Slow VPN Connection when connecting XP clients to SBS 2003 server

Hi there,

I have successfully managed to connect my XP clients to an SBS 2003 server using the 'Connect to Small business server' option. I key in my username, password and hey presto I have a connection. However, the connection is very slow when viewing files in 'my network neighbourhood', i.e. files on the server. I would like to try and speed this up somewhat.

I am not sure whether this problem is caused by the fact that the connecting vpn clients are forced to use the 'remote dns' settings  as opposed to the local dns settings. However, from what I have read the ability to uncheck the 'Use default gateway on remote network' checkbox is not an option when using the sbs 2003 downloaded connection manager. To remedy this, I have created a manual vpn connection using the XP create connection wizard and although I have managed to successfully create a vpn connection, I encounter a user permission problem, the exact error "domain is not available- you may not have permission to access this resource..... list of servers is unavailable'. Noticably I do not get this error when using the 'Connect to small business server' option.

So to summarise, my question is:-

How can I speed up my vpn as currently it is so slow that it is proving difficult to work with.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Kind regards,

Who is Participating?
Keith AlabasterConnect With a Mentor Enterprise ArchitectCommented:
The user has SBS2003 and therefore already has Sharepoint, Remote Workplace, Remote Desktop etc already in place.

However, I agree that 128Kb upload speeds are going to be detrimental to performance.
Jay_Jay70Connect With a Mentor Commented:
Hi plambkin1,

you can try your manual VPN connection with additions to the LMHOSTS file for resolution

LMHosts is located in the Windows directory under c:\Windows (or WINNT)\System32\Drivers\Etc\LMHosts.sam , instructions are included within the file. Any line starting with # is just a comment and is ignored. Open the file with Notepad and add entries for your computers as below;      CompName       #PRE
Hit enter when each line is complete (important), then save the file without a file extension. To be sure there is no extension ,when saving enclose in quotations like "LMHosts". Now when you try to connect to a computer name it should find it as it will search the LMHosts file for the record before connecting.
More details regarding LMHosts file:

not sure if it will help but it is an option. what kind of connection are you behind when VPN'ing in
plambkin1Author Commented:

I use a windows xp client to connect to a wireless broadband router (netopia).

On the other side of the connection is a broadband router connected to SBS 2003.

I don't really understand the LMHosts suggestion.

Kind regards,

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carl_legereConnect With a Mentor Commented:
your connection to viewing files via the VPN are limited to the upload speed of the server's internet connection?  I suspect this speed is 512 kbps or less?
You have two issues to deal with at 0.5 Megabits, one is opening files, it will be excruciatingly slow!
Two, Microsoft's NBT browsing is a slow background technology on a 10 meg lan, so it will have a difficult time being used over a VPN

this is why Jay suggested lmhosts.  This is a way to trick or jumpstart your local name resolution database.  Unless you enjoy the 5 minute delay, don't even touch my network places.  You want your remote resources listed in the lmhosts file.
go to start, run, type in: notapad c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\lmhosts.
and hit enter
enter lines like this:    server1     #PRE
one line for each server you wish to connect to while on the VPN.
When done go to a command prompt and type:
nbtstat -R
which will reload this jump-start file.
now when you are on the VPN you can go to the servers directly with start, run
an authentication box should appear
thanks carl, you summed that up well
Keith AlabasterEnterprise ArchitectCommented:
Are you running ISA server on the SBS box or are you connecting directly to RRAS?
What type of VPN are you creating? PPTP? IPSec? L2TP? (The method changes for each)

plambkin1Author Commented:
Hi there,

I am using RRAS and the VPN protocol is PPTP.

The config in more detail is:-

A number (2 or 3) XP clients connect from home to an office over a boadband link. The home broadband connections are 1M downlink and 128k uplink.

The office broadband connection is 2M downlink and uplink is 128k.

The (home) based XP clients will only ever connect to one server and this is the server connected to the incoming office broadband modem.

When the (home) xp clients connect to the server using the 'downloaded SBS connection manager', I can create a VPN connection with no problems. However, everything is excruciatingly slow. It is even faster to use the 'Connect to my PC at work option' in SBS and have the screen transmitted over the network.

When I try and create one manually using the XP client connection wizard and uncheck 'use default gateway on  remote network', I get the error

"domain is not available- you may not have permission to access this resource..... list of servers is unavailable'. "

Many thanks again.


carl_legereConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Ah... with 128 upstream at the office you will find that is your bottleneck for even one client to browse the office lan and got files.  Consider other options-
use VNC for remote control of a server or workstation.
use Terminal Server to create a robust remote acces environment on your server or get a new server for it)
use Remote Desktop to have a user connect to thier regular XP work computer (they have to keep it turned on)
use Sharepoint 2002 (it is free with office XP and above) to share the files via the web with SSL, the download speed will be just as bad, but it has a library checkin checkout system to help keep the files from being corrupted.
Keith AlabasterEnterprise ArchitectCommented:
Thanks :)
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