VPN connected - but not working

All of a sudden a VPN connection to my home network has become imperative for me, but I can't get it to work; I seem to be almost there - but not quite:)
At home, I duely set-up my Windows 7 desktop for incoming connections and configered the router. The client setup (windows 7 as well) gave me more headaches, but I am now at a stage where it connects without any complaints. The messages fly by very fast, but I think the last one is "Registering computer on the network". The connections screen then shows, underneath my primary connection, the VPN connection as "Connected. No internet connection". The 'status' screen (and IPCONFIG) shows that the VPN-connector received an internal IP-address from my home router. Thanks to my beloved, I know that on my home-desktop, under 'incoming connections' in the network center, it says "1 client connected" at that moment.
However, this is as far as I get. All seems well with the VPN-connection but I can do nothing with it. With explorer I can't see any computers on my home-network and I can't map a drive to a share I know is on my home-desktop; not even using it's IP-address. I can't even ping it. I tried switching off the firewall on my home desktop and even giving it a static IP-address but nothing so far got me any further.
Some more info:
- After a few minutes, the status of the VPN connection on my laptop (the client) changes; it now says "Connected. No network access".
- On my laptop, the internet connection gets lost somehow. There is no indication of this on the 'connections'-screen at the bottom; the primary connection still says "Internet access". But my browser says otherwise. (Disconnecting the VPN immediately restores internet access.)
I'm getting mightily frustrated by now. On the web I found a number of questions from people who apparently wrestled with the same problem, but no solution; not even a hint.
Can anyone help?


Fantastic Member
Premium Supporter
Hi Mabel,
If you don't get any good result from kemical's link, we could use some more information. We would definitely need hardware specs on your broadband modem, router at your end, as well as the other end of the VPN (work, office, colleague?), and hardware specs make/model of your PC and the PC you are connecting to on the other end of the VPN link. If you are using a separate VPN router on your end, and the other VPN end link we would need make/models on both of those or one of those as well.

I've built several VPNs and they require advanced networking skills. The key to getting to the bottom of these types of problems is really having a good network diagram showing the equipment types, and all the IPs, DNS's, and hardware being used at BOTH ends of the links. There are many general suggestions that people use to troubleshoot these kinds of problems, but those often don't work. Suggestions like resetting your VPN router, or uninstalling/reinstalling your VPN client or even your VPN client OS (Windows) also rarely work. The list of variables in even a small VPN network are astounding. Probably something like 10-to-the-twelvth power. Billions/Trillions maybe.

In any case, without knowing how this VPN is setup, we are only guessing at some sort of a solution. I'm guessing you have your VPN client setup to connect to some sort of a business or educational VPN master right? If not, VPN's setup by Home Users are often limited to both ends (Master & Client) being on the same ISP provider. Experience has shown that if you are using one ISP (for example, Master is Cox, and your Client end is Comcast for example), that rarely works. All of the VPNs I've setup usually use the same ISP at both ends. Additionally, most ISP's today (at least in the U.S.) also have a further requirement that at least one of your 2 VPN connections must maintain a Static IP address on your VPN router, and the other end (Master or Client) must maintain a Dynamic IP address. This is something relatively new; at least with our local ISP (Charter) since 2010.

Therefore a couple of general suggestions for you while you are obtaining all the specs I asked for:
1.) Does your ISP provider match the ISP provider for the Master VPN router at the other end of your link? Yes or No? If no, you may need to change this in order to get it to work. (this change could involve costs that you cannot afford to make).
2.) Does either your Client VPN router and your Master VPN router have 1 Static IP address and 1 Dynamic IP address? Yes or No? Which end is which (Static or Dynamic)? This may involve contacting the Tech Support of your local ISP provider to get this answer if you do not know.

So, you can see how quickly the complexity and complications of devices and interconnectivity can put solving this problem beyond your reach. If you are connecting to a Master VPN, and it's a business or educational entity, have you contacted their IT or Tech Support? They often will be able to help you with settings and troubleshooting FOR FREE, especially if you are not the only person or employee or user to connect to their Master VPN network.

If you are simply connecting to another home user and there is no business or educational entity involved, I would urge you to retain the services of a licensed network engineer to assist you in solving the problem. If you do go this route, because you are connecting to another home user and not a business/educational entity, you'll be able to tell if you have someone competent if they can generate a network diagram of your setup at both ends. Even if it's a hand-drawn sketch, that's what is needed. Real Pros will use special software such as Microsoft Visio or Macromedia to develop the drawings. Be prepared to spend some bucks if you do engage this person; they are not cheap. When I worked at IBM, I was billed out to business as well as home users for $290/hr.

We'll wait for you to get your specs back and will then advise you further.

Best of luck,:encouragement:


Fantastic Member
Premium Supporter
Here are a couple of simple VPN network diagrams to give you an idea of what I'm looking for and they will help you with the conceptual aspects as well; CLICK ON ATTACHED THUMBNAILS BELOW TO VIEW IMAGES:

Note the device labels and IP addresses in these diagrams. This is what we're looking for on your equipment at your end and at the other end of your VPN tunnel connection!



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