We are going to explain to you how to create your own VPN step by step on Windows, which will be completely free and you will not need any third-party application. This may not be of much use to you if you want to fool a website into thinking that you are connecting from another country, that’s what free VPNs are for and other paid VPNs are for, but VPN networks have other uses, and that is what they can serve you.
We are going to start the article by explaining what you might need a home VPN for, helping you with this introduction so that you know exactly what it is and what one of these networks is for. Then, we will go step by step guiding you through the process to configure it from scratch using Windows’ own options.
The screenshots in this article are from Windows 11 in its beta for Windows Insider. We have chosen this version of Windows despite not having been officially released so that if you read it within 1 year everything will be current. The options and steps are exactly the same in Windows 10, except in the first of all, so it will not cost you anything to do them.
What do you need a home VPN for?
When we talk about VPN or virtual private networks, one of its most widespread functions these days automatically comes to mind, which is to connect to the Internet as if you were browsing from another country. As well, creating a home VPN network is not going to help you for this. Or at least not in all cases, since if you create a VPN in Spain, when you use it to navigate the pages they will see that you are from Spain.
If what you are interested in is to make a website believe that you are connecting from another site, I recommend that you use a free third-party VPN, with the risks that these can have for your privacy because they are from third-party companies and be able to record everything that you do on the net.
A home VPN is somewhat simpler, and focused on privacy when browsing. It will be in charge of creating a tunnel for your data, since all the requests you make, such as searches, emails and others, will be encrypted and will go through the VPN server to be sent to the Internet.
With this, what you are going to get is mask the IP address of your computer, preventing applications and companies from tracking you when you browse the Internet. The pages will not know the IP address of your router when you connect, but instead, they will only know the one of your VPN.
So that you understand this, when you connect to a website you actually connect to the server where it is hosted. This server receives a request from your computer, and uses your IP to find you and send you its content. In this way, all the websites you visit are storing your IP, which is as if it were your postal address on the Internet, and some can sell it to advertisers, who manage to collect all the pages that the team of a specific IP has been through.
In this context, a VPN network will act as an intermediary so that you do not give your real IP when connecting to a website. When you visit a website using a VPN server, who establishes the connection with the web server is your VPN, and it is its IP address and not that of your router that will be storing, so that later this data cannot be crossed so easily with others when determining that you have visited certain websites.
Besides this, a VPN server also allows you create a local network without the need for your devices to be physically connected with each other, although in this case you will need them to be connected to the same network. In any case, it can be useful to save you some cables.
How to set up a VPN at home step by step
The first thing you have to do is enter Windows Settings. Once inside, enter the Network and Internet section, which is where you have the internet related settings. In here, in Windows 10 you have to go to the Status section and click on the Change adapter options button. In Windows 11 we have entered the Advanced network configuration section, and we have clicked on the option More network adapter options.
A window of the old Control Panel of Windows 7 and previous versions will open, which is still hidden within Windows 10 and Windows 11. In this window you will see the connections you have, for example Ethernet if you are connected via cable to the router . In this window, hit F10 to show a hidden menu with more options that will appear in a bar at the top.
In this hidden menu, you have to click on File, and a menu will open in which you must click on the New incoming connection option. With this, you will be telling Windows that you want to create a new connection, which in this case will be the VPN.
A screen will open in which you will be able to see user accounts that you can add to the computer. There will be both the ones you have created for Windows login and those of your Microsoft family group if you want, and you have to choose which accounts you want to be able to access the VPN. I recommend that you create a new user by clicking on the Add someone button, and so that username and password you use later.
A window will open in which you have to enter a username and password. Here you can put the name you want, but remember that you will have to use it later to access the VPN, will be the username and password of this network.
You will go to a screen in which you will be asked how this user is going to connect to your network, and in it you have to leave the Via Internet option selected. Thus, the username you have created will be to connect to the network by forming a VPN, since you will connect with this user through the Internet to your network.
Now, you will enter another screen where you can configure the protocols and network software that you want to use. Here, you have to select the Internet Protocol version 4 option and click on Properties. Here, what you have to know is that by default this user is going to use your IP, and that we are going to change it to assign a range of different IPs, so that it is a VPN.
Here, we are going to get to a slightly complex part. You will come to a window where you have to select the option to Wait for IP addresses. Here, you are going to have to specify a range of IPs that are within your IP address. This sounds very complex, but we are going to tell you how to see it.
To do this, you first have to know your IP address. For it, open the Windows Command Prompt application and type the command ipconfig. You will see a text with several IP addresses, and what you have to do is stick with the Default Gateway IP, since it is the IP address of your router.
Going back to the previous screen, to write a range of numbers within your IP, the first three series of numbers must be the same as your router. For example, if the IP of my router is 192.168.1.1, then the IPs of the range that you have to write must start with 192.168.1, and then the last numbers, then put the ones you want depending on the number of IPs you want to give to the VPN. For example, you can set it to be 192.168.1.20 to 192.168.1.30 to give you 11 IP addresses.
Once the IP range has been entered, click OK, and you will return to the network software screen. Here you will have finished configuring everything, so you only have click on the Allow access button, and Windows will proceed to create your VPN server.
Open ports on the router and give permissions on the firewall
Now you have to take two more steps. First you have to open the port for VPNs on your router. For this, you have to enter the configuration of your router using the Default Gateway IP, which is usually 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.0.1 and typing it in the browser. The password comes in your router, although it is advisable to change it. Inside, you have to open port 1723 on your router. For this, you have to write the address of your router in the browser, and access its configuration. The port in Windows is always 1723.
The configuration screen will be different for each router. Here, you will have to add a rule writing the IP of your computer and port 1723 to open it. The IP of your computer is not the same as that of the router. Returning to the Command Prompt with the ipconfig command, the one on your computer will be where it says IPv4 Address. Here, you will have to search on your own in the configuration of your router for a term related to the ports of the router or ports.
Now, you have to open the Windows Control Panel application again. Being in your main index, you have to click on System and Security and then on Windows Defender Firewall. When you enter this configuration window, which is the capture window, tap on Allow an app or feature through Windows Defender Firewall, which is an option that you have in the left column.
You will enter the Allow applications to communicate through Windows Defender Firewall window. Here, you have to click on the Change settings button and give it administrator permissions to be able to make changes in the lower list.
Here, you have to check the Private and Public boxes of the Routing and remote access option, which appears in the list. The options are in alphabetical order, that is, you will have to go down until you find it, and activate its two boxes. Once you do, click on Accept for the changes to take effect.
Now, connect to your VPN
And once you have done this, that’s it, you have your VPN network created. Now you only have to connect to it from your different devices, such as from Android or from iOS. In this case, to connect you have to use the command ipconfig at the command prompt again, and use the IP listed in IPv4 Address as the server name of the VPN.
To connect to the VPN from Windows, you have to go to the configuration and enter Network and Internet. There go to the VPN section. You will have the list of VPN networks that you have configured, which in my case is empty because I do not have any. Here, click on the Add VPN option to proceed to add the one you have configured.
A configuration window will open. In her, In VPN Provider you have to choose the Windows option. Then, you must give the name you want to the configuration so that it is identified in Windows, and In Server name or address write the IP that appeared as IPv4 Address Two Steps Back. In the end, you will also have to write a name and password, which will be the user you have given access to
And that’s it. With these credentials, you can now connect from a computer that is on the same network that you are using. You can leave the VPN connected to use it as many times as you want.
Finally, you can also connect to the VPN from Android or from iOS. Each operating system has its own configuration method, and the only thing you have to remember is the precise IP that we mentioned before, as well as the username and password that you have created for it.