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Windows PC setup - L2TP/IPsec manual setup

Updated

Please Note: Although technically you can use the L2TP / PPTP protocols, they have serious security flaws. Whenever possible, we recommend choosing OpenVPN or IKEv2/IPSec instead.

The L2TP/IPsec connection method is one of the alternative options for connecting to NordVPN servers on your Windows PC. It lacks the additional features of the NordVPN app, and, more importantly, uses a different VPN protocol - L2TP in conjunction with the IPsec protocol.

This connection method is less secure than the methods available for Windows, since it's a much older protocol.

Windows 10
  • 1. Open Windows Settings > Network & Internet > VPN, and click on Add a VPN connection.

     

  • 2. A list of settings will appear. Type in:

    VPN provider : Windows (built-in)
    Connection name : Any name, it does not matter.
    Server name or address : A server name from our server list, at https://nordvpn.com/servers/ (for example, us333.nordvpn.com)
    VPN type : L2TP/IPsec with pre-shared key
    Pre-shared key : nordvpn
    Type of sign-in info : User name and password
    User name : Your NordVPN username
    Password : Your NordVPN password

    Afterwards, click save.

     

  • 3. Click on the VPN connection you have just configured, and then click Connect.

     

  • 4. Once it says Connected, you will be successfully secured!

     

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Windows 8, 7
  • 1. Right click on your Network Connection as shown in the screenshot and select Open Network and Sharing Center ;

     

     

  • 2. Then select Set up a new connection or network ;

     

  • 3. Choose Connect to a workplace connection type;

     

  • 4. In the next window, choose Use my Internet Connection (VPN) ;

     

  • 5. A new window will open where you will have to type in the following:

    • Internet address: Here you need to enter the IP address or hostname of the server you want to connect to. For example the hostname of the Germany #73 server is de73.nordvpn.com; You can check our full server list here https://nordvpn.com/servers/.
    • Destination name: Anything you want.

     

  • 6. Now in Network and Sharing Center click Change adapter settings which can be found in the menu on the left hand side;

     

  • 7. Find your new connection and right-click on it, then select Properties ;

     

  • 8. In properties windows you have to do next steps:

    • Under Security Tab for Type of VPN select Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol with IPsec (L2TP/IPsec) ;
    • Data Encryption: Maximum strength encryption (disconnect if server declines);
    • Tick on Allow these protocols ;
    • Check on Microsoft CHAP version 2 (MS-CHAP v2) ;
    • Once done press on Advanced settings ;
    • Select Use preshared key for authentication . The key is: nordvpn

     

     

  • 9. Now you will be able to connect to our VPN via this new connection that you have created. When asked for credentials, please put in your NordVPN username and password.

     

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All Windows versions - Phonebook file method
  • 1. Download the NordVPN phonebook (.pbk) file:
    https://nordvpn.com/api/files/pbk

  • 2. Open the vpn.pbk file you have just downloaded.

     

  • 3. Choose one of the NordVPN L2TP servers and press Properties.

    (3, 4, 5, 6 points are needed the first time you connect for each server. If you have already done that before, please proceed to point 7.).

     

  • 4. Select Security tab and press Advanced settings.

     

  • 5. Select User preshared key for authentication and in the field Key: enter nordvpn. Press Ok.

     

  • 6. Press OK.

     

  • 7. Now you may press Connect to the server.

     

  • 8. Enter your NordVPN username and password and press Connect.

     

To disconnect from NordVPN:

    • Open vpn.pbk file and press Hang up.

       

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Other connection methods can be found here:
https://support.nordvpn.com/hc/en-us/articles/115001195229