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Access files using VPN?

Posted on 2007-03-31
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Last Modified: 2010-04-12
I am trying to connect to my Windows XP Pro computer at home using VPN.  I have successfully connected to the "server" but once i am connected i cannot find a way to access any of the files/printers of the "server." is there something i need to do on the server to enable vpn clients to access the files? thanks!

-Kyle
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Question by:kylen1010
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by:pkutter
pkutter earned 60 total points
ID: 18830831
go to start > run
type
\\192.168.0.2


replace 192.168.0.2 with the IP of your server.
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Rob Williams earned 65 total points
ID: 18830834
How are you trying to access them?
NetBIOS names are not routable over a VPN, so you will run into some issues such as browsing My Network Places will not work unless you have a WINS server, and even connecting by computername does not always work, although that can usually be remedied. Most stable way of connecting is to use the IP and share name of a known shared resource such as
\\192.168.123.123\ShareName
Use the LAN IP, not the WAN. If that doesn't work it is possible to be able to connect but not access resources if the local subnets at either end of a tunnel are the same. Make sure they are different. i.e. if both sites cannot use something like 192.168.1.x on their local network.

If there is any doubt it may not be configured correctly have a look at the following configuration descriptions:
Server 2003 configuration:
http://www.onecomputerguy.com/networking/w3k_vpn_server.htm
Windows XP client configuration:
http://www.onecomputerguy.com/networking/xp_vpn.htm
You will also have to configure the router to forward the VPN traffic to the server. This is done by enabling on your router VPN or PPTP pass-through, and also forwarding port 1723 traffic to the server's IP. For details as to how to configure the port forwarding, click on the link for your router (assuming it is present) on the following page:
http://www.portforward.com/english/applications/port_forwarding/PPTP/PPTPindex.htm
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by:kylen1010
ID: 18830938
Hi thanks for the responses.  I tried what both of you said, but it didnt seem to work.  I might not be typing in the correct ip address though- on the network that the server is a part of, its' local ip is 192.168.1.10 but when i type that in on the client taht is connected to the vpn server, it gives me the "cannot find this" error.  i went into the properties of the vpn connection on the client and it said the ip was 192.168.103, but that just showed the network shares of the client computer.  i even tried going to \\[name of vpn server here], but i got the same old "cannot find this" error.  any other suggestions?

and i have 1723 forwarded.

thanks,
-Kyle
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by:kylen1010
ID: 18830946
YEA!!! I was just playing around with the TCP/IP properties, and i specified a range in there, and then reconnected and i in the properties, it showed the server ip and the client ip as 2 different things, so i typed in \\[server ip] and it showed me the shares!!! thanks so much to both of you!
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 18830957
Sounds like you have it. That is great.
Point is if the server has an IP of  192168.1.10 (i.e. 192.168.1.x) then the network at the client site must use something different like 192.168.2.x. The Virtual VPN adapter can be different, that is determined by your configuration in RRAS on the server, but it is easier if it uses the same 192.168.1.x subnet for the VPN client, so that no static routes have to be entered to access other computers/servers on the same network.

Thanks for the update, and points.
Cheers.
--Rob
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by:kylen1010
ID: 18830992
if a network has a ip of 192.168.1.x, it CANNOT talk to a network with 192.168.2.x, except for VPN.  is that statement correct?
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 18831015
Yes.
If you are on the same network segment, i.e a typical LAN, the subnets must be the same. If you are separated by a router, they must be different, such as with a VPN.

The issue is router route packets based on the subnet to which they belong. If you sent a packet to the server at 192.168.1.10, and the local subnet is the same, the roting devices assume it is destined for a local server/workstation/printer and do not forward the packets.
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by:kylen1010
ID: 18833230
gotcha. i learned more than i thought i would on this one, thanks for the help!
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Netscaler Common Configuration How To guides

If you use NetScaler you will want to see these guides. The NetScaler How To Guides show administrators how to get NetScaler up and configured by providing instructions for common scenarios and some not so common ones.

 
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by:kylen1010
ID: 18853602
Hi again, it was working for a few days, and now I added another router to the network, and I cannot seem to figure out what is going wrong.  I have different subnets for each of the routers (192.168.1.x and 192.168.2.x).  I have port 1723 forwarded to the server computer (thats on the 192.168.2.x), and i am trying to connect from a computer on the 192.168.1.x) subnet.  when i try to connect, it gets hung on verifying the username and password.  do you have any idea why it would do that? thanks again!

-Kyle
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 18853816
Where did you add the other router, between the Internet and the VPN device ? If so VPN's do not like that.
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by:kylen1010
ID: 18853923
no. take a look at this, it is how everything is set up now. http://www11.asphost4free.com/kylen1010/ee/ee.jpg im trying to access the vpn from one of the "computers"  thanks!
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 18854892
No need for port forwarding in this scenario as you are on the LAN side of the new router. It may be a routing issue. Can the connecting computers ping the VPN server, indicating they can 'find the route' ?
Also does it ultimately give you an error number such as 616, 800, 721...
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by:kylen1010
ID: 18855479
I can ping the VPN server LAN ip from the client
I can ping the VPN server internet ip and/or domain name from the client
I can connect to the VPN by connecting to LAN ip (192.168.2.10), but not by the internet ip or domain name
when i try to connect using the internet ip, i get a 721 error after it pauses at username and password for a long time.
I did a "telnet [domain name] 1723" to see if i could connect to the port, but that was fine
Also, I realized that I can access all the resources of the VPN Server from the client w/o VPN by going to \\192.168.2.10
Also, I realized that I can connect from a computer outside of the LAN.

So really, I'm just sort of curious why it isnt working at this point.  I dont really NEED to connect to the VPN server from the client using VPN, because I can just go to \\192.168.2.10, and outside the LAN, it works fine.  
-Kyle
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 18857285
>>"I can connect to the VPN by connecting to LAN ip (192.168.2.10), but not by the internet ip or domain name"
It's unlikely you will be able to connect to the VPN server from those workstations using the LAN IP or Domain Name. In order to do so the packets would be sent to the Internet and then have to be routed back internally by the main router, effectively making a 'U' turn. Most routers do not support this.
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by:kylen1010
ID: 18858052
gotcha, that makes sense. thanks again for your help!!!
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 18858131
Very welcome.
--Rob
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