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Viewing network across VPN tunnel

Posted on 2006-11-23
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Last Modified: 2013-11-13
I have a network of around 70 users. Mostly are Macs running OSX 10.4 but there are also some XP SP2 clients. The servers are also a mixture of OSX Server & Windows Server 2003. We use MS SQL2000 & Exchange 2003 amongst others. Our VPN network is built using Draytek kit and all works well. All clients & servers on the LAN can see all resources. However when Mac users go to the end of the VPN pipe they cannot browse the network from within Finder. Exchange & SQL are ok. Can ping the servers and get a good response time. Cannot browse. Any thoughts? Thanks.
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Question by:stagetech
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Expert Comment

by:matheweis
ID: 18015985
Most likely it is due to the fact the Mac's networking browsing relies on Bonjour (Rendezvous), which does not travel across subnets.

You may have some levels of success by properly configuring WINS, and/or joining the macs to the Windows Active Directory.
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Author Comment

by:stagetech
ID: 18018214
I have added some of the Macs to AD. Will test this and see what i can get out of it... Ongoing saga!!
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Expert Comment

by:walsellers
ID: 18042717
AppleTalk will not work across a tunnel either. This will stop you from browsing for a printer or file server.  TCP/IP connections will work fine for such things once the IP address is known.

Bonjour will generally not work across a tunnel either. Probably because Bonjour uses  broadcast packets.
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Author Comment

by:stagetech
ID: 18052284
so in other words users cannot browse across the network? Only to specific IP's of boxes they know?
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Accepted Solution

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matheweis earned 50 total points
ID: 18055011
Not really - users can *sometimes* browse across the network, and they don't need to know the IP's of those boxes in advance. Network browsing generally works best on local subnets - that is, you can only *reliably* browse computers that are in the same subnet AND in the same locally connected network. (Though you can often browse beyond both, it does not usually work in a reliable manner)

Here is a very in-depth article about network browsing under OS X. The article is written for 10.3, but applies fully to 10.4
http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=107804

As I mentioned before, your best bet would be to properly configure WINS on all your macs, using your Windows 2003 Servers as the WINS servers. Make sure your Windows 2003 WINS Servers are properly configured to syncronize with each other. WINS, like most other network browsing services is not perfectly reliable, but of your options at this point, it will probably work better than anything else.
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