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I currently connect to my network drives at work using a VPN. I run Windows 7, updated weekly-ish. (Updates often interrupt me, so I don't have them automatic anymore. I don't suspect this is related, anyways.) I also have another network drive on another VPN. The thing is, that I can't connect to both sets of network drives simultaneously, which means I need to restart Windows if I need to switch from one set of drives to another. (Disconnecting from one VPN and connecting to the other fails miserably, and since I'm on an SSD, it's just as fast to just reboot.)

My workflow is basically:

  1. Start machine, and let Windows auto-connect to whatever wireless network I'm in range of.
  2. Click on network icon by the clock on the start bar, and connect to VPN.
  3. Open up Windows Explorer, click on network drive so that it prompts me for username and password.
  4. Start doing work on files.

This works fine, and works for both VPN number A, and VPN number B separately. However, when I try to connect to the VPN B, it silently clobbers my connection to VPN A. (And vise versa; the order doesn't matter.) The IP addresses of the servers, when I open up the details tab of the VPNs are 10.0.0.0 and 172.16.0.0, so AFAIK there shouldn't be address conflicts. i.e.

  • Network drives on VPN A are mapped to \10.0.0.0\Folder
  • Network drives on VPN B are mapped to \172.16.0.0\Folder

What can I do, to allow both connections simultaneously? Note that I cannot change the software on the remote machines. I've looked at the question Connect to multiple VPNs? and it does not seem to contain any information which will help me. Also, if I need to install other software on my Windows machine, it needs to be free, and compatible with whatever VPN connection type it is I'm currently using. i.e. I don't know what it is, I just know is it's the kind that Windows 7 can connect to by default using an ip address/port, with username and password.

Thanks!

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Maybe switching between two user accounts (primary using VPN B and secondary using VPN B)? Since VPN access is tied to the environment, that may be enough of a switch. –  Enigma Feb 6 '13 at 17:43
    
Also, both accounts can be switched between fairly quickly which shouldn't disrupt work flow all that much. –  Enigma Feb 6 '13 at 18:32
    
Which VPN software is used to connect with, and what are its settings? Can you check the output of the routing tables both before any VPN, with VPN-A active, one with VPN-B active and one where you tried both VPNs? (Kind a hoping that both do work and that the newer VPN setup just clobbers the default gateway). –  Hennes Feb 6 '13 at 20:51
    
@Enigma: thanks, I'll try this soon. –  E.T. Feb 6 '13 at 21:46
    
@Hennes: Do you mean the software on my Windows machine? It's the default comes-with-Windows-7 stuff. And how do I check the routing tables? ipconfig on the command line? –  E.T. Feb 6 '13 at 21:48
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1 Answer

up vote 5 down vote accepted

You need to set the routing on each connection to only use routes for addresses in it's own subnet. This has the added bonus that you'll get rid of the 'clobbering' and now be able to connect to both VPNs at the same time.

On Windows 7, this can be achieved via the 'Advanced' button of the properties item of the VPN network. On the 'IP Settings' tab make sure 'Use default gateway on remote network' is unchecked. This turns of said routing for non-VPN traffic over the VPN's route.

Screenshots to find the option:

Step 1:

step 1

Step 2:

step 2

Step 3:

step 3

Step 4:

step 4

Step 5:

step 5

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Totally worked, thanks! –  E.T. Feb 7 '13 at 14:13
    
Glad it helped; I've had to fight off this monster many times over the years. –  Jerry W Jackson Feb 8 '13 at 0:54
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