There are three main VPN protocols that are usually spoken about which are PPTP, L2TP/IPSec and OpenVPN. Very occasionally you find a forth protocol available at certain providers although in more rare cases called SSTP or Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol, because it is more rare to find SSTP the question of how to setup SSTP on Windows crops up regularly and with Windows 8 and 8.1 being the newer operating systems how you go about connecting via SSTP can be somewhat of a conundrum.
Many of the best VPN providers supply custom software but it is a little hit and miss if they include an easy way to connect with SSTP on Windows. The general bulk of custom software focuses on OpenVPN and while an extremely good protocol there are times when you may wish to connect via SSTP. It’s also possible that SSTP is one of the least blocked VPN protocols and may aid you in bypassing firewalls where some of the other protocols such as PPTP are blocked.
So if you find yourself in a position where you want to set up SSTP VPN on Windows either out of choice or curiosity then by following my simple instructions below you can be up and running with SSTP on a Windows 8 or 8.1 system within a few minutes.
In the example below I’m using EarthVPN who supply SSTP access amongst other protocols for just US$3.99 per month or US$39.99 annually but the process will be the same no matter which provider you use.
- Right click on the Network Icon in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.
- Select Open Network and Sharing Center.
- Select Set up a new connection or network.
- Select Connect to a workplace. Press Next.
- Select Use my internet connection (VPN).
- Enter the connection address or IP given to you by your VPN provider in the Internet Address box for the server you wish to connect to. Then enter a unique name in Destination name that will help you identify the connection. Press Create.
- On the left hand side of the Network and Sharing Center window press the Change adapter settings link.
- Press right mouse button on the connection you created which should be named as you selected earlier. Select Properties.
- Under the Security tab change Type of VPN to Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol (SSTP) and Data encryption to Require encryption (disconnect if server declines). At the bottom half of the window select Allow these protocols. Tick Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol (CHAP) and Microsoft CHAP Version 2 (MS-CHAP v2).
- Under the Networking tab deselect all options apart from Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4). Press OK.
- Left click on the Network Icon in the bottom right hand corner of the screen. Left click on the connection you created indicated by the name you selected. Enter your Username and Password supplied by your VPN provider. Press OK.
- Connection will now be made. You can double check to see you’re connected by visiting a site such as GeoIP.
- To disconnect left click the Network Icon. Left click the connection you created and press Disconnect.
To see the process live in action I’ve put together a small video guide. It follows the complete step by step process for setting up an SSTP VPN on Windows 8 and 8.1 as above but in real time so you can appreciate just how easy and quick it is to get up and running.