Connecting to my office's VPN

Discussion in 'macOS' started by tatiret, Aug 23, 2005.

  1. tatiret macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    #1
    Hello, i have a small question regarding my connection to our office's (windows) server, and i see that there's a lot of people here that are very knowledgeable about those things. I haven't been able to find a topic that covers this question, so here goes.

    I have an emac 1G running panther, and just got today a lovely new ibook with Tiger. I encounter the same issue with both systems. And i am connected through a router, where all the firewall features have been turned off.

    I use the VPN feature of the internet connect, put the appropriate IP and name and password; and it connects. So far so good...

    Now, what the dickens do i do to see the server i am connected to? It doesn't show up in Finder, and i don't know where else to look. It says i am connected, but i don't have anything in my network to click on (except our other macs).

    If you know what's up, please tell me what i should do- keeping in mind that i am not so smart with computers, so i need a step by step guide ;)

    in any case, thanks a lot!
     
  2. BWhaler macrumors 68020

    BWhaler

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2003
    #2
    Try browsing the network by clicking on the network icon in any Finder window.

    If you still cannot see your network, you should call your company's network administrator. Network views aren't properly set-up on the file server. (even though they will deny this and claim it is a 'Mac thing.')
     
  3. tatiret thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    #4
    Thanks for your answers.

    I did try browsing in the networks in finder, and searching for our network and all. I couldn't find it, and that's what i find strange.

    Superbovine, i looked at that thread before posting this, and as far as i could tell (which admittedly is not much), it talks about networking a mac and a pc in a local network. This is not my case. I want to connect to my office's network from home, using my ibook and/or emac, via a virtual private network, to the windows- based server in my office.
     
  4. witness macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Location:
    Austria
    #5
    If you know the IPAddresses of one or two machines at your work place you could try pinging them to verify that you are actually connected to the network.
     
  5. tatiret thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    #6
    Thanks, i'll try that when i get home.

    The network admin told me to follow this procedure (.doc document download). Again, it looks like a guide to connect locally to the windows small business server, as opposed to via VPN.

    Before changing configurations on my mac following MS instructions, i wanted to know if anybody had any better input.
     
  6. witness macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Location:
    Austria
    #7
    When your VPN is connected and you have verified that it is working, you are effectivly on the same network, so any instructions for using a Mac on a local Windows network should work.
     
  7. jvaska macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2002
    Location:
    Haiti/NYC
    #8
    Since this computer sits on my desk and Tat happens to live in the same home as myself, I think I can be of some help.

    When connected via VPN, we have no internet access. Using Network Utility I am unable to ping anything on the web or even the server we are trying to connecting to.

    This is all rather vague and mysterous...
     
  8. superbovine macrumors 68030

    superbovine

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    #9
    when you are connected to the vpn you have to use your office internet access thus going through the vpn. since the office doesn't give you internet access through the vpn apparently then you wouldn't be able to ping ip address that live on the internet. what i am trying to say is using a windows server as a vpn, there is an option to enable or disable internet access for vpn users. different problems could occur that wouldn't allow to get on the internet or lan which have to do with the assigning of IP addresses. the network admin could check on this while you are connected.

    the point of the vpn is tunnel all traffic through the vpn, and not allow you use other methods of accessing different networks. when you do connect to the vpn, it will be like you are connected to you office lan, just like you are there, thus any help about connecting to windows shares on a lan would be able to help you.
     
  9. belvdr macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    #10
    Actually, the point of a VPN is to encrypt traffic between subnets or hosts. It just happens that Microsoft's implementation isn't very well thought out when it reconfigures your routing. You can get around this by deleting the extra default route the Windows VPN server assigns, and adding routes for any subnets on the other side of the VPN server. However, that gets a little excessive, so I wrote a script to do that for me.
     
  10. superbovine macrumors 68030

    superbovine

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    Nov 7, 2003
    #11
    we are both right... hence the name "Virtual Private Network"
     
  11. belvdr macrumors 601

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    Aug 15, 2005
    #12
    I agree. I just wanted to point out that Microsoft's VPN forces you to go through the VPN for everything, including Internet access, which is a very dumb idea. Some of the nicer VPN implementations, like Check Point or Nortel, actually inspect the packet as it is being sent and determine if it should be encrypted or not. So you can browse the Internet without crossing the VPN and your machine only encrypts when needed. It lowers the overhead considerably.
     
  12. witness macrumors 6502

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    Apr 7, 2005
    Location:
    Austria
    #13
    But I often use VPN so that all internet traffic to my terminal is encrypted. It can be very useful if you work for a company that tries to restrict or monitor internet usage.
     
  13. belvdr macrumors 601

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    Aug 15, 2005
    #14
    Not sure what you mean by all the traffic to your terminal is encrypted. I guess you mean some sort of remote desktop or telnet connection.

    As far as monitoring Internet usage, you can simply modify the routes on the client to get around this. Since PPTP is at the application layer, it won't notice the difference. Now, there may be some fancy clients that monitor the routing table, but I haven't seen any.

    Plus tunneling all Internet traffic over a VPN is pretty costly (technically speaking, not money wise). I'd prefer to relieve the load off the VPN server. But, hey, to each his/her own. :)
     
  14. witness macrumors 6502

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    Apr 7, 2005
    Location:
    Austria
    #15
    By using a VPN tunnel all data sent and received from my computer at work to my home is secure and all internet usage cannot be monitored on the company network.

    I have a router with VPN hardware built in, so the VPN cost is minimal.
     
  15. jvaska macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2002
    Location:
    Haiti/NYC
    #16
    Ok, understood. When we are connected we may or may not be able to surf the net from the remote machine.

    But for the life of me, once 'connected' I can't figure out what to do. Where to find the files...etc...
     
  16. belvdr macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    #17
    That depends on what you want to do. If you remote desktop to other machines, then you'll launch the Remote Desktop Client and connect there. If you browse Network Neighborhood, then I wouldn't look for a Mac equivalent over VPN. Your best bet to browse network shares is to click Go, then Connect in Finder, and issue a:

    smb://<server name or ip>/<share>
     
  17. jvaska macrumors 6502

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    Feb 18, 2002
    Location:
    Haiti/NYC
    #18
    AFTER, we've connected via VPN?

    The other very bizarre thing here is that VPN connects to anything - or it claims that it does. If I use the wrong IP address it still connects.

    Darn frustrating stuff this is...
     
  18. belvdr macrumors 601

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    Aug 15, 2005
    #19
    Yes, after you connect to the VPN.

    The VPN establishes a connection to your office network. Without a VPN, it should be impossible to get on the network, if things are configured correctly.

    If Internet Connect is connecting to any IP you give it, then I think you may have some issues on your side. Were there any specific directions your network admin gave you in regards to setup, such as PPTP or L2TP?
     
  19. tatiret thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    #20
    I used PPTP (not because i knew what was doing, but because LT2P didn't work).

    I am planning to bring the ibook at work and try to connect it to the network via airport/ethernet, and that should settle the issue with the windows networking part of things.

    I am fairly confident that it's going to work, as a friend brought his powerbook with tiger and it connected seamlessly. However, that same powerbook had not worked previously with jaguar.

    I'll keep you posted.
     
  20. tatiret thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    #21
    Update: i am currently writing from my office.
    Using the airport, i can connect to the server no problem- the files pop up in the netwrok finder window. It seems that the windows server is properly configured to make the files "displayable" on macs.

    Now, why on earth it doesn't work via the vpn!!??
     
  21. superbovine macrumors 68030

    superbovine

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    #22
    cause you are you taking a different path to connect to you vpn i.e. through the internet which probably means your data is going through different equipment.

    are windows users able to connect from their homes? This will show which end the probably problem is...

    how is your airport configured? are you sharing are range of IP addresses or just one?

    you could try third party software to connect.
    http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/16007
     

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