Using Remote Desktop Connection with VPN - Need Creative Ideas

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by sir42, Nov 1, 2004.

  1. sir42 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    Location:
    NY, NY
    #1
    We recently converted our 6 computer office to iMac G5s. They are great machines but we still count on 1 Windows XP Pro machine which is used to connect to an industry service that we subscribe to using a VPN connection.

    I'd like to setup Windows Remote Desktop Connection so each user in our office can remotely log into our XP machine to check the industry service. I successfully set up the RDC on the iMac, and it connects to the XP machine without a problem. But when I initiate the VPN it crashes.

    This makes sense because in theory the VPN connection on the XP machine blocks all internet traffic other than the service we subscribe to. Is there any way to setup the RDC to successfully connect to the XP machine and in turn have the XP machine connect to its VPN server?

    Essentially, I'd like the users in our office to have access to this service without leaving their desks, so I'm happy to try other methods other than using RDC.

    Much thanks in advance!
     
  2. saabmp3 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    #2
    Try VNC. It's much simpler and usually avoids the problems associated with VPN connections.

    BEN
     
  3. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #3
    That's not going to help is it? The VPN conenction is to an external, remote system that they have to use VPN to connect to. If it's anything like the VPN we used to have to use to access work from home (which need Windows as well) then it messes with the routing table so as you can only go through the VPN tunnel. It might only do this to the interface that the VPN is bound to. If this is the case then 2 network cards might work: bind VPN to one and Remote Desktop to the other...
     
  4. sir42 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    Location:
    NY, NY
    #4
    I think I'll give the VNC a shot. Can you recommend a good free client?

    If that doesn't work, I might have another network card I could install on the Windows machine. Although, I know nothing about binding.

    Is there a way to select which ports I'm using for all data streams involved? Perhaps I can set the Windows VPN to use one port, while the RDC or VNC uses another?
     
  5. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #5
    By port I assume you mean physical (not logical, i.e. most webservers use port 80 for http). Not totally sure about this as I've never had to do it but here goes. Each card will have it's own IP address. You should be able to start the RDC/VNC server on one IP address and start the VPN connection over the other.
     
  6. emw macrumors G4

    emw

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    #6
    robbieduncan is right - you won't be able to run either VNC or RDC along with the VPN on the same client. It's like you have a one-line phone: if you answer a call (RDC) and then want to make another call (VPN) you have to drop the first call.

    Having two network cards is something like having two phone lines, but I believe there are some special setups that someone who really understands how it works would have to help you with. That is, the purpose of the VPN is to allow one machine to talk to another in a secure environment. If you now compromise that by allowing the VPN client machine to essentially be a host to other machines, then there is no real control (from the VPN provider's viewpoint) of who is getting on their system.

    So it may be difficult to set it up so that the two "phone lines" can be used to talk to one another.

    Do you have to use a Windows-based VPN? Have you tried using the OS X VPN, or finding out if your service supports another Mac-based VPN?
     
  7. emotion macrumors 68040

    emotion

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2004
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #7
    i use 'chicken of the vnc' (aweful name!) and it's rubbish compared to realvnc and tightvnc on windows/linux.

    anyone recommend a good free alternative?
     
  8. cluthz macrumors 68040

    cluthz

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Location:
    Norway
    #8
    Yes, get two network cards.
    I have this setup at home.
    Create a VPN connection (WAN Miniport) on one of the interfaces, connects the macs to the other port.

    Code:
    Mac Mac Mac Mac
     \___|___|___/
         \
       RDC\  _____________
           \_|Windows PC |--->VPN server
             |-----------|
            NIC1        NIC2 (Wan Miniport/VPN)  
     
  9. cluthz macrumors 68040

    cluthz

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Location:
    Norway
    #9
    MS CHAP can be used with OSX (even without data encryption!)
    Some settings require that you edit the config files manually..
     
  10. durvivor macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    #10
    Try using the mac VPN

    Panther has a built in VPN wizard. You run the wizard (network setup ??? in your utilities folder in applications)

    It needs a Tunnel IP address, then you pick which protocol to use. I picked the default protocol (that is default since thats what most people use)

    Then, Panther added a VPN icon in the upper right (near my clock & airport icon) I click on that, and it connects me to my work VPN.

    Can you try that? Use Panther to connect to the VPN. Then run a VNC client directly from your mac? Thats exactly what I do. From home I turn on the VPN - then run my VNC to connect to a VNC server at my work.
     

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