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Problem creating a network between home and work

Posted on 2008-06-23
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Hello, (Firstly I'd like to apologise for the question being so long!)

I have a problem that I have been struggling to solve on my own the last couple of days and i'm totally confused now if I'm totally honest with you. I'm  hoping that I will be able to work home on my laptop and connect to files on a new pc that I have recently purchased and put in my work office. I also want to be able to be at home from the laptop and be able to use the printer which is also at the office. This is just so I can save some time when I'm out of the office and at home.

I'll try to be as specific as possible about the specs and problem:

The computer in work is a brand new dell vostro 410 running window Vista, which is plugged into a router using a CAT5. There is also a printer in the office which is also plugged in to the router using a CAT5 cable. Printer works fine from the new dell vostro and internet connection works fine also.
My ISP is 02 in the UK, the router they sent me is all labeled as an 02, but a little research tells me it's just been badged up and its actually a Thomson ST 780WL.

I have setup incoming connections from my work computer and chosen who can connect to the computer adding a username and password, I also checked the box for How will people connect 'through the Internet'. I basically followed the instructions at http://www.onecomputerguy.com/networking/vista_vpn_server.htm
This is where I began to get confused as I also did this too: http://theillustratednetwork.mvps.org/Vista/PPTP/PPTPVPN.html

I'm not in work right now, so I'm a little hazy, but I think I currently have a private newtork called 'NEW NETWORK' which has 'local and Internet access' and I think I have a setup for 'incoming connections'.
I haven't made any changes to the router setup in work, I'm guessing thats where the problem lies, but on entering 192.168.1.1 into my browser I logged into the router panel and there wasn't actually that many options.

My laptop is a dell xps that I connect to my WGT624v3 router using wifi. There seems to be loads more options on this router in the panel. Anyway, my xps laptop runs windows XP and I followed this for setting a VPN connection. The only thing I didn't seem sure about was the Destination address. I assumed this was the ip address of my router at work. 78.86.xx.xxx so I entered this in that field.
OK, so I try to connect using the same username and password which I specified on my work computer for the 'incoming connection' setup. I usually get error code 800. Confused I am, but I actually tried to ping my work router whilst at home and there is no response anyway, so this 800 error is accurate I guess. Even more weird is I can't even ping my own router at home when I'm at home using the external I.P address, I can only ping the 192.168.1.1 (Is that normal?)

When I change the properties of the Type of VPN on my home laptop from Auto to PPTP VPN then I get a different error code: 678 The remote computer did not respond.

I'm hoping someone can setup some step by step instructions for me. I've read a bit about port forwarding etc, so I'm thinking its also to do with this, but I'll wait for some replies before I try anything else.

Cheers
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Question by:Theglowhouse
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by:dshroutait
ID: 21851895
Instead of going through all that trouble just use Hamachi, its a web based VPN software that will interconnect your home and your office. Very easy to use. https://secure.logmein.com/products/hamachi/vpn.asp?lang=en
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by:Theglowhouse
ID: 21851968
Thanks for the reply, but I'd rather learn what I'm doing wrong.
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by:TreyH
ID: 21852115
On your work router, you need to forward port 1723 to your work pc's IP address and also allow ip protocol 47 to passthrough (for pptp). Protocol 47 is sometimes listed as (Allow VPN passthrough) on most entry level routers.
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Author Comment

by:Theglowhouse
ID: 21858660
Thanks TreyH.

ok, i'm making small steps I guess, I've done something and ended up with a 628 error, which seems to be a lot better than an 800 error.

Trying to follow the above advice I logged in to my works router and found this drop down box of applications and games. I seen things like AIM and Quake etc and also more importantly PPTP. So I clicked the PPTP and made it point to the work desktop, that was really easy. I'm not convinced I've done the right thing, i'm hoping that this is the same as forwarding port 1723 to my works pc.

As for "allow ip protocol 47 to passthrough (for pptp). Protocol 47 is sometimes listed as (Allow VPN passthrough) on most entry level routers." I'm not sure what this actually means or where I can find this. I searched in the application list for VPN passthrough, but I couldn't find it.

Just to mention I found something more specific to do with 1723 with the option to edit/delete it. It also had an emty field for trigger (still not sure what trigger is, but I'll do some research after posting this), but I wasn't sure if this is what I should be editing or not, it only had space for another port number, not an ip.
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by:Theglowhouse
ID: 21869205
Made a bit more progress today. Now I can make a connection from my laptop in my house (xp) to my desktop in work(vista), but unfortunately I don't have Internet access. The moment my connection is made with the VPN the normal internet I have at home is killed (which I kind of expected), but I also expected that I'd be able to access the internet via the VPN (assuming the pc is setup correctly to allow me to share it's internet connection). Can anyone elaborate what I might have done wrong here?

A few things I'm not sure about:

On the vpn server (work pc) I setup the router so that port 1723 is forwarding to the works ip, but I still don't know how to allow ip protocol 47 to passthrough (for pptp) or more importantly whether I need to worry about this anymore as I have a connection to the VPN server?

On my laptop (we call this the client side right?) I have looked at my routers settings and wondered if I needed to change any settings in this control panel also? I changed a couple of things, but I could do with some claification on this please.

Oh as well as not being able to get internet access I also cannot access the printers, despite me putting the printers into share mode for 'EVERYONE'. Does this have anything to do with the fact that the printer is plugged directly into the router and not directly into the work pc?

Finally when browsing around earlier on the work pc, I noticed that the Lan network says (which says next to it... local and internet access) its setup for public access as opposed to private, is this correct?

Answers to any of these questions will be much appreciated.

Thanks
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 21869467
>>"I can make a connection from my laptop in my house (xp) to my desktop in work(vista), but unfortunately I don't have Internet access."
There is a security feature in the VPN client that blocks local connections, including local Internet access, to protect the office/remote network. You can disable this if you wish. To do so on the client/connecting PC, go to:
control panel | network connections | right click on the VPN/Virtual adapter and choose properties | Networking | TCP/IP -properties | Advanced | General | un-check  "Use default gateway on remote network"

As for the port forwarding if you have an option to forward PPTP, i.e. a service, use that. It will both forward port 1723, as well as allow GRE (protocol 47) pass-through.

On your router there should be no need to make any changes. If you have an option, probably under the firewall section, "enable PPTP pass-through" good idea to enable that.

On the Vista machine "local and internet" is fine.

As for the printing are you trying to print from the work PC to the home PC? If so have a look at the following, assuming you are using Remote Desktop to do so.
To set up printing with remote desktop:
-On the users workstation when they start the remote desktop connection client, click the options button, and then go to the local resources tab. Check the box for printers and save.
-the drivers for the printer have to be installed on the computer to which you are connecting, assuming they are not native to the operating system. Do not install the printer on the computer to which you are connecting but rather; on the "server" computer, open printers and faxes, on the menu bar go to file, server properties, add, and point to the diver .inf file. You will have to download the drivers first to a temporary folder. If you do this remotely, you should log off and back on before trying to print
-if still having problems, again on the computer to which you are connecting, go to printers and faxes, on the menu bar go to file, server properties, ports. Look at the port type. If it is a Dot4, you will need to use the following Microsoft fix: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;q302361
-if it is an option, often connecting the printer to another local computer and sharing it, then connecting to the share rather than having it attached locally, often resolves the problem. If you are using a VPN client this is not always possible, due to routing issues.
-if you are using a USB printer, though it usually works (some multi-function units do not), Microsoft does not officially support USB printing through remote desktop sessions. Vista is supposed to resolve this, though it doesn't help you now.
-avoid PCL6 drivers with terminal services
-Microsoft has released an updated version of the Remote desktop Connection (ver 6) which should be more compatible with USB printers. Certainly offers more USB options, assuming these are compatible with existing O/S's.
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=26F11F0C-0D18-4306-ABCF-D4F18C8F5DF9&displaylang=en

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Author Comment

by:Theglowhouse
ID: 21870352
Some great tips there, cheers for replying so quick, I'm not in work right now, but whilst on my laptop I just modified the properties of the VPN connection and unchecked use default gateway on remote network, having done that I connected to the VPN and still can't get an internet connection, just a connection to the VPN. Whilst connected to the VPN I also had a quick look at my Network places (xp) one of those is called public on Theglowhouse-pc (that I think it the actual name of the computer in work) in the comments section it says \\THEGLOWHOUSE-PC\Public under the 'Computer' it says Unknown (as opposed to an ip address i'd expect) and the 'network location' is Local Network.

"On your router there should be no need to make any changes. If you have an option, probably under the firewall section, "enable PPTP pass-through" good idea to enable that."
This is for my router at home, right? I have a netgear wgt624 v3 and I'm not sure if I have that option.


note) When I actually take my laptop in work I can connect wirelessly to the router and I connect to the network easily, although something weird happens, even though I'm still connected using wifi, I think I'm using the internet connection via the work pc. Only reason I say that is the icon in the systray is different (different upon clicking it that is, from memory I think it says my computer > gateway > Internet or something close to that). Further to this I have just clicked the systray network icon on my laptop now whilst at home and notice that its saying that same thing that I just mentioned above. I'm connected to the internet using wifi at home but its saying i'm connected at 100mbps, i've only just noticed this a second ago, maybe something to do with unchecking default gateway. No need to comment on that note unless it's not supposed to be like that.

"As for the printing are you trying to print from the work PC to the home PC? If so have a look at the following, assuming you are using Remote Desktop to do so."
As for printing, this might be more difficult to sort out as that seems a lot to go through, but I'm actually trying to print from my laptop whilst at home and hoping to send the signal to the office printer (which is connected to the office router using a network cable). When you say 'remote desktop' does that just mean whilst I'm connected using the VPN?

One more note, we only actually have one desktop in work, all others are laptops, so discount any other computers. So the work pc is acting as a server and the computer which we are connecting to....." Do not install the printer on the computer to which you are connecting but rather; on the "server" computer" ...I may have misread this... Do you mean that I don't need to install the printer on my laptop and just make sure it is installed on the work pc (server)?

As for the PCL 6 drivers, I think we have these, so I guess I'll have to sort this out also.

If you can clarify the above for me first please i'd again be very grateful.

Thanks for your time.





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Author Comment

by:Theglowhouse
ID: 21870531
Just a quick update, not sure why, but when connected to the VPN I said earlier I had no Internet access, but actually my browsers, firefox and ie are accepting ip addresses in the address bar and not normal addresses like google.com

Any particular reason for this?
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by:TreyH
ID: 21871288
<... browsers, firefox and ie are accepting ip addresses in the address bar and not normal addresses like google.com>>

While the VPN is connected, run IPCONFIG /all from a command prompt and check the DNS server entries for the VPN connection. They may be blank.
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Rob Williams earned 500 total points
ID: 21871447
The VPN changes the routing to force all traffic through the tunnel which is why you loose local connections, such as the Internet. Changing the default gateway option allows split tunneling, i.e. simultaneous connections to both. The fact that it cannot resolve names is unusual. It should default to the DNS setting of the primary adapter. You could check on the connecting computer under network connections | on the menu bar -advanced | advanced | adapters and bindings and see that your primary network adapter (the one connected to the Internet) is at the top of the list.

>>"This is for my router at home, right? I have a netgear wgt624 v3 and I'm not sure if I have that option."
Correct, and it may not be present, and as mentioned it should not be necessary at that end.

>>"I'm actually trying to print from my laptop whilst at home and hoping to send the signal to the office printer"
Ignore everything I said about printing. This is quite different and with the type of VPN tunnel you have I don't think you will be able to configure. In order to do so you have to add another printer on the home computer. It is the same physical printer, but created with a new connection. To work you have to create it with a TCP/IP port that points to the IP of the printer at work. The catch is the printer at work has to know the return route. This is usually accomplished by assigning a hardware VPN as the default gateway. Your PC to PC VPN will be assigned different IP's making this likely not possible.
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Author Comment

by:Theglowhouse
ID: 21941815
I finally got the printer to print in work whilst at home on the laptop. I'm not actually too sure what I did, but I already had the printer setup on my laptop using the ip and port 9100 I think it is.

Thanks RobWill for all your help, couldn't have done it without your info.
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 21942055
Glad to hear it is working. Thanks Theglowhouse.
Cheers !
--Rob
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