Windows Server & Exchange server 2003: Remote Access through VPN

I have several laptop users (including myself), using Windows XP Pro, who periodically encounter connectivity issue on some public/shared wireless networks. In most cases, we can connect to wireless and then connect using the VPN without issue, but not always. We use Windows Server 2003 and Exchange Server 2003. Does anyone know why this would be?

My understanding was that if the unit itself is part of the domain and has permission to VPN into the domain, it shouldn't matter where the wireless signal comes from, but this clearly isn't true.

Also, in relation to this issue, one employee said her friend said to add the wireless network's gateway to the host file, but I don't entirely know what this means, how to do this, or if that's an appropriate solution.

Please guide.
ArcJCAsked:
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Ioannis_AvgerosConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Hi there,

Some wifi access points might connect to networks that firewall such traffic (VPN) so don't take it for granted that you'll connect to the next wifi AP and use VPN just because you did it with the last one. As for your friend's comment its completely irrelevant and not applicable even if you wanted to do it. The hosts file is used to translate host addresses to ip address when not using a dns server or when we dont want to use the dns server resolution. It has nothing to do with routing or gateways whatsoever.
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vanbarsounConnect With a Mentor Commented:
To workaround this problem, which sounds like some wireless access points are blocking VPN ports, you can install a front-end Exchange server and enable RPC over HTTP, which means you would then access your Exchange email as you would an SSL-enabled website, and these are normally not blocked by public access points. See this link if interested: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa997436%28EXCHG.65%29.aspx
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brammer90Commented:
Im assuming that you are using microsoft VPN and using RRAS on you 2k3 box
2 reasons ive seen this fail
Reason 1 - some netgear routers do not connect 2 users simultaniously or even 1 user then another user.
also the probable cause is the fact the the INTERNAL ip NETWORK is also used in part of the network that your laptop is trying to connect from.
for exampe a wireless router that has a LAN ip address of 192.168.2.2 will not and cannot connect to your office if that network is on 192.168.2.x network because the routers get confused as to what is an internal ip and what is an external ip.
I worked around this by setting my servers LAN to an ip address that isnt found on a standard router such as 10.10.1.x
when you get the problem again simply check what ip address has been given to your wireless adaptor by the router you have connecgted to and if its the same network ip as your server or lan ip then find another access point.

hope this helps
regards
dave
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