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Setting up a VPN in a SOHO enviornment - Comments/suggestions welcome.

By IT24 ·
I am a newbie at Networking and I am trying to create a VPN connection using 2 Linksys Routers. I recently found out that I need at least one end of the tunnel on a static IP which I will soon have. All systems are running Win XP Pro and the routers are BESFX41 (office) and WRT55AG (home). Does anyone have any tips for establishing the connection, and once the connection is made can I browse the host system through Windows Explorer?
Should I just invest in VPN software and if so what is recommended?
Thanks!

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Hardware or Software VPN

by membership In reply to Setting up a VPN in a SOH ...

It sounds like you are trying to connect a home user to the office. The hardware VPN route you are suggesting normally requires routers at both location that support VPN. All the home users would have to replace their router. An alternate, is one router at the office that supports VPN, and use the built in MS VPN client to connect to the router. Also a software route you could take includes running Windows 2000 or above RRAS (Routing and Remote Access) as the VPN server and the users would again use the MS VPN client. The software route is slightly harder to configure. In either situation, remember this. There are 3 IP subnets you are working with. The one at work, the one at home, and the one the VPN IP pool is using. Suggestion - Most home routers are 192.168.x.x. Make sure the business uses another private IP scheme like 172.x or 10.x.

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VPN Routers are at both locations.

by IT24 In reply to Hardware or Software VPN

Yes, I do have VPN routers at both the home and office locations. The home router is a Wireless WRT55AG router and the office is a wired BEFSX41 router. Isn't the MS VPN client difficult to configure?

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PPTP is easier

by jdclyde In reply to Setting up a VPN in a SOH ...

If the main router will support it, PPTP is easier to configure and more portable.

No extra software to configure, it comes with Windows 2K and XP.

This would let you connect to the office from home, a hotel, or even your favorite coffee shop. (if you have a laptop)

Network neighborhood does not by default broadcast over a VPN connection, and is almost ALWAYS a bad idea to do because of the overhead on your connection.

If you know the IP address of the systems you wish to connect to, just make a mapped drive to the IP address and you will get the same results.

I have hardware boxes doing VPN and laptops doing PPTP with no problems what so ever.

NOTE: when setting up for the first time, don't turn on all the security bells and whistles. Do a basic connection and get it working. Then lock it down.

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