Want to protect your cyber security and still get fast solutions? Ask a secure question today.Go Premium

x
?
Solved

have no file and printer sharing with a wireless VPN router

Posted on 2007-08-11
20
Medium Priority
?
543 Views
Last Modified: 2013-11-12
I am having no luck with file and printer sharing on a Linksys wireless VPN network at home.

Currently, we have three computers networked using infrastructure mode with a Linksys WRVS4400N router.  All three computers are connected to the Internet through a Linksys cable modem through Comcast.  Repeat, all three computers have separate and functional Internet connections.

But there is no file sharing between any of the 3 computers this home network (subnet) 192.168.2.1.  Yes, file sharing is enabled.  On all three separate computers the small icon in the left lower hand tray "local area connection" is disabled automatically once the wireless connection is established.

Occasionally from command line NET VIEW will show all three computers, but not consistently.  I am can ping some computers by IP address.  I cannot ping by IP computer name.

So the main question remains:  what do I need to do to enable full file and printer sharing between all computers?
0
Comment
Question by:bodywise
  • 10
  • 5
  • 4
19 Comments
 
LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:DToolshed
ID: 19677839
There is usually a combination of small issues that can cause this. Dependant services that should be running aren't, firewall settings, etc.

The easiest first step, since they are all windows xp, is re-run the network setup wizard. Make sure you select "Turn File and Printer Sharing ON", and they are set to the same workgroup, and if it asks you about disconnected media, you continue anyway. Do the same steps on all three, and reboot them all. That clears about 50% or so of these support calls I get, anyway. YMMV

If you are running any firewall sofware, check the firewall rules actually allow the traffic. Windows Firewall will be automatically configured by the above wizard, but third-party firewalls won't.

Other issues you can run into: bad drivers; buggy router firmware; missing Windows Updates.

This is off the top off my head, so it's not a complete list....
0
 

Author Comment

by:bodywise
ID: 19678157
Thank you, but I already mentioned and anticipated these answers.

File and printer sharing is enabled.  That is not the problem.

I am not running any software based (MS windows) firewalls.  It is disabled.

This is a deeper problem.  That is why I am awarding the maximum number of points.  

The VPN router sees all computers on the network.  But I cannot ping any of them, so this is a software/hardware problem.  
0
 

Author Comment

by:bodywise
ID: 19817283
Question not answered nor solved.  

I thank all respondents. Unfortunately I am finding more of these really tough questions go unanswered.  This one was important because so many are experiencing the same problem.

It may be specific to the WRVS4400N VPN router with which few have any experience.  It may something else specific to wireless networking that makes it 10 times more difficult than wired networking.  Almost to the point that it is not worth the pain.   Wireless networks are too primitive rather like the web in 1992.

I you have a simple 1 or two computer system then wireless is fine.  But if you are trying to construct a full and robust 4 computer network at home -- I would highly advise against such an undertaking.

Anyone still reading this is referred to pchuck networking site.
0
Concerto's Cloud Advisory Services

Want to avoid the missteps to gaining all the benefits of the cloud? Learn more about the different assessment options from our Cloud Advisory team.

 
LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 19817458
Right click "My Network Places", select "Properties". right click your wireless NIC and again select "Properties". Make sure "File and Printer Sharing" is enabled (this is individually selectable for all network adapters, so you you have that enabled it doesn't mean it is automatically enabled for all NIC's).

Select "Internet Protocol TCP/IP" and click on "Properties". Now don't use DHCP, but rather give every PC a static IP, or at least those PC's that are going to be sharing files. Check your Router's setup and use IP's that aren't within the router's DHCP range. If the router hands out IP's between 192.168.1.10 and 192.168.1.20, then use IP's above 192.168.1.20. Also make sure you don't use the Router's IP.

Now you should be able to access the PC's shares by mapping drive letters to the IP address and the share name, like this:

\\IPAddressOfServer\ShareName
0
 

Author Comment

by:bodywise
ID: 19823534
rindi,

Thank you for this post.  Everyone says the same.  I have mentioned this numerous times -- I have already done half of the suggested routine.  Sharing printers and files has been checked.  There are no software firewalls.  I further understand that checking these opens ports 138, 137, 139 and 445..

Let us go beyond this.  Your suggestion to bypass the DCHP serer is quite novel.  I know that much of the problem is name resolution.  In command screen NET VIEW consistently does not resolve all names and IP addresses.  Produces a variety of errors --  6118, host not found, request timed out, etc.

I will repeat again, this very pithy experiment:

I physically connect one computer to the router with CAT5 connector.  It can see and ping and resolve all names immediately.  Problem solved.  

Unplug and revert to wireless and I immediately lose all resolution -- no file or printer sharing.  That one experiment tells me that there is fundamentally something different about wireless than wired.

I tried to disable the router DHCP.   Did not make much difference.  I tried to "relay" the DHCP.  Then I re-enabled the router DHCP while still keeping the static IPs above the stated range as you suggested Very good suggestion ... but does not solve the problem

I see these threads over and over again and they just fade out with a definitive resolution.  I have been at this for 2 weeks now.  In wired mode .. would have been about 30 minutes and finished
0
 
LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 19823591
You don't need name resolution, all you need is an IP, and because it is a server it should always have the same IP, so make it static. You don't have to disable dhcp on the router to do that, just use an IP that isn't within the range the router gives out, and don't use an IP that is already being used. Don't browse for the servers using network places, but specifically define them by using their IP's. That reduces overhead and makes it simple. Firewall settings and the file and printer sharing options are set individually per NIC, so even if you have set them up correctly for one NIC it may not be correctly setup for the other, so check the settings for each NIC.

If you have a main wired LAN which already handles dhcp etc, then connect the wireless router to the LAN using a LAN Port and not the WAN port. Also if this is the case, disable DHCP on the wireless NIC, so it only serves as an access point and not a router. If you use 2 "Routers" you complicate things. This has nothing to do with wireless in itself.
0
 

Author Comment

by:bodywise
ID: 19825786
I do thank you.  Done all of that.  Problem not solved.

I am not sure why the discussion about the option of enabling printer and file sharing needs repeating.  It would have to be checked and operative for a wired configuration to work -- which it does flawlessly.  
All NIC cards are configured for file and printer sharing.  That is not the problem.

There are no hidden software firewalls.  That is not the problem

I have tried DHCP. I have tried static IPs.  I have tried this new and novel suggestion of IPs "above the DHCP range."  

This is a peer-to-peer network at home with 4 computers.  There is no "server" per se.  All running identical copies of XP Pro SP2.  (well, almost identical)

The wired experiment refers to this:  a WRVS4400N VPN router has 4 ports.  In wireless mode no file or printer sharing continues to plague me.  If I connect just one computer into any of the ports -- say port 1 -- that computer immediately has the ability to ping by IP and computer name.   NET VIEW shows *all* the other wireless connections.  Revert that one computer back to a wireless connection and all computers are not visible.  Is this clear?

I still want to know these two questions.  Can an infrastructure peer-to-peer network work in wireless mode?   I read one article recently that infrastructure mode cannot resolve this problem.  My one wired vs wireless experiment me that there is something fundamentally different between these two conventions -- name resolution.

A final point.  The router sees all computers by name, MAC address without fail.   The router is doing its job correctly.   A my VPN connection works between home and office but without the ability to ping from  the office to home by name.


0
 

Author Comment

by:bodywise
ID: 19834303
Any additional thoughts?    I did not not abandon this thread.  I just seem to be at a dead end in terms of resolution.   Maybe I can resubmit the thread again.

I do wish you would comment on "the experiment" that seems to focus on the differences between wired and wireless.   In the end this is a name resolution problem that leads to inability to ping all other computers.  

Many thanks.
0
 
LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 19834485
There is no difference in networking between wireless and wired. There can be a firmware problem though (the software of the router not working properly). Have you tried upgrading the firmware yet? I tried checking the router's manual, but wasn't able to get it yet. I'll try later.
0
 

Author Comment

by:bodywise
ID: 19835473
Thank you for sticking with this.  

Please indulge me for a minute.  Go back and read *specifically* what I wrote about this experiment.  I know there is not *supposed* to be a difference between wireless and wired, but *there is*.  With too much programming experience in last 20 years I know that frequently there is a difference between what "should be" and "what is" -- assumptions.  Anytime in the past were I had encountered a "that cannot be" I ultimately found that I had made false assumptions.

This VPN wireless router is brand-new.  Very few have experience with it.  I have already upgraded the firmware. There may be one other tiny "signature" file that needs to be updated. But the majority of the firmware has been updated.  As I had mentioned, the router sees all computers. The computers do not see or recognize each other.  So the question remains is this XP software networking flaw or is this a router firmware flaw?  Let me repeat, the router sees all connections with IP addresses, MAC addresses, clearly without fail.

many thanks...

0
 

Author Comment

by:bodywise
ID: 19837992
rindi,

I think the problem is the router.  I finally found enough very very negative comments on this WRVS4400N router.  It is too new for most to understand.   I think it is defective.  That is the source of all my problems.  It is none of the usual problems.  Beware, the Linksys people *may* have created a real dog with this one.  I have no way of proving this beyond a doubt, but this makes the most sense.



0
 
LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 19838039
That's what I was getting at with the firmware. I still haven't been able to check the router's manual, but I think your's supports the new "N" mode, and I've had problems with many devices that use the "N" mode. For one thing it isn't a properly defined standard yet, so most manufacturer's implement their own version. This causes compatibility issues etc. If you can shut off "n" mode, things might start working.
0
 
LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:DToolshed
ID: 19844087
Okay, 2 things that haven't been looked at yet.

Wireless clients:
What wireless adaptors are the computers using?
What dirver versions?
Are they all identical?

Router:
What encryption/security is being used?
Any other wireless settings that are not factory default?
Is "Wireless Isolation" turned on? (this would definitly cause these kinds of symptoms)
0
 

Author Comment

by:bodywise
ID: 19844458
thanks for the continued response.

I followed one suggestion above and set the router for"G" mode only.  That did not solve my printer and filesharing but interestingly it did greatly speed up my Internet connection :-)  a more consistent connection.

3 of the computers have identical G mode adapters.  One computer has an N mode adapter.  So 3 of these computers are identical.  The fourth computer is a laptop which has built-in G mode.  I do not think this is an adapter problem.

I am using WAP with PSK encryption.  I could use PSK-2 encryption for stronger encryption but decided to keep them all identical.  They all have TKP key encryption (not AEP).  I am not on my home computer, so if I have the initials slightly incorrect, pardon me.

I still think this is a router problem. I have contact with the very senior executive at Cisco who tells me there is a problem with port 443.  Apparently the VPN is using port 443 which conflicts with the internal network. I do not have the exact details on this.  But I am becoming more convinced this is a router problem!

One more time, through the VPN, I can ping all home addresses only by IP address from work (a wired router).  From home (the wireless router) I can ping all work computers by IP and computer name.  what is the difference?  At work I have a wired BEFVP41 router that works flawlessly.  At home I have this wireless router that I think is flawed.   Or is it this problem with port 443?

As often is the case with me, these problems are unusual and not related to the common problems.  The reason for persisting is :

1. To get this right and to relieve me of all this pain :-)
2. Potentially help others in the future if they decide to purchase a router such as the WRVS4400N Linksys wireless VPN router.  (probably not advised)



0
 

Author Comment

by:bodywise
ID: 19844463
I guess there was one final comment.  What is wireless isolation?  I am not certain what that refers to.  You may be right it is possible this is important.  Do I want to set "wireless isolation" enabled or disabled?
0
 
LVL 5

Accepted Solution

by:
DToolshed earned 2000 total points
ID: 19844640
Wireless isolation should be turned off, unless you are running a "wireless hot spot", as it keeps each wireless client isolated from seeing or responding to anything else on the same network. A feature that might keep someone from some man-in-the-middle attacks within the WLAN. You find it in your wireless security options. The default should be off, but I don't have that model here to test.
0
 
LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:DToolshed
ID: 19844682
As for the VPN, if it is an SSL VPN, then it may be using port 443, and that can (sometimes, rarely, I haven't seen it myself) cause issues with client computers connecting to secured websites (i.e.:  https://foo.bar/ ), but it shouldn't cause problems at the MAC address layer, like you seem to have here.
0
 

Author Comment

by:bodywise
ID: 19845529
Eureka!   Only took me about 3 weeks of constant daily work.

I had wondered about "wireless isolation (within SSID)."   The documentation reveals nothing about this most critical feature.   It was the final answer.   And this makes imminent sense.  That is what has been isolating all computers from each other.  That is why it seemed I had no name resolution or ability to ping other computers.

This fulfills Miller's first postulate about computer networking:  the answer is usually quite simple and elegant .. although may be impossible to find.

For those that might see this thread as a path to further answers let me review what I tried

Cannot share files or printers in a wireless network .. using the WRVS4400N Gigagbit VPN Linksys router.  The router was the problem.  Not software.   The network was not the problem.

1. Enable printer and file sharing is important but elementary.

2. Enable sharing of various files and folders.  Very important, but elementary.

3. Turn off the Firewall may be the limiting factor for most, but I never use software firewalls.  And Windows firewalls has plenty of options for passing "exceptions" anyway.

4. Be certain that all computers are using the same encryption schemes and keys.  Important but elementary.

5. Bypass DHCP by assigning static IPs to each computer.  Maybe important, and I have not done the final testing, but I do not think this is a rate limiting step.  It is cleaner and preferred for further indexing and name resolution.

6. Set all subnet computer static IPs above the DHCP range.  Quite novel and creative.  I tried this.  Was not the answer.   But it was a thoughtful suggestion.

7. Upgrade all firmware.  Important but not the rate limiting step.  Upgrades usually correct minor problems.  This is a major and *very* common problem.

8. The VPN scans port 443 and may conflict with internal networking.  This may still be a problem.  I disabled "wireless isolation" then disabled the VPN and ... file sharing worked.  But then I re-enabled the VPN and the wireless isolation still remains the final answer.

Simple answer, not the first one, not the most immediately obvious one until you begin to understand what it does.

This should be much much more clearly documented.  I know there are thousands suffering this same problem.

a hearty thank you to all
0
 
LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:DToolshed
ID: 19848770
That's great! Glad it's fixed, and you're welcome. :)
0

Featured Post

Evaluating UTMs? Here's what you need to know!

Evaluating a UTM appliance and vendor can prove to be an overwhelming exercise.  How can you make sure that you're getting the security that your organization needs without breaking the bank? Check out our UTM Buyer's Guide for more information on what you should be looking for!

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Working settings for French ISP Orange "Prêt à Surfer" SIM cards for data connections only. Can't be found anywhere else !
What monsters are hiding in your child's room? In this article I will share with you a tech horror story that could happen to anyone, along with some tips on how you can prevent it from happening to you.
Viewers will learn how to connect to a wireless network using the network security key. They will also learn how to access the IP address and DNS server for connections that must be done manually. After setting up a router, find the network security…
After creating this article (http://www.experts-exchange.com/articles/23699/Setup-Mikrotik-routers-with-OSPF.html), I decided to make a video (no audio) to show you how to configure the routers and run some trace routes and pings between the 7 sites…

572 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question