I like to work out of coffee shops on weekends as a way to relax. However, sometimes when exploring new spots, it's inexplicably difficult to make a VPN connection to my office. I'm not terribly skilled in reading the logging output from the diagnostics built in with windows when the windows VPN client fails, though--is there a different way to detect a situation when VPN is being disallowed?
One way to check is simply to use telnet to the port your VPN client needs. For example if you use a PPTP client, you would use port 1723 and this command from a command prompt:
If the screen does something and just goes black, it works, but if it returns this error, you are out of luck...the port you need is blocked:
This is for Windows, it may be slightly different for Linux. You can ask your administrator what ports your specific type of VPN uses.
Of course, simply trying it is the easiest way since if it does not connect, chances are you can't fix the problem anyway.