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Map network drives, view computers on VPN side

Discussion in 'Cisco Small Business Routers and VPN Solutions' started by embsupafly, Mar 29, 2006.

  1. embsupafly

    embsupafly LI Guru Member

    Finally got quickVPN to connect. Now having a problem connecting to the computers that are inside the remote (vpn side) of the network. Off site we can ping the WRV54G and even get to the admin area through the local ip and even ping all of the local ips of the remote computers inside the vpn, but we can not ping them by name and we can not map a drive to them, any ideas?
  2. TazUk

    TazUk Network Guru Member

    Are you trying to map the drives by name or IP address?
  3. embsupafly

    embsupafly LI Guru Member

    Both. Tried both.Can only ping by IP, not by netbios name, can't map drive by either. Nothing shows up in my network places either.
  4. DocLarge

    DocLarge Super Moderator Staff Member Member

    Have you made sure there are user accounts available on the computer (domain or workgroup) with the appropriate permissions to allow remote connections?
  5. embsupafly

    embsupafly LI Guru Member

    We are using a workgroup. Where are / what are the settings for remote users? Shouldn't i be able to ping via netbios name?
  6. PCMV

    PCMV Guest

    Linksys resolution

    We had a simliar problem. Linksys tells us that you have to open ports 47, 50, 500, 443 and 1723 on you receiving computers firewall for this to work. I assume ports 50 and 500 are most important when using the QuickVPN client. I have not tested this, but if you do, please let me know the results.
  7. vincentfox

    vincentfox Network Guru Member

    For like a decade now, Windows admins have worked around the issue of the crappy NetBIOS browsing methods. Such solutions as use of LMHOSTS file entries, WINS servers, and several others are very common. For a small number of controlled clients and static servers I just use entries in the LMHOSTS file. A sample of this exists in a file called LMHOSTS.SAM down in your Windows system folder.
  8. TazUk

    TazUk Network Guru Member

    It doesn't appear that the QuickVPN client supports NetBIOS broadcasts which is why you can't use machine names. You could add the PC's IP addresses into the LMHOSTS file, assuming they have static IP's.
  9. DocLarge

    DocLarge Super Moderator Staff Member Member


    Okay, let's go ahead and make it official: Linksys tech support doesn't know shizzle!! Ports 47, 50, and 1723 have nothing to do with the WRV54G's onboard VPN capabilities. This is an "IPSEC" router. If Protocol 47 (GRE) was capable of being passed through the router to a computer set up as a vpn server, "then" you could "forward" port 1723 to that computer. Alas, since there is no GRE functionality, there is no need to open port 1723, get it? Good :)

    By default, ports 443 and 500 are opened and are all that's needed. If you put the WRV54G "behind" another router that can translate NAT-T and GRE, then you'd need to forward ports 443 and 500 from that router to the ip address the WRV54G would receive from first router (you'd have to run CAT5 from one of the first router's LAN ports to the WAN port of the WRV54G and have DHCP configured on the first router to pass an IP address to the WRV54G). I'll put a post together outlining this or just refer to a thread I posted in the "Networking" forum called "Cascading Routers," or something along those lines...

    Getting back on track, if you are running a workgroup, then you need to create a user account "on each" computer that you want to be able to access through vpn. Let's simulate this.

    You have created a quickvpn connection to your wrv54g and you want to access "computer one" which has a private ip address of and a directory that has a sharename of "vpn."

    In order to access computer one from the computer that is connecting with quickvpn, you connect by doing the following:

    NOTE1: Make sure you've created a directory on the computer(s) you want access to prior to connecting with quickpn. Create a directory, "right" click on it, and add users to both the "share" area and the "security" area (I'm assuming you're using 2000 Pro or XP Pro)

    1. Open windows explorer (make sure the toolbar is displayed)
    2. Click on "tools" then "map a network drive"
    3. Choose a drive letter
    4. In the next field, type in the path to the computer
    5. Click on "connect using a different user name"
    6. Type in a valid user account and password that is "on that computer"
    NOTE2: You'll have to do this for "each" computer in your workgroup.
    7. Click ok, then click okay again

    If you have a valid user account that has proper "share and security" permissions, the drive should pop up.

  10. HercNav

    HercNav LI Guru Member

    I have a similar issue....

    I have two WRV54Gs--one at my house, and one at my parents.
    They have Windows Media Center and DSL. I have Windows XP Home and Cable. I was able to connect the two WRV54Gs, see the computers in their network neighborhood (MSHOME), and for a couple brief moments, was able to browse the shared folders on their computer. This ability never lasted long, and they NEVER saw any of the computers in my network neighborhood (even when I saw theirs). I'm going to experiment with the OS firewall tonight.

    Also, which Local/Remote Secure Group format should I use when using Subnet: 10.xxx.xxx.1 or 10.xxx.xxx.0? The video tutuorial available on this website says .1 while just about everything else says .0
  11. TazUk

    TazUk Network Guru Member

    .0 if you want the entire network i.e. all 254 addresses.
  12. out_riding

    out_riding LI Guru Member

    network path not found

    I'm having the same trouble as the OP and tried DocLarge's instructions but am getting the result "Network path \\blah\blah could not be found". I can ping just fine and can access the web config from the lan side, but no joy on getting to the server. Both client and server are XP Pro SP2 and have successfully made the connection when physically plugged into the same switch.

    Other thoughts?
  13. TazUk

    TazUk Network Guru Member

    Even when accessing it by IP address?
  14. out_riding

    out_riding LI Guru Member

    by ip or name

    yep even by ip address...
  15. GerkAZ

    GerkAZ LI Guru Member

    I having the same problem connecting to a network behind an RV082. Those machines are running XP Home Edition so I cannot create a user account per DocLarge's post. But if I remove the router from the remote network and connect the remote pc directly to the cable modem I have access to every pc behind the RV082.

    I've tried two different routers on the remote network, a WRT54G and a WRV54G. VPN passthroughs enabled. The WRV54G has the latest firmware on it (the WRT54GT is hardware version 1 so the latest firmware won't install)

    Anyone else tried it without a router on the remote network?
  16. YeOldeStonecat

    YeOldeStonecat Network Guru Member

    If connecting two networks together via a VPN is important, build it and use it the optimal way.

    Name resolution really isn't needed, certain things have to be in place for proper name resolution to happen. Windows 2K and XP rely on DNS for this, and for a larger network, or WANs...this falls on a domain controller. Old Win9X used WINS for this. The poor mans bandaid approch for this is the lmhosts file.

    But again, you shouldn't be attempting to access resources using netbios names of machines, you don't want netbios going through the VPN tunnel, it bogs it down. Unless you use a domain controllers DNS or the lmhosts, you just want to use IP.

    However....lets get the users experience even a step better...VPN tunnels are thin straws..they're not fast like a local area network. Accessing file shares can be agonizingly slow. The old fashioned mapped drive method can be painfully slow. To make things respond nice and fast....IMO the best approach is utilizing Remote Desktop Connection through your VPN tunnel. It's nice and fast. You have access to drive contents through the shared local resources option of your RDC. Or better yet...that application you need to access runs nice and snappy!

    You're stuck with XP Homeless which does not have Remote Desktop Host? Well....if this is a business network or even a home network..and it's important to you...here's a drawback for trying to skimp a few dollars on your initial investment...should have gotten XP Pro. It's still very affordable and easy to upgrade XP Homeless to XP Pro...and reap the benefits.

    Stuck with an older operating system like Win2K? Many other solutions, such as PcAnywhere...or one of the many free versions of VNC..my favorite is UltraVNC. They both have easy to use file transfers built into them.
  17. out_riding

    out_riding LI Guru Member

    adventure continues

    So more or less desperate for some progress I tried the stonecat's suggestion and managed to make Remote Desktop work across the vpn. What I find very strange is that, while I can't see any shares on the network by name or ip, I can address the server by name when using Remote Desktop. Doesn't that seem weird? When I try to mount shares by ip or name I get "no network path" and with remote desktop it works fine.

    Isn't this the same netbios stuff in both cases?

    Any and all insight appreciated...
  18. YeOldeStonecat

    YeOldeStonecat Network Guru Member

    Re: adventure continues

    There's more to networking and shares....it's gotten more complicated with XP, even though they've come out with these "wizards"...there's just so many other variables. I've been networking for many many years...it was actually easier back in the 3.1, Artisoft, and 95 days than it sometimes is with XP now. Run the network setup wizard too many times, and network funcations can break. Have different machines of different service pack and windows update levels on the network..and networking can get stubborn. Have some machines have their winsock slightly altered by some ad/spyware...and networking gets stubborn. Wether or not netbios is turned on or left on default in the TCP properties, Local user accounts, mixing XP Pro with XP Homeless, arggg....it's potentially very simple, yet protentially a bear to get working.

    Remote Desktop works on an entirely different level of the OS. Just a few very basic things are needed to turn it on and have it work properly.

    My main point though....now you're using something that runs nice and fast through the VPN tunnel. RDC only needs something like 24K worth of the tunnel. It runs nice 'n snappy. Those applications are running on the host machine. MS Word, or Quickbooks, or Act, or GreatPlains, or BlackBaud...whatever it is you're remoting in to get to.
  19. DietCokeAddict

    DietCokeAddict LI Guru Member

    Win XP Pro client to RV08 - Windows Explorer

    I am setting up VPN to small office, and admit, I am not very good at it. However, I am a tenacious bastard. I want to be at home, but seem as if I am in the office. Remote Desktop is very nice and serves its purpose, but there are times when using explorer is very handy, and also for certain software that must run on my client machine, but connect to the server at the remote office. I do not have a server nor a DNS server at the office.

    Here is what I have found so far concerning all of this:

    if you want to use Windows Exploder from the client to see shares on the remote network do the following:


    1) Setup RV08 to be a PPTP server
    2) Assign machine at office a static DHCP address
    3) Share appropriate files


    4) Don't use QUICKVPN. I had QVPN attached on yet another client in my house, it creates problems. make sure it is off on ALL machines. It can be installed, just not connected to your router. With QVPN running, shares don't seem to work.

    5) Plug in static DHCP address in step 2 above into your hosts or lmhost file. Haven't spent time if it makes a difference which one. Initial experimentation shows either will work, but I'm looking at improving performance now, not going to worrry about that for the time being.

    6) Setup Microsoft PPTP client connection to connect to your router.

    7) connect

    8) make sure you can ping your remote machine using it's hostname, not its ip address. If you can't, check firewall, hosts, lmhosts file. Once you can ping it, you can see shares in Explorer.

    As YeOldStone cat says, the problem is of network bandwidth. I'm sure a lot of us are dealing with 300K uploads on the other side, which is pretty slow compared to the 1.5M downloads we are used to. The other problem is not having the DHCP address in the host/lmhost file cached somewhere. I'm guessing part of what is taking so much time is the timeout value. XP Pro client must time out, then look to the host/lmhost file for the IP address. Depending on what the timeout value is, is going to slow it down that much more.

    BTW: I have used this scenario with large corporate VPN'S before and they are fairly fast even with 56K dialup speed, so there must be something else that is not right. We all will get to the bottom of this if we work as a team!

    I have a few questions:

    1) Would a DNS server make it faster, and eliminate the need to modify the hosts file? There are free/cheap ones out there that can be installed on a XP pro machine at the office.

    2) Would IPSEC work faster (or work at all?)

    3) Would connecting another RV08 or RV042 at home give me a seamless network? I don't Remote desktop at work, so I don't know why I should have to do it at home if I have a zippy VPN setup. I want work and home to be one of the same. This way it doesn't matter where I am at. I can't remote desktop into the office during business hours, because someone else is using the machine, and I can name 10 other reasons why I can't RDT. I agree, it is the way to go when you can, but there are times when you can't.

    BTW: You can think of remote desktop as nothing more than bringing the keyboard, mouse, and graphics over an IP link. No other data is transferred. This is why it can get by with small bandwidth. The process that is running, runs on the remote computer - most of the work is done by the remote computers uP. The only work that your computer must do is perform handshaking of mouse and keyboard, and display the graphics that would be seen on hte remote computer.
  20. YeOldeStonecat

    YeOldeStonecat Network Guru Member

    Being a tenacious bastard is a key to working with computers! :D

    You actually don't need to resolve using the netbios name...you can access shares via IP address. Click on Start==>Run==>type in "\\" without the quotes <substitute that with actual IP address of host>....hit OK, and you'll see all shares if you have MS Networking setup correctly with shares and permission. This is also irrelevant of workgroup..a mis-belief that a lot of people seem to have...they think all computers MUST be in the same workgroup for network sharing to work. Not true.

    Having a DNS server for your network will take away the need for editing the host files locally on remote machines. But again...you only need to do that for resolving netbios names...if you just dump the need for name resolution...and revert work working from IP addresses like I always do...then this is a non-issue.

    If you did the DNS server approach, on your VPN client setup properties, you'd type in the IP of your server..which would usually be a domain controller of your hosts network...since DCs run DNS. Most of my clients are Microsoft Small Business Server networks.

    Host files are actually checked first....well, technically the VERY first thing a machine does is compares the queried name to its own..then goes to the hosts file, then to DNS, then to NetBIOS broadcast/resolution.

    Having the VPN tunnel allow netbios names to be passed through clogs up traffic. The tunnels will perform better without netbios traffic passing through. (a highway with less cars)

    Larger corporate VPNs...performing very fast...well, for one..they probably have the budget to purchase some honking high speed VPN concentrators. Big Sonicwall or Cisco units. These higher end units can also be set to dedicate a good portion of the internet connection bandwidth to the VPN tunnel. The more basic VPN units...well, say that blond secretary at the front desk begins to play some online streaming radio..and you're VPN'd in trying to work..suddenly your VPN tunnel gets very slow..cuz she's killing the bandwidth playing her internet radio. They also have their network running quite optimally I'm sure...properly setup. Smaller peer to peer networks that "do-it-yourselfers" built...and probably a mix-match of un-necessary protocols, malware, peer to peer networks so lots of broadcasting going on, basically...like downtown during rush hour without a traffic cop at the main intersection.

    DNS servers...yes, well, lets backup a bit. First..for business networks...I'm not a fan of peer to peer networks. DNS servers are used for local network name resolution, as well as the internet. Yes it can speed up a network because it cuts down on broadcasts which peer to peers normally fall upon. Yes it eliminates the need for local host files. I don't know, never looked, for any free ones that can run on a desktop OS. Unless it's just two or three PCs...once you get up to half a dozen or so...it's time to stepup and get a server. For many other reasons of network functionality, performance, integrity of data, etc. It's just been my experience, as a consultant for Small to Medium Business networks, that as a businesses network begins to grow..so do the demands, and how it's used. You can only take a peer to peer network so far..until you outgrow it, and become limited by it's ...shortcomings. A common rebuttal from that business owner is "Well..we don't have the budget for a server". My answer..."Well...you're going to remain crippled in your abilities, and be stuck on this bubble-gum-and-paperclip system. Once ease of use increases, once you can do many more things with your network...productivity goes up, time invested to get same work done goes down, overall...that's generally a good thing."

    Having things like Remote Desktop, OWA, Sharepoint, VPN, things that Small Business Server brings to a network..or even just sticking in a vanilla server and graduating a peer to peer network to a full client/server network, you're laying the groundwork for things working better.
  21. DietCokeAddict

    DietCokeAddict LI Guru Member

    Creating a seamless network - VPN to VPN???

    Would connecting another RV08 or RV042 at home create a seamless network? Or do the NETBIOS names get lost in the VPN transmission?

    I want work and home to be one of the same. This way it doesn't matter where I am at. I can't remote desktop into the office during business hours, because someone else is using the machine.
  22. HercNav

    HercNav LI Guru Member

    Search for responses that include information about LMHOSTS and HOSTS. There are several threads that talk about these two files. To answer your question though: the VPN connection has a really hard time establishing the network neighborhood. There were a few times (I mean RARE) that my parents' computers should up in My Network Neighborhood, but it wasn't a stable or reliable feature....
  23. YeOldeStonecat

    YeOldeStonecat Network Guru Member

    Re: Creating a seamless network - VPN to VPN???

    A little bit...yes...as the VPN connection is now maintained through hardware, versus a software client on your PC..hardware is generally faster than software.

    Regarding Network Neighborhood browsing..this goes back to most of my point in my prior reply...with VPNs...don't make yourself suffer by relying on netbios names. You really need a domain controller that runs DNS at at least one of the locations...ideally one on each end...for network neighborhood to be tight. But regardless...even if it is...even on networks like my office or my home (which I have VPNs to both of)...and on my clients VPN setups...and on their WAN setups......I still use IP.

    I can't think of that many software setups that I've done which actually require netbios name resolution across the link....and those few are on really larger corporate networks with servers at each end.
  24. DietCokeAddict

    DietCokeAddict LI Guru Member

  25. YeOldeStonecat

    YeOldeStonecat Network Guru Member

  26. DietCokeAddict

    DietCokeAddict LI Guru Member

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