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I'm trying to be able to access files on my network outside of my LAN by setting up a VPN.
I've never done anything like this and I think i'm doing it correctly but it's not working and I don't know how to go about diagnosing what's wrong.

On the desktop with the files I wan't to access I created a new Incoming Connection. And setup port forwarding for it on my router.

On a laptop I want to connect to the desktop with I used the Setup a new Connection or Network option, then Connect to a workplace, followed by Use my Internet Connection(VPN). I put in the public IP for my desktop, username and password, and it appeared to connect.
On the desktop in Network Connections it says under Incoming: "User1 Connected WAN Miniport (PPTP)"

But when I open up Network on my Laptop I can't see the Desktop where I want to access the files.

Did I do everything correctly? What could be wrong?

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Did you enable file sharing on Desktop? –  K.A Jan 13 '13 at 21:23
    
@K.A Yup, with another laptop that's on the LAN I can access everything fine. –  Josh Jan 13 '13 at 21:26

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Broadcasting (of the NetBIOS protocol) is used to present and resolve names in the Network Browsing of Windows on a peer-to-peer LAN (when you click on the "Network" icon, aka "My Network Places" aka "Network Neighbourhood").

Most VPN solutions (and routers) will not pass broadcast traffic between different subnets (at least not by default). In a corporate environment DNS and WINS servers/requests are (usually) used to resolve names instead.

After connecting to the VPN, attempt to access the target PC directly by it's IP address. E.g.: Open Windows Explorer and navigate to \\<ip address>\<share name>.

If that doesn't work, then you've most likely got connection or sharing problems.

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