no Internet connection when cable modem connected directly to laptop

The short question is:  Why can't I access the Internet when I plug my cable modem directly into my laptop?  Normally, I have a lynksis wireless router & a network.  When I plug the cable modem through the router I am able to connect.

The long question is:  I don't want to go through the router because I'm running a test trying to access my work through Cisco Systems VPN Client.  I get a, "The remote peer is not responding" message when trying to connect through my router.  I read that this could be due to a firewall in my lynksis network which does not allow ports 500 & 10000.  So I tried to forwarding those ports in my lynksis set-up & still got the error message.  So now I'm trying to connect without lynksis to rule out the possibility that a firewall is preventing me from connecting to the VPN.

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Simple answer: IP Address

You are probably still using a natted Ip from your router.  Try this and let me know the result.

plug your computer directly into your cable modem and then goto

Control Panel> network Connections

Now right click on Local Area network and go to properties

there is a list of installed protocols in this window.  At the bottom you will see Internet protocol TCP/IP select that and hit properties (which is down a tad to the right).

Now make sure you have obtain IP address automatically checked and the same for DNS.

hit ok, ok again and then try the internet.  

What this does is makes sure you are pulling a valid IP address by setting your computer up for DHCP.  

if you still can not get online do an IPCONFIG /ALL and post the results.
katrina_mcAuthor Commented:
I was able to connect to the Internet using my cable modem plugged into my laptop, but I'm still getting the "Remote Peer is not responding" error & I can't get into my work network with the Cisco Systems VPN Client.  Since I'm no longer going through the router, there shouldn't be a firewall issue, right?  So what could be causing this error & how can I fix it?

Thanks for answering the first part of the question though!  If I need to, maybe I should make the 2nd part into a separate question.
Here are few question you need answer 1st.

1. where you able to access the VPN before, or this is the 1st time ?
2. Do you have access to the router, and if so what dose the log on the router says. Actully to real get some info on the connection you can use the following commands on the router

debug crypto isakmp
debug crypto ipsec

from the output of the above two commands you can tell if you laptop even hitting the router.

Now under the cisco client config you should see a column that indicate the host name or ip address try to ping that host from the DOS command prompt do you get a responce..

let me know so we can proceed with the debugging.

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You will also want to disable any software firewalls you have running on your machine as a troubleshooting step.  If this resolves the problem, then you will have to reconfigure your firewall on the laptop to allow the appropriate ports for your VPN.
Also I would suggest to uninstall any and all AV programs installed for the sake of troubleshotting  - they are known to conflict with internet access and what not
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