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I have Windows 7 Home Premium edition that came with my laptop.

I currently have the following way to use it:

Start -> 
Help and Support -> 
vpn -> Search -> 
3. Set up a remote connection to your workplace using VPN  ->
* Click to open the Connect to a Workplace wizard. ->
Yes, I'll choose an existing connection -> select one -> Next
Enter Credentials -> Login ->
Now log in via RDP to the computer I want.

To disconnect:

Close RDP
Reboot (to make sure that I am disconnected from VPN).

Seems like a pretty stupid way of doing it in Windows. What I would like to have is notification icon which will show me whether I am connected as well as a desktop shortcut to start the connection. If I have to use a batch or a Powershell script, I will, but I would rather not.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

This isn't the complete answer, but hopefully it'll help save some clicks.

For starters, you don't need to create a new VPN connection every time. You can always see your existing connections from the "Connect to Network" dialog, conveniently sitting in your tray. alt text

In that image I blurred my VPN names, but I have 4 and one was connected. Just pop that dialog by clicking the network icon in the tray and then click on the VPN you want to connect/disconnect.

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