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Network connection types

Updated: January 21, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Network connection types

You can use Network Connections to create several types of connections between computers. The following table shows each type of connection you can create, the communication methods you can use to create each type of connection, and an example of each connection type. For more information, click the appropriate connection type in the table.


Connection type Communication method Example

Dial-up connections

Modem, ISDN, X.25

Connect to a private network or the Internet by using remote access

Virtual Private Network (VPN) Connections

VPN connections to organization networks over the Internet using PPTP or L2TP

Connect securely to a private network over the Internet

Connection Manager Administration Kit

See dial-up or VPN connections

Connect to a private network using a collection of dial-up or VPN settings provided by your network administrator in a self-installing profile

Using local area connections

Ethernet, token ring, cable modem, DSL, FDDI, IP over ATM, IrDA, wireless, WAN technologies (T1, Frame Relay), PPPoE

Connect directly to a local area network, to your cable modem, or to your DSL modem through an Ethernet adapter or a similar device

Using direct connections

Serial cabling, infrared link, DirectParallel cable

Connect a handheld computer running Microsoft® Windows® CE to a desktop computer so you can synchronize information

Incoming connections

See dial-up, VPN, or direct connections

Accept dial-up, VPN, or direct connections from other computers

For a list of icons that appear in the Network Connections folder, see Network connection icons.

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