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The IT landscape us changing, what with “bring your own device”, remote access and various other technologies allowing a user to work remotely and from varied equipment. In all of this, you are likely to be employed by a company that requires you to configure a VPN connection. Save your IT department some time, and possibly your business unit some money by setting this up yourself!

In this guide, we will cover the configuration, connection and disconnection of a VPN for Windows 7 (click here for our Windows 8 guide).

Initial Setup

  1. Left click on the “Network Connections” icon in the taskbar (the small monitor near the clock).
  2. Select “Open Network and Sharing Center“.

    Windows 7 - Network Connections

    Windows 7 – Network Connections

  3. Select “Set up a new connection or network“.

    Windows 7 - Network and Sharing Center

    Windows 7 – Network and Sharing Center

  4. Select “Connect to a workplace“.
  5. Select “Next“.

    Windows 7 - VPN Wizard Page 1

    Windows 7 – VPN Wizard Page 1

If at this point you are prompted to “use a connection that you already have“,
simply select “No, create a new connection” and then “Next” to continue to step 6.

  1. Select “Use my Internet connection (VPN)“.

    Windows 7 - VPN Wizard Page 2

    Windows 7 – VPN Wizard Page 2

  2. Enter the address of your VPN, this would be made available by your IT department, in this case we are using the example address “examplevpn.sigmasquared.co.za“.
  3. Rename your VPN to something easily identifiable in the “Destination name” box.
  4. If you want, select “Allow other people to use this connection“, this is useful if you have multiple people sharing a Windows login. Leave this blank if you are unsure, as it can cause a security risk.
  5. Select “Next“.

    Windows 7 - VPN Wizard Page 3

    Windows 7 – VPN Wizard Page 3

  6. Enter the user name that your IT department has supplied you, often this would be your company e-mail address.
  7. Enter your password.
  8. If you want, select “Remember this password“, this will allow you to connect without having to re-enter your password. Be aware though, that this is a security risk if someone gets hold of your computer!
  9. If your IT department has provided a domain, enter it in the relevant box.
  10. Select “Connect“.

    Windows 7 - VPN Wizard Page 4

    Windows 7 – VPN Wizard Page 4

  11. Wait for the connection screen to complete.

    Windows 7 - VPN Wizard Page 5

    Windows 7 – VPN Wizard Page 5

  12. You are now connected! Select “Close” to continue.

    Windows 7 - VPN Wizard Page 6

    Windows 7 – VPN Wizard Page 6

  13. Your VPN setup is complete!

Disconnecting from your VPN

  1. Left click on the “Network Connections” icon in the taskbar (the small monitor near the clock).
  2. Select your VPN connection (this will be the name used in step 8 above).
  3. Select “Disconnect

    Windows 7 - VPN Disconnection

    Windows 7 – VPN Disconnection

  4. You have disconnected from your VPN!

Reconnecting to your VPN

  1. Left click on the “Network Connections” icon in the taskbar (the small monitor near the clock).
  2. Select your VPN connection (this will be the name used in step 8 above).
  3. Select “Connect

    Windows 7 - VPN Connection

    Windows 7 – VPN Connection

  4. In the window that opens up, enter your password if you did not use the checkbox described in step 13 above.
  5. Select “Connect

    Windows 7 - VPN Credentials

    Windows 7 – VPN Credentials

  6. You are now connected!

Congratulations, you now have all you need in order to use your VPN connection in Windows 7!