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VPN in XP pro

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Please start a new topic Satanman.
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Having only read your initial request for help and a few of the responses, I have this to offer. Your problem is simple. If you are using a VPN and are trying to locate a remote computer or shares using Windows Explorer, or are trying to map network drives, etc. You will not be able to work with the NetBIOS names (computer name). NetBIOS will only work on your local subnets. It has nothing to do with whether your computers belong to the same workgroup or if you have the right priviledges. It does not matter what type of VPN you are using. I do not believe NetBIOS over TCP/IP does any good either. I think it has to do with the way Microsoft has the Master Browser search designed.

Assuming both PCs are behind a firewall, the only way to get around this (inability to reference shares using the computer name) is to install a WINS server and have all of the network computers report their name and IP address to the server. Unfortunately a WINS server only works with Windows Server OSs such as 2000 and 2003. You may also be able to buy a similar tool that might work for other Windows products.

However, all is not lost. If you know the local IP address of the computer you are trying to access, you can use that. It is found by executing ipconfig in the command prompt of that computer. You can "Search for Computers" using My Network Places and search for it by IP address (such as \\ When it is found, double click on the icon to see the shares. Wildcards do not work, so you must know the IP address you are looking for. You can then map the share using the same technique (\\\sharename). As long as the remote PC's IP address does not change, you should be able to use the mapped drive everytime the VPN is connected.

You can also try this for Remote Desktop Connections. In the box for computer name, enter the IP address (\\ instead of the name.

PS - If you are using a PPTP VPN (which based on the port you are forwarding 1723, I assume you are) be aware that it is the least secure type of VPN and can be easily compromised. The weaker the password, the easier it is to intercept the authentication string and decipher. Make sure you use very long, very complicated, non-dictionary type passwords. Try using the first letter of each word (and all of the numbers) in a phrase that contains your name and address, such as (Bob Anderson 344 Whitfield Drive Boston Massachusetts 02555, which would convert to "bA344WDBM02555")

Hope this Helps!

Jeff (MCSE)

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