a VPN server on your device.

To configure a “VPN server” on Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Open Control Panel on Windows 10.

  2. Click on Network and Sharing Center.

  3. Click the “Change adapter settings” option from the left pane.

    Network and Sharing Center

  4. On the “Network Connections” page, press the “Alt” key to open the “File” menu and select the “New Incoming Connection” option.

    New Incoming Connection option on Windows 10

  5. Check the users who will have access to the VPN server on the computer.

  6. Click the Next button.

    VPN user setup on Windows 10

  7. (Optional) Click the Add someone button.

    Create new VPN user on Windows 10

  8. Create a user account.

  9. Click the OK button.

  10. Check the “Through the Internet” option.

  11. Click the Next button.

    Through the Internet

  12. Select the “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)” option.

  13. Click the Properties button.

    Set up VPN on Windows 10 TCP/IP properties

  14. Check the “Allow callers to access my local area network” option.

  15. Under the “IP address assignment” section, click the “Specify IP addresses” option and configure the number of clients allowed to access using a VPN connection.

    Incoming IP Properties for VPN access

    Quick tip: In this setting, you will specify the number of users that can access the network using a range of IP addresses. It would be best if you used a high-order range of IP addresses to help avoid network conflicts with the IPs your router distributed. To find out the range of IP addresses you can use, navigate your router’s settings page and look for the DHCP settings.
  16. Click the OK button.

  17. Click the Allow access button.

  18. Click the Close button.

    VPN setup completed on Windows 10

Once you complete the steps, the VPN server will be created, but it won’t work until you configure the firewall to allow connections.

Allow VPN connections through firewall

While configuring the Incoming Connection feature on Windows 10 should automatically open the necessary Windows Firewall ports, you want to ensure the firewall is configured correctly.

To allow VPN connections through the firewall on Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Open Start on Windows 10.

  2. Search for Allow an app through Windows Firewall, and click the top result to open the experience.

  3. Click the Change settings button.

  4. Scroll down and check that the “Routing and Remote Access” option is allowed for Private and Public.

    VPN server firewall configuration on Windows 10

  5. Click the OK button.

After you complete the steps, the Windows 10 VPN server can now receive connections remotely from other computers.

Set up VPN connection on Windows 10

Once you set up the VPN server on Windows 10, you must configure the devices that can remotely access the local network. You can set up any computer and phone (including Android and iPhone). Here are the instructions to set up a VPN connection on Windows 10.

After adding a VPN connection to your computer, you have to adjust the settings with these steps:

  1. Open Control Panel.

  2. Click on Network & Internet.

  3. Click on Network and Sharing Center.

  4. Click the “Change adapter settings” link from the left pane.

  5. Right-click the VPN adapter and select the Properties option.

    VPN Connection properties

  6. Click the General tab.

  7. Confirm the domain you created while configuring DDNS or the public IP address.

    VPN Connection address properties

  8. Click the Security tab.

  9. Use the “Type of VPN” drop-down menu and select the “Point to Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP)” option.

  10. Use the “Data encryption” drop-down menu and select the “Maximum strength encryption (disconnect if server declines)” option.

    VPN Connection Security options on Windows 10

  11. Click the OK button.

  12. Click on the Networking tab.

  13. Uncheck the “Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6)” option.

  14. Check the “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)” option.

  15. Select the “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)” option.

  16. Click the Properties button.

    VPN Connection Networking options on Windows 10

  17. Click the Advanced button.

    VPN Connection TCP/IP properties on Windows 10

  18. Clear the “Use default gateway on remote network” option.

    Stop internet traffic through VPN connection

    Important: We are disabling this option to prevent your web traffic from going through the remote connection, which can slow down the internet experience. However, do not change this last setting if you want to access the internet through a VPN.
  19. Click the OK button.

  20. Click the OK button again.

  21. Click the OK button once more.

  22. Open Settings.

  23. Click on Network & Internet.

  24. Click on VPN.

  25. Select the VPN connection option and click the Connect button.

    Windows 10 remote connection using VPN

While many solutions allow users to connect remotely to a private network using a VPN connection, you can set up your server with the tools built within Windows 10 without needing extra software.

Also, one of the best benefits of setting up a VPN server on Windows 10 is that it’s secure and reliable and an excellent alternative for users still skeptical about cloud services to store their data. Even more, through a virtual private network, you can access your device using the remote desktop feature on Windows 10.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].