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VPN using Broadband keeps Dropping connections at random times and cannot determine where the loss is at.

Posted on 2005-04-12
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Have a BIG problem with a VPN connection.

So where, some how and at some point in time every day we keep dropping the VPN connection between the 2 sites.
It appears to not be in the VPN its self but outside of that connection.  

Have 2 offices:
     Main office:  one pc with Win-XP Home, with a Linksys BEFVP41 Ver2 VPN/Router, connecting to SBC DSL service.
     Branch 1   :  one pc with Win-XP Home, with a Linksys BEFVP41 Ver2 VPN/Router, connecting to Charter Cable Broadband.

Both Win-XP computers are with SP2, and all other updates.  Computers are same brand, model and configuration.  Linksys VPN/Routers have the same firmware (latest).  The SBC dsl service is using static IP address, the Charter cable is dynamic. how ever I'm using "no-ip.com" for dynamic dns.  

If my thinking is right, the VPN/routers are creating the point to point tunnel.  This seems to be working fine.  On the Main Office computer a program is running a SQL database (backend) and the user on that computer can run the database with out problems.  The Branch 1 computer is connecting to the Main computer by a mapped drive on the Main computer, and is then running a front end of the database program.  The mapped drive points to the database directory.

Now when branch 1 connects and uses the database program things run fine (although slow) it works.  It seems to loose connectivity (only momentarly) and will not reconnect to the database.  You can browse the mapped drive and see the other end.  you can also go in to the VPN and see that it is still connected.  The Internet seems to be uneffected also.

I know that WIN-XP Home is very bad for networking, and should try something else, but working with what I have.  Also the software vendor recommended using a server at the main office and using terminal services at the branch level to connect.  They are not help in the connection set up this way.  IS THERE A BETTER WAY ?

WHAT CAN BE THE PROBLEM HERE?  IS IT THE O/S, IS IT THE WAY IT IS SET UP AND CONFIGURED?  WHERE DO I START TO FIND THIS LITTLE BREAK IN THE COMMUNICATIONS THAT KEEPS HAPPENING (RANDOM) TIMES.  WHAT DO I DO NEXT?
Also, note that when the connection is made and the database is open and running is when it DOES NOT HAPPEN.  Just when you try to start the program, or after you exit  out and start back into it.   HELP ME PLEASE !!!!!
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Question by:rahowell2
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magicomminc earned 2000 total points
ID: 13800076
I suspect this is a bandwidth issue, don't think you can do much unless you get a better link between your main office and branch:
at your branch1 office, client PC map a drive on your main office server, that is very expensive solution! I mean it requires lots of bandwidth which you may not have all. Remember your VPN is built over Internet and not only your uplink speed at both end matters, but also there numbers of hops that VPN traffic has to trverse.

As you said, most time problem happens when you try to start the program, that is when the client try to pull data over the link, and browse through the drive and see the ohter end, that may be done by the client cache.
what is your link speed (download/upload)? ping time between main and branch office during the day?
Try to do a data transfer test and see what is the typical speed/bandwidth between your VPN ends, for example, from XP command line, ftp a 10MB file from main office to branch office.
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