Reader Bob Crook sent us the following, which I thought I would put out for discussion; over to Bob:

I have a branches-to-main office situation where all users/networks connect to each other by VPN. If you run the Connector Software from a branch computer despite there being a WHS at the main office, the computers at the branch cannot find the WHS.  Only simple networks work.  Anyone found a way round this?

NB:  VPNs rely on a different IP network at the branch sites, for example the main office is 192.168.0.#, but each of the branch networks is on a different network for the VPN to work.

Feel free to leave your comments to this question for Bob.

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Comments (11)

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  1. Josh says:

    Hey Bob,
    I have in fact gotten WHS to work perfectly normal over VPN using LogMeIn’s Hamachi. Whenever I leave home with one of my laptops, they automatically connect to the server over the Hamachi VPN. So WHS via VPN certainly does work. I’m not quite sure why your particluar case ins’t working, but that’s what I have to share with you!

    And yes, I do think that WHS over VPN is quite significant. Just take Bob and my case for example. 2 different situations, both requiring VPN – while at the same time, not requiring something too advanced.


  2. Bob Crook says:

    Thank you for taking the time to reply. I am not familiar with Logmein’s Hamachi product. The VPN that I am using is based on CIsco ASA-5500 devices at each branch office connecting to an ASA-5510 at the main office.
    Does H require software loaded on both the server and the workstation?

  3. William C Bonner says:

    I know that I was trying to remote administer my parents Home server the week after I installed it and was back at home. I have remote access to their NAT router, and had routed TCP port 3389 through their router to their home server and was trying to use remote desktop. I was still not able to connect. I decided to go look at my own home server, and sure enough it’s internal firewall was configured so that RDP was configured so that it would only talk to the scope of the subnet of the home server. I gave up on what I was trying to do because I didn’t want to weaken the security, or cause things I wasn’t sure of.

    I’m guessing that the home server security by default makes things non-routable unless you are using the http interface.

  4. Jay Schlackman says:

    Are we talking about installing the Connector and joining to the server for the first time, or ‘running’ it after it has been joined?

    During install, the Connector software uses SSDP to locate the server, so you would need to configure the VPN to allow multicast UDP traffic on port 1900 to traverse between the LANs. I’m not the Cisco guy at work but our network manager has done something similar before so I think it should be possible.

    After install, the Connector normally checks connectivity to the server via an SMB echo request; I’m guessing you’ve already opened the right ports for that to work.

  5. Bob Crook says:

    William sorry not the issue here as the router lets all traffiic through to the Cisco ASA.
    Jay, I am trying to do a first time “Connect”. All ports are supposed to be open via the VPN. Hmmm.

  6. Mike Hale says:

    My guess would be that you don’t have a route for the multicast traffic and/or you don’t have multicast setup on your devices. Check out mroute for the first and PIM for the second.

  7. Mike says:

    Yes, it works well over VPN. We’ve been using it for daily backup of production server on the other side of the world 🙂
    Hamachi can cause problems!! If their maintenance occurs during backup. OpenVPN works great and you dont have to rely on 3rd party servers/services!!

  8. Ok i have Logmein’s Hamachi Installed on ther WHS server, its working ok, slow as hell with connection but it operates.
    My questions are;
    1) Can you use the operating systems features to run a VPN without 3rd party programs like Logmein’s Hamachi?
    2) Has anyone seen a set of instructions to configure ‘OpenVPN’
    3) Has anyone had instaltion problems with Logmein’s Hamachi on VISTA business, and Home Pre machines…
    4) Is anyone aware of a simple setup guide for any other VPN Clients that don’t cast the earth per month?
    5) Has anyone been able to get the Cisco / Linksys software to install on WHS?

    Cheers for you time, hope to hear from someone on at least one of my issues…

  9. Mindpaint says:

    When installing Connector to a WHS over a VPN, simply place this in your HOST file on the remote machine (the one you are installing Connector on).

    example: myhomeserver1

    Now, connect the VPN and install. You may need to use advanced configuration and enter the server name manually as well. This worked for me.

  10. Arqam says:

    I use Astrill to Bypass China Firewall.
    it supports Iphone/Android too
    They also offer OpenVPN too now all this just for as low as
    $10 now thats what i call AWESOME 😀
    Search Astrill

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