Networking optimize

DIY: Wireless printing while on a VPN

In this installment of Ask Jack, read about one way to print to print wireless printers while being connected to the VPN.

I received a question from a very frustrated user who has a unique situation. Let me set up the TechRepublic member's situation.

The problem

The office is a satellite office of a large company. The office is quite remote with the only solution for connectivity being either air cards or a Verizon MiFi-like device. They went with the MiFi and have discovered a problem. In order to access the company shared directories, they must be connected to the company VPN; at the same time, they need to be able to print to wireless printers connected to the MiFi wireless network. When they are connected to the VPN, they can't reach the wireless printers. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that they must print while connected to the VPN.

The solution

The solution is quite simple. In order for this to work, the LAN network must not conflict with the internal network used by the VPN. For example, the VPN network uses the 192.168.1.x address scheme, which happens to be the default DHCP scheme for the MiFi. To resolve this, all you have to do is log in to the MiFi and change the device's LAN address; the DHCP scope will automatically change.

To log in to the device, point a browser (on a client connected to the MiFi network) to http://192.168.1.1 and then log in with the default password admin. Note: If you have changed this password, log in with whatever password you used. Once logged in, change the LAN address of the device from 192.168.1.1 to 192.168.2.1 (or something similar -- whatever will not conflict with the IP address scheme of the VPN). After this has saved (you may be prompted to restart the MiFi), restart a client machine to make sure you can get back online. You should be able to connect to the VPN and remain connected to your network devices, including drivers and printers.

Not all network setups are the same, but this approach gives you one creative idea for solving a problem that could take days for some to resolve.

Ask Jack: If you have a DIY question, email it to me, and I'll do my best to answer it. (Read guidelines about submitting DIY questions.)

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

0 comments