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Remote Client to Linksys RV016 Router VPN Connection

Posted on 2004-10-31
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
Hello,

Here is my situation. I have a Windows 2003 standard edition server and 15 XP clients in a small lan. A few of the users need to be able to connect from home to access shares on the server as well as email. We host our own email server but it is on another server. We have the Linksys RV016 Router/VPN/Firewall.

I have configured tunnels for each user to connect, although I am unsure if I have set this up right. I believe I have but have been unable to connect from an XP client to the VPN yet. We have been able to connect from another Linksys Router from a home to the office, but cannot browse anything behind it. So I need help with both configurations; Gateway to gateway and be able to browse the network; XP client to Linksys router and be able browse the network and access email.

I'm basically new to this so a step by step breakdown would be really helpful. I have not found the information about setting up a VPN on the Linksys web site to be very helpful. We need to get this connectivity up really fast.

Thanks in advance.
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Question by:mmcmillin
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14 Comments
 
LVL 33

Expert Comment

by:humeniuk
ID: 12469992
Unfortunately, the linksys support and general info isn't very helpful.

When you connect gateway to gateway, see if you can ping the LAN IP of a computer on the other side.  If you can, you can probably map a drive to one of the network shares or create a desktop shortcut to the server (again, using the LAN IP).  If that doesn't work, let us know what you found and give us more info about your network setup (IP ranges, subnets, etc.)
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Author Comment

by:mmcmillin
ID: 12479118
I just spent a couple of hours on the phone over a crappy connection to India and got absolutely nowhere. I have made some progress on my own though. Here is where I am at right now.

I can connect make a gateway to gateway VPN connection between the RV016 at the main office and an RV042 in a home. The main advantage of this connection is that both sites have a static IP address. We solved the problem of not being able to browse the network by turning on NetBIOS broadcast.

I still however cannot connect from home using the built in XP client to the main office. Linksys will provide NO SUPPORT AT ALL to verify what the XP client settings should be even though they offer this as a method to connect. At this point my problem may be one of two things. How I have the XP VPN client configured, or the fact that I have a dynamic IP address at home. (Computers at home have been configured with a static IP address behind my router though.)

Can anyone walk me through how the XP client should be configured. Also any comments on the dynamic IP address issue. Thousands of people have dynamic IP addresses and connect to work. There has to be a solution. Can anyone recommend a good alternative for a VPN client other than the built in XP client that doesn't cost a lot.

Thanks
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LVL 33

Expert Comment

by:humeniuk
ID: 12479380
I had a lot of issues connecting to a few Linksys VPN routers using the Windows clients and when I was able to make the connections, they seemed to drop frequently and randomly.  Because I needed a reliable way to connect to a couple of clients, I ended up buying my own Linksys VPN router for my home office.  I don't have a static IP either, but since I'm using cable, it's fairly persistent.

I was looking for my old notes/links for the detailed Windows client setup, but they haven't turned up.  If they do, I'll post them here.

Third party clients: take a look at Netgear ProSafe VPN client (www.netgear.com/products/details/VPN01L_VPN05L.php) and Safenet SoftRemote VPN client (www.safenet-inc.com/products/software/softRemote.asp).  Both are good, Safenet is a bit cheaper, I think.
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Author Comment

by:mmcmillin
ID: 12629450
Sorry for the delay in response to this.

I have been able to connect after registering with DynDNS.org. However now I am unable to see the network at the main office. I can see mine. I can ping my server and workstations. I can remote desktop into my server, just can't see the network in My Network Places. I have NetBIOS over TCP enabled, I have made sure there is only one master computer browser enabled (that took some work). Linksys may think it is a firmware problem and have reported it. They cannot offer any areas where I can see if Windows XP is set up correctly. Any advice?

Thanks
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LVL 33

Expert Comment

by:humeniuk
ID: 12629508
Par for the course.  What I normally do is map the network shares or create a desktop shortcut, ie. \\<server ip>\<share name>.  See if you can connect that way.
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Author Comment

by:mmcmillin
ID: 12633943
Yeah I can map drives just fine. My concern is with the mobile users. They are not into computers like you and I. If they lose their mapping or need a new one, they'll need help. Are there any settings in Windows XP that you know of that I should check? I've tried turning on/off simple file sharing already, I've enbaled the guest account to see if that would help. Since I don't see the network, it's not as simple as just using the add new resource and typing in the IP address or share name to add the network! Anybody no a trick to add a network back to My Network Places the way you can shares on the network?
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LVL 33

Expert Comment

by:humeniuk
ID: 12634396
Do you have DNS or WINS running on your network?  I believe NetBIOS over TCP/IP requires one of those.
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LVL 33

Expert Comment

by:humeniuk
ID: 12634405
Revision - actually, I think you need WINS in this case.
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Author Comment

by:mmcmillin
ID: 12636707
Thanks for getting back to me.

Yes I have both DNS and WINS running. Since I am native 2003/XP I don't believe I technically need WINS, I just configured it to see if it would help. So far no luck.
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LVL 33

Expert Comment

by:humeniuk
ID: 12636725
"Since I am native 2003/XP I don't believe I technically need WINS"
True, but it was worth trying to rule it out.

Are the remote workstations configured to use the DNS/WINS servers?
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Author Comment

by:mmcmillin
ID: 12640579
yep, both configured.
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LVL 33

Expert Comment

by:humeniuk
ID: 12645081
It appears that everything is configured as it should be, but it's still an issue - not an uncommon state of affairs with these Linksys routers.

An alternative to DNS/WINS is LMHOSTS as specified here: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;314884.  See also http://www.realcomputerguy.com/lmhosts.htm.

(Credit where credit is due - this was the solution proposed by lrmoore to this same problem in www.experts-exchange.com/Networking/Broadband/VPN/Q_20713373.html).
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