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Need help with MS VPN setup on XP Home boxes

Posted on 2004-10-17
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-12

I just found out about XP's built-in VPN ability, and I'd like to see if I can employ it at my office. The office has 2 XP Home boxes behind an ADSL router (with static WAN IP). They are statically configured on a 192.168.1.x subnet. One of them has a webserver for intranet stuff, and after setting up the Windows VPN server on that box and the VPN client on my home PC (also XP Home), I can access that from home using the machine's private IP.

So far so good, but I was assuming that Windows Networking could also be in effect over the VPN, but this is not the case.

I've read a few docs on the web about this, not to mention here in this TA, but there are a few things I don't understand. Is VPN networking to the office network ruled out because I don't have XP Pro with its Active Directory feature?

Just for other info, both my office and home networks are using the workgroup MSHOME (although I don't know if the home network's settings are really an issue here). The VPN server box is configured to allow clients to set their IP addresses, and my client at home has a static IP, has NetBios over TCP/IP enabled and I've entered the office router as its DNS server (best guess?).

WINS and a few other acronyms that mean nothing to me have come up in the postings in this TA - are they relevant to this task?

As you can probably tell I'm learning my way in the wacky world of networking, so any down-to-earth advice is gratefully accepted.
Question by:Havin_it
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Expert Comment

ID: 12334876
You can initiate a VPN connection from Windows XP Home and you should be able to perform network operations on the remote lan. Are you using the network wizard to set up your network? You can get instructions from "Help and Support" that should go a long way to helping you with this, just by entering "VPN" in the Help and Support search box, e.g.:

To make a virtual private network (VPN) connection
Open Network Connections.
Under Network Tasks, click Create a new connection, and then click Next.
Click Connect to the network at my workplace, and then click Next.
Click Virtual Private Network connection, click Next, and then follow the instructions in the wizard.

To open Network Connections, click Start, click Control Panel, click Network and Internet Connections, and then click Network Connections.
You can create multiple VPN connections by copying them in the Network Connections folder. You can then rename the connections and modify connection settings. By doing so, you can easily create different connections to accommodate multiple hosts, security options, and so on.

Do you have a router at home as well or are you connecting directly to your modem?

Expert Comment

ID: 12334891
Once you have created the VPN, you can edit its properties just like any other network (lan) connection - e.g., adding Clients, Servers, and Protocols via Properties -> Networking.
LVL 10

Author Comment

ID: 12336922
Thanks - I did use the wizard at both ends, though I don't know if I did everything right at that stage.

I do have a router at home, but others won't.  I first tried out the client by connecting through the second ADSL line at the office (off the network); interestingly, when I did that the client PC lost DNS, but at home that doesn't happen...

The boss who also wants to use it at home, would be using 56k from home.

So you reckon I can access the shares of both work PCs without XP Pro? If so, what else needs to be set in the network properties? I haven't configured WINS or anything like that for the work PCs and they network fine.  I have all the same protocols and clients installed in the VPN client properties.

I also tried adding the computer names and their private IPs to my HOSTS file, but that doesn't seem to have helped. So should anything be done with WINS, LMHOSTS, etc? Should I be using DHCP somewhere along the line instead of static private addresses? (I don't think the work router will give DHCP to the client anyway, but I could be wrong.)

I'll try anything, but I need to know where to start.
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Expert Comment

ID: 12336970
In the case where there is a router at both ends, be sure to use a different subnet for each router; e.g., at work and at home
LVL 10

Author Comment

ID: 12339253
That is the case, home subnet is 192.168.2.x

Accepted Solution

sftweng earned 2000 total points
ID: 12339274
Are you able to map a network drive using an IP address rather than a machine name?
LVL 10

Author Comment

ID: 12342396
Ya know what? I sure am.

Well, in fact I had no idea that was what 'Map Network Drive...' did, but I just used the local IP addresses in place of computer names and all the shares were available, so my problem is solved. I guess now I can get the names in place too though, so thanks for the tip!

Now let me get back to freaking out the office junior by printing random things while he's alone there... ;)

Expert Comment

ID: 12342456
I'm pleased to have been of help. I hope your office junior doesn't have a weak heart. ;-)

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