Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP)

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

Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP)

You can access a private network through the Internet or other public network by using a virtual private network (VPN) connection with the Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP).

PPTP enables the secure transfer of data from a remote computer to a private server by creating a VPN connection across IP-based data networks. PPTP supports on-demand, multiprotocol, virtual private networking over public networks, such as the Internet.

Developed as an extension of the Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP), PPTP adds a new level of enhanced security and multiprotocol communications over the Internet. By using the new Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP) with strong authentication methods such as certificates, data transfer through a PPTP-enabled VPN connection is as secure as within a single LAN at a corporate site. For more information on EAP, see Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP).

PPTP encapsulates IP or IPX protocols inside of PPP datagrams. This means that you can remotely run applications that are dependent upon particular network protocols. The tunnel server performs all security checks and validations, and enables data encryption, which makes it much safer to send information over nonsecure networks. You can also use PPTP in private LAN-to-LAN networking.

The IPX/SPX protocol is not available on Windows XP 64-bit Edition (Itanium) and the 64-bit versions of the Windows ServerĀ 2003 family.

Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol

PPTP requires IP connectivity between your computer and the server. If you are directly attached to an IP LAN and can reach a server, then you can establish a PPTP tunnel across the LAN. If you are creating a tunnel over the Internet, and your normal Internet access is a dial-up connection to an ISP, you must dial up your Internet connection before you can establish the tunnel.

For more information about VPNs, see Virtual Private Network (VPN) Connections. For information about creating a VPN, see Make a virtual private network (VPN) connection.