VPN Windows XP Instructions

How to connect a Windows XP computer to the VPN service

The VPN service enables members of the University to connect to the University network from locations off campus (not the student village or halls or residence but non-university locations). A requirement of this service is having a working broadband or wireless internet connection.

Manual Instructions

First of all ensure you are currently connected to a network, and can access web sites and specifically the university web site.

Set up the (VPN) connection:

1. Click the create a new connection link, in the top left of the window and click Next.
2. Choose 'Connect to the network at my workplace' (Option 2) and click Next.
3. Choose 'Virtual Private Network connection' (Option 2) and click Next.
4. Type UWS-VPN in the 'Company Name' field and click Next.
5. Leave the option 'Automatically dial this initial connection' blank.
6. In the 'Host name or IP address' field, enter the server that you were given in the confirmation email and click Next.
7. Create the connection for: choose 'My use only' and click Next.
8. Place a tick in the box next to 'Add a shortcut to this connection to my desktop' and click Finish.
9. Click No to close the initial window.
10. Right-click on the 'UWS-VPN' icon in the Network Connections window and choose 'Properties'.
11. Activate the Networking tab and click on the Settings button.
12. Make sure all options are unticked as show in figure below, then confirm the dialog with 'OK'.
13. Now confirm the 'Properties' window with OK.

VPN Connection time fix

As the result of a bug in the way Microsoft Windows controls the lookup of host names when multiple network connections are present, there is a issue with the connection time taken to connect to the VPN server. To resolve this issue you will need to download the following script, and execute it once.

You can get the script http://www.swan.ac.uk/lis/swis/dnsset.vbs

Connect to the network for the first time

1. Double click the icon on the desktop called UWS-VPN.
2. On the 'Connect UWS-VPN' window, Type in the username and password as specified in the confirmation email that you received.
3. Click the box next to 'save this username and password for the following users'.
4. Click Connect, after which you will be connected to the Uniroam Service.

Configure your web browser proxy settings

If you want to browse the web to reach any web sites outside the University you must configure your browser to use the web proxy.

Internet Explorer 5 or higher:

1. Click Start, Settings, Control Panel and double-click Internet Options.
2. Choose the Connections tab. In the Dial-up and Virtual Private Network settings box, click on 'UWS-VPN'.
3. Click the Settings button.
4. Remove any ticks from Automatically detect settings, use a proxy server and use automatic configuration script.
5. Click on Use a proxy server for this connection so that a tick appears in the box. In the Address box type :- wwwcache.swan.ac.uk In the Port box type :- 3128
6. Choose OK and then in the Internet Options panel choose OK again to finish.


1. Run Firefox.
2. From the Tools drop down menu select Options...
3. In the Options panel click the 'Advanced' icon.
4. Select the 'Network' tab.
5. Click the 'Settings...' button.
6. Tick the Manual Proxy Configuration button.
7. Under both HTTP Proxy and SSL Proxy type :- wwwcache.swan.ac.uk
and enter a port number of 3128 in the two corresponding port boxes.
8. Choose OK and then in the Options panel choose OK again to finish
9. Close and restart the browser.

Disconnect from the network

To disconnect from the network use the network connection icons (which looks like two computers) in the bottom-right of the screen. There is one icon for the wireless connection and one for the UWS-VPN connection.

1. Double-click on the uws-vpn connection icon.
2. Choose Disconnect.
3. Repeat for the other icon if necessary.

Reconnect to the network

1. Double click the icon on the desktop called UWS-VPN.
2. Click Connect, this may take several seconds.
3. When prompted, click Connect again.

Install security updates

Any computer connected to the University network and the Internet is a target for unauthorised users who can try to access your system. Intruders could watch all your actions on the computer, cause damage by deleting files or changing your data, or steal valuable information such as passwords or credit adaptor numbers. Alternatively intruders may not be interested in your data and instead want control of your computer so they can use it to launch attacks to disrupt other systems. Some attacks known as worms spread automatically from one vulnerable system to another. Don't think 'an attacker would never be interested in me': an automated worm can infect and disrupt millions of computers.

There are three main ways in which an attack on your computer could be successful:

* New vulnerabilities (holes) are always being discovered in computer software. These holes can be exploited to gain access. Software vendors fix the holes by producing patches or new versions, but it is up to you to obtain and install these fixes.
* You could be enticed to run a trojan or virus. A trojan looks like something else to encourage you to click on it but its real purpose is to open up a back door on your computer. Viruses spread by infecting other legitimate computer programs. Trojans and viruses are often spread through email attachments, file-sharing and messaging, and may appear to come from someone you know who is also infected.
* Some software has settings (sometimes the default settings) that allow other users to access your computer unless you change the settings to be more secure. For example, file-sharing built-in to Windows can allow other users to view, modify or add files on your hard disk, which is an obvious risk unless turned off or configured carefully.

To ensure your computer is not vulnerable to attack you need to:

* Install software patches and new versions to fix known holes.
* Follow advice to change software settings to be more secure, or not run known insecure software at all.
* Don't run unknown files and unsolicited attachments to avoid trojans or viruses.
* Run up-to-date anti-virus software.
* Keep backup copies on disk, CD or a network server of important data.