A VPN (Virtual Private Network) allows you to create a secure connection over a public network to private networks and resources. Setting up a VPN server on Windows 11 allows remote users to connect securely to your private network. If you prefer using a VPN service provider, you can select the one that suits your needs, but if you want to configure a VPN server and take security to the next step, here’s a guide for you:


    • Windows 11 Pro or Enterprise edition (VPN server is not supported on Windows 11 Home edition)
    • Administrator access on the Windows 11 computer
    • A router with port forwarding enabled

    Step 1: Forward Ports on the Router

    You need to forward certain ports on your router to allow incoming VPN connections:

    1. Access your router admin interface and go to Port Forwarding settings. Consult your router’s manual for exact instructions.
    2. Forward the following TCP ports – 500, 1701, 4500. These are used by the IKEv2 VPN protocol. IKEv2 is the newest VPN protocol and offers better security.
    3. Also, forward port 1723 (PPTP protocol) and port 1194 (OpenVPN protocol) if you want to support them as well. PPTP is older but simple, and OpenVPN offers robust encryption.
    4. Specify the local IP address of your Windows 11 computer as the destination for the forwarded ports. This ensures the VPN traffic is directed to your server.
    5. Some routers may have an option to enable VPN pass-through, enable it as well. This allows the VPN tunnel traffic to pass through the router smoothly.

    Step 2: Configure Windows 11 as a VPN Server

    1. Open Settings => Network & Internet => VPN in Windows 11.
    2. Under VPN Provider, select Windows (built-in). This enables the native VPN server in Windows.
    3. Give a name to your VPN connection. Pick a name that identifies your network.
    4. Choose the VPN type – IKEv2, SSTP, L2TP/IPSec, etc based on your requirements.
    5. Specify the pre-shared key for authentication. Pick a strong passphrase.
    6. Enable Remember my sign-in info to save credentials and prevent re-prompting.
    7. Click Save. This will create and start the VPN server.

    Step 3: Configure Firewall Rules

    You need to create firewall rules to allow the VPN traffic:

    1. Open Windows Defender Firewall with Advanced Security.
    2. Right click on Inbound Rules => New Rule. Create new inbound rules.
    3. Create rules to Allow traffic for IKEv2, PPTP, and SSTP protocols on the required ports. Refer to VPN documentation for port numbers.
    4. Also, add rules for ESP protocol (IP protocol 50) and AH protocol (IP protocol 51) which are used by IPsec VPNs. These protocols provide encryption and authentication.
    5. The rules should apply when connection security is ‘Any’ since VPNs tunnel multiple protocols.

    Once the firewall rules are configured, your Windows 11 VPN server will be ready for remote users to connect. They can use the public IP address of your network and the credentials you specified to establish a secure VPN connection.

    Important Tips

    • Give a static IP address to the Windows 11 VPN server computer. This prevents IP change issues.
    • Enable VPN pass through on the router as noted earlier. Opens up the router for VPN traffic.
    • For better security, enable two-factor authentication for VPN users. Provides additional login validation.
    • Set up VPN users in Active Directory and use the RADIUS server for centralized authentication. Scalable for large businesses.
    • Use the strongest encryption protocols like IKEv2 or OpenVPN for secure connections.
    • For connectivity from public networks, check if VPN ports are blocked. Use alternative ports if needed.

    Setting up a VPN server on Windows 11 takes a few configuration steps but provides a secure way for remote access over the internet. With robust encryption, firewall rules, and other security measures, you can ensure a safe pathway for remote connectivity.