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You need to provide a user name and a password if you want to connect to a Windows server through VPN using PPTP. Has the provided user name any function?

Let's say you use the user name "John" to connect to the network using PPTP VPN. John doesn't have the rights to acces the folder "B" on the network. Does that mean I too can't access the folder if I use John's user name to connect (in the Windows own VPN connection dialog)?

Or is the user name completely meaningless and just establishes a tunnel over VPN and has nothing to do with the ACLs in any way?

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1 Answer 1

PPTP tunnels use a username/password pair (usually) as an authentication method. This controls who is allowed to bring up a PPTP tunnel. Windows file shares use a username/password, to determine which shares a user can access, and which permissions on those files they have.

It's possible, but not required, that the PPTP user and the file sharing user can be the same (most often, both looking at Active Directory), but the file server has no way of knowing which PPTP username was used when it gets a request -- only the username presented in the file sharing protocol. Some configurations will automatically use the VPN username when accessing a file server, but that's just user interface trickery.

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When you're on a Windows Client that's connected over native Windows VPN to a Windows RRAS VPN, the VPN client attempts to use the VPN credentials when accessing a network resource that it thinks is on the other end of the VPN. But as you mention, this is the client doing this, not the VPN. This provides the illusion of the VPN credentials being used to access network resources, but that causes issues when your VPN credentials are different to the ones you want to use to access the network resource. –  Mark Henderson Jun 21 '11 at 1:05

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