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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-29-2010, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
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Help with VPN setup! (long read, sorry!)

Well, it has come to be that I am now not only the Office Admin, Inventory Admin, and Techincal and Electrical Admin, I am also now the Network Admin...

Here's the scoop - My boss travels a lot. And, we use QuickBooks Pro 2009 for our inventory control and invoicing. We have three machines in the office. One is a desktop - more like a paper weight, but it is used only as a label printer - then there are two fairly new laptops.

One laptop is a Vista machine. This is the machine that my boss uses.

The other laptop is mine, it is a Windows 7 machine.

Both are base level OS packages, nothing fancy.

The way that QuickBooks works is that the company file is stored "someplace", and then up to X number of users can log in and open or modify the company file. My boss travels a lot, and it would do us in the office no good to have a dead installation of QuickBooks, so the company file is stored on my computer. When he travels, he can get into QuickBooks and look at things, but any modifications he does are gone when he logs back into the 'real' company file.

So, to solve the issue, I have surmized that I need to set up a VPN. When my boss is traveling, he just has to stop at a WIFI hotspot (hotel, what have you), launch his VPN, then open the company file just like he's sitting at the desk next to me.

Great, problem solved... well, sorta...

I have gone to the Great Google Machine, and found lots of places with info on how to set it up... but nothing on trouble shooting.

I used the Hak5 demo on YouTube on how to set up an XP VPN, and translated that with some general intelegence into a Windows 7 'speak'. I got the incoming VPN setup with a proper user name and password. Then I set about the task of creating a static IP for my machine. Done. Then I went to the D-link router to allow the virtual machine to port forward 1723. Done. My company doesn't have a static IP, but I spoke with the ISP and we should have the same IP address for 'ever' unless we loose power to the modem for more than like 8 hours. So, we should be good there.

So, now I go to create the connection to the VPN from the outside world. From the Vista machine inside the company LAN, I can't get it to see the computer - I assume because the router already has the port plugged. If I try to create a VPN connection to myself from the Windows 7 machine, I seem to get connected fine - but that is using my own 192.186.x.x address.

To get around the blocked port, I had the guy at the ISP try to link up - he kept getting a 'connected terminated by the host computer' error. Here at home, I get an 800 error after a LONG time of not connecting - but that is from an XP machine. I'll try it on my Vista machine in a bit - but I'm not holding my breath.

In talking to the guy at the ISP, apparently the security settings have to be kinda odd - like, you have to tell it to make it totally un-secure otherwise it won't work, that sorta thing... not sure, but I'm now totally lost - what do I need to do?

Who has any experience setting these up?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-01-2010, 02:48 AM
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I am sure I saw some comments about this in the "Windows Secrets" newsletter, but I haven't found it yet.
You might try a search of the Windows Secrets Lounge (http://lounge.windowssecrets.com/) to see if you can find something there... or maybe post to it and get someone of more knowledge to answer your question... lots of good/smart folk there.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-02-2010, 11:20 PM Thread Starter
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O.k. Here's an update for those of you that may be listening in... The 'real IT department' (some personal friend of the boss) came over, and we tinkered with it for a bit... we got slightly closer - we can now log in if are inside our own network and he VPN's directly to the private IP address inside the network. We've played around a bit with the router, and think we've got holes in the firewall to let us though -

but -

Here is were our next challenge is - the ISP has to log into the modem and poke holes in THAT firewall for us to get through... so, for now we're stuck. A service order has been submitted to the ISP to fix it in the AM, but I'm not holding my breath - they didn't exactly jump on it to give me a static IP yet...
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-03-2010, 07:14 PM
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Have you looked into using some "real"VPN software from the big companies that have it?
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-04-2010, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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For an entry level experiment - no... but if it moves to more than just him needing to be on, we'll look at a VPN specific router. He's a bit of a security phreak, and is nervious about using a GoToMyPC sorta service (there are many of them) because he doesn't want someone sniffing in on the data transaction.

Well, the other guy and I have been tinkering... we finally got the static IP in place, and it still don't work... we're now wondering if the D-Link DI-624 has gone belly up. We're going to bring in a LinkSys W54G router temporarilly to see if the LinkSys will let us through - I have the feelnig that our issue is with the port forwarding.

I've got a note here at my desk to call the other guy this afternoon - maybe he has some news for me.
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