The IPSec protocol suite is used to secure IP packets during a communication session. The end-to-end security that is implemented on IPSec allows for this to be implemented either in a host-to-host flow, network-to-network or in a network-to-host data flows. When implementing an IPSec VPN connection when located behind a router or when using a private IP address, a download update is required from Microsoft to successfully connect to an IPSec VPN connection.
How to setup IPSec VPN
Create a new network connection from the “My Network Places” on any Windows operating system.
Use the “Virtual Private Network Connection” for this connection. Some this option is not available. To re-enable it, go to your processes and enable the Remote Access Connection Manager.
Type a connection name under the “VPN Server Selection” window in the format shown below:
Do not use a smart card when prompted to use one.
When configured properly, the VPN connection should open automatically allowing you to configure the already set up connection.
Right-click the new VPN connection icon and select “Properties”.
Set the type of VPN to “L2TP IPSec VPN”.
Check the items below under the field “This connection uses the following items”:
- Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)
- File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks
- Client for Microsoft Networks
- QoS Packet Scheduler
Set the connection to get an automatic IP and DNS address.
When establishing an IPSec VPN connection, it may take some time before the connection and settings are picked, so be patient and give it a little time before making changes to the connection or using new configurations.
Troubleshooting IPSec VPN connections
When troubleshooting IPSec VPN connections, the first place you want to look at is the IPSEC System Log. The log will provide fine details on what is keeping the connection from establishing and can help you to determine what is going on.
The L2TP tunneling protocol is implemented with IPSec because it lacks confidentiality. L2TP packets are hidden within IPSec packets securely hiding any information about the internal private network. In an L2TP/IPSec implementation, the IPSec thus provides the secure channel while the L2TP provides the tunnel or channel for packet transmission.
IPSec VPN Providers
If you do not have your own VPN server to connect to you may get access to VPN services (ibVPN, NordVPN, HideMyAss) that provide access to servers located all over the World. Most of the providers allow IPSec/L2TP connections and also detailed tutorials to setup IPSec VPN.