How to Access Your Windows 2012 Server via VPN

One of the things that you may have heard about this year is how to securely access your Windows 2012 server via a VPN, or virtual private network. A VPN provides you with an additional level of security for your server, which may be useful should you ever access it remotely (either physically or remotely)

In this guide, we’ll discuss each step of the process, from the basics such as installing and configuring Windows Server 2012 to various tips and tricks for improving your experience while utilizing a VPN to securely access your server.

Step One: Download And Install The VPN Client

The first step is to download and install the VPN client. You’ll need to download and install the VPN client on both your client and server. On the server, you’ll also need to ensure that the VPN client is running after you install it. You can do this by either logging back in or by starting the server from the Windows 2012 Server entry in the Start menu. Once the VPN client is installed on your server, you can begin configuring it.

Step Two: Configure The VPN Client On Your Server

After you have installed the VPN client on both your server and your client, you can begin configuring it. The first step is to click the “Settings” button () in the VPN client, which will then bring up the VPN client settings. From here, you can click the “+” to add a new VPN connection or you can click the “AutoConfig” button (), which will then initiate a one-time configuration of the VPN client.

You’ll then be prompted to enter the VPN server name and the default password for the VPN server. As before, this will be a one-time configuration that you can do manually after the VPN client has been downloaded and installed or you can click the “AutoConfig” button to have the VPN client set up automatically.

Step Three: Test Your VPN Configuration

Once you have configured the VPN client, you can test it by attempting to access a website that’s restricted to within the VPN server’s network. You can do this by either clicking the VPN server’s name (e.g., “VPN Server” (YOUR-SERVER-NAME)) in the address bar of your browser or by entering “YOUR-SERVER-NAME.vpn” into the address bar of your browser.

If you click the VPN server’s name in the address bar of your browser, you’ll be connected to the VPN server and will be able to access resources that are restricted to within its network. If you enter “YOUR-SERVER-NAME.vpn” into the address bar of your browser and then click the “Open Site” button (), you’ll be prompted to log in to the VPN server (this is optional).

When you’re within the VPN server’s network, your computer will display a shield () on the network icon in the system tray of your desktop. This indicates that you’re connected to a secure network and suggests that you use a secure connection when accessing resources on the network (e.g., shared folders, databases, etc.).

Step Four: Use The VPN Client To Access Your Server

Now that you have configured the VPN client and tested it, you can use it to connect to your server. To do this, click the “Connect” button (), which will then bring up a window asking you to enter the username and password for the VPN server. The username and password you enter here will be saved and, from then on, you’ll be able to connect to your VPN server with that username and password.

If you choose to connect with a saved password, you won’t be prompted to enter it every time you connect. However, if you forget your password or it expires, you’ll have to reconnect to the VPN server in order to login. In either case, you can click the “Forgot password?” button to have your password emailed to you. You can also click the “+” to bring up a list of all the devices (e.g., your computer, mobile phone, etc.) that you’ve saved as VPN credentials.

After entering your username and password, you’ll be asked to select a VPN protocol to use. As mentioned above, VPNs provide you with an additional level of security for your server, which is why you should choose a protocol that’s known for being secure. You can click the Help button () to learn more about selecting a VPN protocol or enter “NOTES” into the Search box () to the right of the box to have help briefly displayed when you click the “Connect” button.

Step Five: Manage Your VPN Credentials

Once you’ve connected to your server using the VPN client, you’ll be returned to the main Settings screen for the VPN client. From here, you can click the “Users” button (), which will then bring up a list of your saved users along with their associated permissions. You can click the “+” button next to any of the users in this list in order to edit their associated settings.

You can remove a user by clicking the “-” button next to their name, changing the permission for that user’s resources or setting, or you can add a new user by clicking the “+” button. You’ll need to add this user’s username and password and then assign them permissions (e.g., Allow or Deny access to specific folders or resources on the server) as needed.

Step Six: Use The VPN To Access Remaining Windows 2012 Servers

Now that you have a handy tool to securely access your Windows 2012 server, you may be wondering how to access other servers running Windows 2012. There are a few ways to do this. The first is to install and configure the VPN client on the other Windows 2012 servers that you want to connect to. Once this is done, you can click the “Connect” button () in the VPN client in order to connect to one of the other Windows 2012 servers.

A second way to access remaining Windows 2012 servers is to install and configure one of the freely available VPN clients on your personal computer (e.g., Windows 7 or Mac OS X) and then use this VPN client to connect to the server(s) that you want to access. This can be helpful if you have a large number of servers that you want to connect to or if you don’t have access to other devices (such as a mobile phone) that can be used to connect to a VPN server.

A third way to access remaining Windows 2012 servers is to use the Server Admin tool that’s built into Windows. On the server, you can start the Server Admin tool by clicking the Start button (), selecting Programs (), and then clicking the Microsoft Windows folder. Once the Server Admin tool is opened, you can connect to the server(s) that you want to access and manage them as needed via the interface built into the Server Admin tool.

How To Securely Access A Windows 2012 Server Via VPN

So you’ve decided to give VPNs a try and you’ve successfully installed and configured one on your Windows 2012 server. Now what? How can you best protect your server while utilizing a VPN? The answer is by protecting your server with a robust password policy and by regularly updating the software on your server.

First of all, make sure that your Windows 2012 server is updated to the latest version by either visiting the Microsoft Website or running Windows Update on the server.

Next, make sure that you use a password policy that meets or surpasses industry standards. The Community Manager of BestVPN, Andy Kim, recommends using a password policy that requires a minimum of 8 characters and that includes upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. In addition, you should choose passwords that are easy to remember but difficult to crack. Once you’ve got your password policy in place, you can move on to the next step – creating and enforcing strong passwords.

Step One: Create A Password

The first step in protecting your server is to create a strong password. If you use the same password for multiple accounts, such as your email account or your Twitter account, then it’ll be easy for someone to access your accounts if they guess your password.

In order to create a strong password, follow these steps:

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