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Remote access VPN connection

Updated: January 21, 2005

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

Remote access VPN connection

A remote access client (a single user computer) makes a remote access VPN connection that connects to a private network. The VPN server provides access to the entire network to which the VPN server is attached. The packets sent from the remote client across the VPN connection originate at the remote access client computer.

The remote access client (the VPN client) authenticates itself to the remote access server (the VPN server) and, for mutual authentication, the server authenticates itself to the client.


  • On Windows Server 2003, Web Edition, and Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition, you can create up to 1,000 Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) ports, and you can create up to 1,000 Layer Two Tunneling Protocol (L2TP) ports. However, Windows Server 2003, Web Edition, can accept only one virtual private network (VPN) connection at a time. Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition, can accept up to 1,000 concurrent VPN connections. If 1,000 VPN clients are connected, further connection attempts are denied until the number of connections falls below 1,000.

Computers running Microsoft Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT® 4.0, Windows 2000, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows XP, or a Windows Server 2003 operating system can create remote access VPN connections to a VPN server running Windows Server 2003. VPN clients may also be any non-Microsoft Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) client or Layer Two Tunneling Protocol (L2TP) client with Internet Protocol security (IPSec).

For more information on PPTP and L2TP, see Understanding VPN Tunneling Protocols. For more information on deploying remote access VPN connections, see Deploying VPNs for Remote Access. For an example implementation of a remote access VPN connection, see Virtual Private Network Implementation Examples.

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