HowTo: Windows XP VPN Into Remote Location

This entry goes along with HowTo: Windows XP VPN Server Setup. Having a Secured VPN (Virtual Private Networking) server is great, especially for businesses with many offices or if you own two homes. How can you connect to these VPNs free? Well I will tell you. With Windows XP Networking you can connect to any VPN site for free and with ease. There is even a way to Automate the VPN connection on Windows Startup! Lets venture into uncharted waters with "Connecting to a VPN Remotely."
Step One: Making the Connection

Making the connection to a Remote VPN can be a chore and pricey, well that is if you do not have Windows XP Pro or greater. Windows XP Pro (even 64 bit) allows you to connect to a Secured VPN Network for free. Lets get started:
1. Click Start
2. Goto Settings - Network Connections
3. Create a New Connection
4. Select "Connect to a Network at my Workplace"
5. Select Virtural Private Network Connection
6. Type in a name for this connection
7. Do Not Dial the Initial Connection (Unless you want to)
8. Host Name or IP Address: Type in the IP or Hostname of the Remote VPN you are trying to connect   to.
9. Do Not use my Smart Card
10. My prefered choice is Me Only, do what you want here.
11. If you want a shortcut on the desktop, check the checkbox. If not click finish.

Now you have a connection to your remote VPN server thanks to Windows XP. After you have tested the VPN connection then move on to "Automating My Windows XP VPN Connection."

Step Two: Automating my Windows XP VPN Connection

VPN connections with Windows XP can be a pain in the butt to connect to all the time. Then you have to map the network drive and on top of that you have to do this everytime. Or do you? Here is a simple guide to Automate your Windows VPN Connection everytime you turn on your computer and map the correct Network Drive.
1. Open up Notepad
2. Inside the "Untitled" document write the following: net use H: SERVERSHAREDDIR /user:USERNAME
3. Of course replace the variables above with the correct Server/ Shared Directory and Username.
4. Save the file as "vpn.bat" and put vpn.bat on the desktop.
5. Open up Network Connections
6. Double click on your newly created VPN connection
7. Check "Save this user name and password for the following users"
8. Select the "Anyone who uses this computer" radio button.
9. Click "Properties" on the VPN Connect screen
10. On the "Options" tab, uncheck: "Display progress while connecting" and "Prompt for name and password, certificate,etc."
11. In Windows Explorer, browse to Cgrin.gifocuments and SettingsAll
      UsersStart MenuProgramsStartup
12. Open a new Windows Explorer and browse to Control PanelNetwork Connections
13. Drag the icon of your VPN connection to the Startup folder. Thiswill create a shortcut.
14. Cut and Paste the vss.bat file created earlier and also place it in the Startup Folder.

Following the completion of the above steps you should now have a working automated VPN Remote Connection using Windows XP Pro with a mapped network drive for the folders you wish to access.

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