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VPN with WHS 2011


eagle63
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Hey guys, anyone else out there setting up VPN access to their WHS? I've been following this guide which was posted recently: http://thedigitalmed...me-server-2011/

But I've got some questions for the experts. First, I should clarify that I'm actually setting this up on a Windows Server 2008 R2 box not WHS. (though my impression is that it's the same process since WHS 2011 is built on Server 2008) Also, while I'm pretty technical I'm very much a rookie when it comes to networking.

 

My goal, quite simply, is to be able to connect remotely using VPN from either a windows or mac machine and access my home computers (which consist of a WHS 2003 box, my HTPC, and another win7 box) as if I was actually at home. So that means being able to RDP to them easily, or even access my WHS shared folders.

 

I've followed the guide listed above and am able to successfully connect to my VPN server (again, that's the win server 2008 r2 box) from outside my home both from a win7 laptop as well as a macbook pro laptop. But here's where I'm hitting some problems:

 

1. Using my win7 laptop, I can successfully ping 1 of my machines either by using the IP (192.168.etc.etc) OR the computer name. But the other 2 machines Ia can only ping by using the IP, not the name. Using RDP, I can only connect to the host VPN server. I can't RDP to my WHS, my HTPC, or the other win7 box - even if I use the IP address.

 

2. Using my macbook pro, I can't ping or RDP to any machines in my network. (even though I AM connected to the VPN successfully)

 

Shouldn't I be able to connect to any internal machine by name? (I kinda thought that was the point of VPN) I can certainly post some ipconfig /all results if that will help... Thanks in advance for anyone who might be able to point me in the right direction.

 

Oh, also I'm just using workgroup networking, no domain controller.

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No Domain needed...just do not expect the VPN to break any speed records. I've run a VPN from my Server in Korea to the one here in the States but once you take into account the overhead for the tunnel (SSL), it is really slow.

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Thanks guys, I'm not expecting or requiring speed with this. (and to be honest, it can't be any slower than the built-in web access in WHS 2011) Do you have any ideas regarding my 2 questions? (particularly number 1)

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re: #1, it's a bit unclear. Let's talk about just the WHS for a second. Are you trying to RDP into your WHS outside of the VPN or from inside it?

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#1 sounds like a DNS issue. Flush the DNS on the clients that can only resolve the others via an IP address.

 

ipconfig /flushdns

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Wow, thanks for all the quick replies. Let's skip question #2 for now.. one step at a time. :) I thought I already tried flushing the DNS, but I'm going to try again since I can't remember - I'll post back later after I've done that. (I'm away from home right now)

 

@ikon

Today I can RDP into my WHS (or other machines) from inside my network. My goal is to be able to do the same thing when I'm outside my network, by using the VPN connection. Actually, today I can already RDP into my WHS when I'm away form home because I've opened up a port on my router to allow that. But from a security standpoint, I'm not a big fan of that method. So what I want to do is close that port and instead rely on the VPN connection so that I can tunnel in securely, and THEN start RDP'ing to my various machines as well as access the WHS shares. (basically do whatever I could do if I was sitting at home)

 

Is what I'm attempting to accomplish doable? Once connected via VPN, should I be able to access any of my internal machines by computer name rather than IP?

Edited by eagle63
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I can with mine with out issue. double check to make sure your on the same IP range and posibbly disable dhcp on the server so your router or native dhcp server can assign the ip. Depending on the router you might want to enable DNS on the home server and register it then with the router so it can resolve.

Edited by yodafett
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I can with mine with out issue. double check to make sure your on the same IP range and posibbly disable dhcp on the server so your router or native dhcp server can assign the ip.

The VPN setup guide I linked to above had me define a static range of IP's rather than DHCP. (I have no idea why) So in my case, my router does DHCP and it hands out IP's from 192.168.1.100 thru 149. In my VPN setup, I set up a static range from 192.168.1.150 thru 159.

 

Depending on the router you might want to enable DNS on the home server and register it then with the router so it can resolve.

This is intriguing.. can you explain a bit more what you mean exactly? I'm using a standard Linksys WRT54GS router but I'm running the Tomato firmware on it.

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