VPN Blues

      As working from home and on the road becomes ever more the rule, many are turning to Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to obtain a secure and encrypted connection from a remote computer to the office network.  If you are having troubles connecting from home or elsewhere you may be experiencing an increasingly common problem.

     The internet numbering scheme permits each company to have one or more unique “external” internet IP addresses (e.g. 11.22.33.44).  However, behind a company’s firewall there are only three broad ranges specified for setting up “internal” numbers and thus they are often not unique across companies.  Today it is very common for users to have a router at home that passes out internal addresses (e.g. 192.168.1.1).  The same is true with hotels and coffee shops.  The problem is that you cannot use a VPN when both ends have the same basic numbering scheme.

     The solution?  One end of the VPN connection must be changed.  For home users it is relatively easy – just change the network setting on your small home network.  For those going through hotels and the like, the problem is a bit bigger.  Your company’s network address scheme must be changed to a more unusual group of numbers.  This can take some time and is best done during non-working hours.  As a temporary workaround, use a dial-up connection.  Yes, dial-up.  It is slow but its address will almost never cause a problem.

     Feel free to call if you want to discuss your options in more detail.

                                                                     

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