VPN vs Windows 7

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Jan 5th, 2010
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I recently bought a new laptop with Windows 7 Professional (32-bit). I installed the Cisco VPN client 5.0 to connect to my employers network. I noticed after I establish the VPN connection I can only access resources within my work subnet. For instance, I cannot open Firefox or IE and hit yahoo.com and my email client cannot connect to my ISP's mail servers. When working remotely, I typically use remote desktop to get to my workstation at the office.

The same client on another computer at home allows me to connect to the VPN and I can get to my personal sites just fine. The difference, as I see it, is one computer is running Windows 7 and the other is running Windows XP. Is there anything I can do do establish a VPN connection and still access my personal websites and mail server on the Windows 7 machine?


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Federico Coto F... Tue, 01/05/2010 - 14:23
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Should be no differences in using Windows 7.

I am using the VPN client on Windows 7, Vista and XP with no problems.

My question is... are you using the same VPN profile (PCF file) on both machines?

Are both computers terminating the VPN tunnel to the same VPN-endpoint?

I'm wondering if the problem is with the VPN configuration and not really with the computer itself.

Let me know.


scotthanks Tue, 01/05/2010 - 14:28
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The client is distributed by my employer and is pre-configured. We aren't supposed to have to do anything other than install it and use it. So I would say yes, the profiles are the same.

Federico Coto F... Tue, 01/05/2010 - 14:33
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If that's the case, when you connect your VPN client on your windows 7 computer, you should see the networks that you're supposed to reach

by right clicking the VPN icon on the task bar, going to statistics and under the route details tab (those are the networks that should be reachable through the VPN tunnel).

Is the network that you want to reach listed in the route details tab?

scotthanks Tue, 01/05/2010 - 14:37
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Unfortunately, I don't have the laptop in question in front of me. I'll take a look at what you suggested later this evening. Just to reiterate, I can reach my company's internal network just fine. Where I am having the problem is trying to use my isp to hit places outside our corporate network. It's like everything is being routed through the VPN and nothing can go out locally.

Thank you for your assistance.

Federico Coto F... Tue, 01/05/2010 - 14:42
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Exactly. And that's very common and it is called split tunneling.

I am thinking that the PCF file that they gave you for this VPN connection does not have split tunneling enabled. Unfortunately it can only be enabled on the VPN-endpoint and not on the client.

But if you go to the Route Details tab and you see it means there's no split tunneling and all traffic is going through the tunnel.

This behavior you see it when as soon as you connect your VPN client, you lose Internet (but you still can access everything you're supposed to through the tunnel).


scotthanks Tue, 01/05/2010 - 14:45
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Thanks, I'll check that this evening on both the Windows 7 and XP machines and post my findings here.


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