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Filesharing between 2 Macs while 1 is on VPN


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 6, 2011
Hi -

I have 2 macs that I use for work. One should stay on my employer's VPN network (using Cisco AnyConnect VPN service). Both Macs use WiFi but I've also connected them via ethernet cable for quick and easy file/screen-sharing as needed. Only problem is the VPN connection disables the sharing connection.

When connected to VPN, in the Sharing preference pane, I see the afp:// address update to an IP inside my employer's domain but connecting always fails - also I assume that kind of connection is piped through the VPN network? If so and if usable, I'd hope to avoid it as our VPN is painfully slow.

I'm wondering if there's any way to bypass the VPN connection which is over WiFi and use the locally networked ethernet connection to continue having zippy file/screen-sharing without having to hop on and off VPN all the time.

Any help would be greatly appreciated

Many thanks!

PS - I should add that my employer's IT dept. has not been helpful since we are a PC-dominant company, so our Mac support is virtually nil.


macrumors 6502a
Jul 17, 2005
North Carolina
Just a guess here — I don't think the Cisco AnyConnect client plays very well with macOS (I'm stuck using it too)...

Does your IP addressing scheme at home differ from that at work? I'm thinking maybe the addresses are the same or similar. If you can, change your home network to use a different address space and see if that resolves your issue.

If both networks are using, for example,, the Cisco Client won't know which connections to send thru the VPN and which are destined for the local network. By using a different subnet at home, the Cisco client should be able to separate local traffic vs. VPN traffic vs. Internet traffic.


macrumors P6
Jun 11, 2007
By default, VPN networks are segregated from any Internal networks. This would make it impossible to share direct connections (such as VNC/Screen Sharing).

Depending on how desperate you are (and the configuration of the network), it may be possible to install 3rd party remote software (TeamViewer, LogMeIn, etc) and access that way. This will probably breach your company IT policy - so a discussion & request to your IT department first is never a bad idea.


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 6, 2011
Thanks for the suggestions, sounds like it may be more trouble than it's worth but I'll try changing my home network's address space and see if I get anywhere.


Sep 17, 2001
Wellington, New Zealand
Here's a simple idea : use network preferences to switch off wifi when you need to share a file over your local network, then switch it back on when you reconnect to your work VPN.
Costs nothing and will work better than having to ask permission from your workplace IT dept.
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