It should be easy enough to set up a VPN in Windows, and everything should work well, because Microsoft has been doing these sorts of things for some years.
Sure enough, if you open up the Charms bar, choose Settings, Change PC Settings, and finally Network, youâre brought to this screen, with a nice big friendly button to add a VPN connection. Tapping on it leads me to the following screen:
No problems, Iâve already got these settings ready to go.
Probably not the best to name my VPN settings âNew VPNâ, but then Iâm not telling you my VPN endpoint. So, letâs connect to this new connection.
So far, so good. Now itâs verifying my credentialsâŠ
And then we should see a successful connection message.
Not quite. For the search engines, hereâs the text:
Error 860: The remote access connection completed, but authentication failed because of an error in the certificate that the client uses to authenticate the server.
This is upsetting, because of course Iâve spent some time setting the certificate correctly (more on that in a later post), and I know other machines are connecting just fine.
Iâm sure that, at this point, many of you are calling your IT support team, and theyâre reminding you that they donât support Windows 8 yet, because some lame excuse about ânot yet stable, official, standard, or Linuxâ.
Donât take any of that. Simply open the Desktop.
What? Yes, Windows 8 has a Desktop. And a Command Prompt, and PowerShell. Even in the RT version.
Oh, uh, yeah, back to the instructions.
Forget navigating the desktop, just do Windows-X, and then W, to open the Network Connections group, like this:
Select the VPN network youâve created, and select the option to âChange settings of this connectionâ:
In the Properties window that pops up, you need to select the Security tab:
OK, so thatâs weird. The Authentication Group Box has two radio buttons â but neither one is selected. My Grandma had a radio like that, you couldnât tell what station you were going to get when you turn it on â and the same is generally true for software. So, we should choose one:
It probably matters which one you choose, so check with your IT team (tell them youâre connecting from Windows 7, if you have to).
Then we can connect again:
AndâŠ weâre connected.
Now for another surprise, when you find that the Desktop Internet Explorer works just fine, but the âModern UIâ (formerly known as âMetroâ) version of IE decides it will only talk to sites inside your LAN, and wonât talk to external sites. Oh, and that behavior is extended to any Metro app that embeds web content.
Iâm still working on that one. News as I have it!