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Understanding Virtual Private Network Ports

When you configure RRAS for VPN (as discussed earlier in the hour), ports are created that remote clients use to connect to the VPN server (or that the VPN server uses to connect to another server via an outbound connection). A port is a channel that provides a single point-to-point connection. Three types of ports are created: WAN Miniport (SSTP), WAN Miniport (PPTP), and WAN Miniport (L2TP). By default, 128 of each of these port types are created. So, you have many ports available for each of the tunneling protocols provided by the server’s RRAS VPN feature.

You can view the ports created by the RRAS configuration for VPN; expand the local server node and then click the Ports icon in the RRAS snap-in tree. The VPN ports appear in the Details pane (see Figure 17.10).

Figure 17.10. Ports are created for the VPN connection.

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You can change the number of VPN ports that are available on the RRAS server (you might find the default of 128 for each tunneling protocol inadequate if you have a large number of potential VPN connections). Right-click the Ports node and select Properties. The Ports Properties dialog box appears (see Figure 17.11).

Figure 17.11. You can change the number of VPN ports.

Select WAN Miniport (SSTP), WAN Miniport (PPTP), or WAN Miniport (L2TP) in the Properties dialog box, and then click the Configure button. The Configure Device dialog box for the WAN Miniport type that you selected opens.

By default, the ports are configured for inbound connections and demand-dial routing (both inbound and outbound). You can change the number of ports available by using the Maximum Ports check box. The maximum number of ports that you can configure is 1,000.

Obviously, the number of ports that you decide to provide for incoming connections should depend on the amount of bandwidth that you have available on your server’s Internet connection. If the server is using a T1 line or other high-speed service and has a great deal of bandwidth available, you can increase the number of calls—that is, you can provide a fairly large number of VPN ports for client connections.

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