This article shortly presents how to set up a Windows 8 VPN connection (PPTP, L2TP or SSTP). The steps described are quite similar to those from Windows 7, with only several changes due to the Metro UI.
Later edit: You may use the tutorial for Windows 10 as well.
Why would you set up a manual VPN connection?
Nowadays, most of the VPN providers have their own Windows VPN applications that you may easily install, and that can set up the VPN connection with one click. However, there are cases when a manual connection may be more convenient:
- If you don’t want to install an additional application on your computer.
- If you want to make sure that no additional system settings are modified when the VPN connection is created. VPN apps may perform a lot of settings to prevent DNS leaks, WebRTC leaks, IP leaks during unwanted disconnects (KillSwitch).
- If you want to make sure that your connection is not throttled by the VPN app.
Prerequisites for setting a manual Windows VPN connection
To manually configure a VPN connection for Windows you need access to the followings:
- The address of the VPN server (server address) you want to connect to. If you are already subscribed to a VPN service, you will probably find the addresses of the available VPN servers in the provider’s Client Area. The server address can be in the form of an IP address or as a hostname (e.g., us.example.com).
- The authentication credentials (username and password) provided by the VPN service.
Get to the Network Settings
Step 1. On the Start panel (Metro UI) point to the upper right corner, then move downward.
Step 2. Click on Search
Step 3. Type Control Panel and select the application from the left panel.
Manual VPN setup – Windows 8
Step 4. Select View network status and tasks.
Step 5. Select Set up a new connection or network.
Step 6. Next, choose Connect to a workplace.
Step 7. Click on Use my Internet connection.
Step 8. Enter the VPN server name in the Internet address text box (you should get this from the VPN provider) and choose a name for the connection (Destination name). Next, click on Create button.
Step 9. You will see the newly created connection in the right panel.
Step 10. Right-click on the VPN connection and select View connection properties.
Step 11. Next, you need to select the VPN protocol you want to use (PPTP, L2TP or SSTP). From the VPN Connection Properties window, go the Security tab and choose the Type of VPN. Also, make sure you select Allow these protocols and check Microsoft CHAP Version 2 and Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol (CHAP).
Step 11-1. For L2TP, you need to enter a preshared key (also provided by the VPN service): click on Advanced settings, check Use preshared key for authentication and enter the key.
Step 12. After you selected the VPN type, click the OK button.
Use the Windows 8 VPN Connection
Step 13. Click Internet connection icon in the bottom right-hand corner.
Step 14. Click on the VPN connection and then on the Connect button.
Step 15. Enter your VPN username and password (you get these from the VPN provider) and click OK.
… and you are now connected! Go to xmyip.com to check your new IP address.
Disconnect from VPN
Step 16. To disconnect click on the VPN connection and press Disconnect.
Step 17. If you want to remove a VPN connection go to Network and Sharing Center (step 5), select Change adapter settings from the left panel. Then, right click on the connection and choose Delete.