How to set up a Windows VPN: Hardware requirements

A Windows-based virtual private network requires specific hardware and software. This tip describes those requirements in detail for value-added resellers (VARs) and systems integrators who build VPNs for their customers.

A Windows-based virtual private network (VPN) requires specific hardware and software. This tip, describes those requirements in detail for value-added resellers (VARs) and systems integrators who build VPNs for their customers.

Step 1: Setup requirements

To create a VPN, you will need three separate Windows 2003 servers and at least one remote client. The remote client's machine needs to be running Windows XP.

The first of the three separate Windows 2003 servers your VPN will need is basically an infrastructure server. It must act as a domain controller, DHCP server, DNS server and certificate authority. If you already have a Windows 2003 network in place, you don't need to go out and buy a server to fit this role.

Any Windows 2003 domain will already have at least one domain controller and one server acting as a DNS server. Most Windows 2003 networks are also running DHCP services. If you already have all these services in place, the only thing you will have to worry about is setting up a certificate authority (which I show you how to do in Step 3). For now, you just need to know that the server acting as a certificate authority must be running Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition.

Learn more about VPN setup requirements.

Get more info on setting up your customer's VPN.

This was first published in December 2006

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