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I have a VPN connection to a client site that has been very flakey. I use a wireless connection (home) through which I would ordinarily be connecting to the client's site via the VPN - also set up on my machine.

Problem is, the VPN connection often doesn't recognise that a wireless connection is available ("This connection requires an active internet connection"). I'm sure there'll be a simple setting that I can correct to deal with this problem, but dammit Jim, I'm a developer not a Vista clairvoyant.

Suggestions appreciated.

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So, the wireless connection is not just available but actually is active and connected to the internet, right? – Arjan Jul 17 '09 at 9:49
Yes, that's right. – Phil.Wheeler Jul 17 '09 at 9:51

Do you have the Microsoft Loopback Adapter installed (for testing)? It seems that the VPN is picking up my Loopback Adapter before the wireless adapter and that causes the network stack not finding a route to the internet.

If that is the case, try to disable the Loopback Adapter. This should make the wireless connections available to your VPN connection.

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Nope. No loopback adapters anywhere. – Phil.Wheeler Jul 17 '09 at 9:55
As an afterthought, I do have a VirtualBox Bridged Networking Driver installed for the same wireless connection. – Phil.Wheeler Jul 17 '09 at 9:57

It could be you are losing packets which would also cause the VPN to not work. Be sure to do a wireless survey of the electromagnetic spectrum just to see who else is using the same frequencies. Most wireless adapters have a means to see other wireless networks and what channels they are using. I often have to adjust my settings when a neighbor starts using a channel I am using. I just move to an unoccupied channel and continue on with what I was doing.

There is a chance this will work for you too. VPN can be pretty finicky about losing packets when it crosses a specific threshold where the software is no longer capable of correcting the transmission errors and deal with packets that may have timed out.

Hope that helps!

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

Turns out the issue was a flaky connection at the client's end.

Client has tidied something up at their end and things seem to be a bit more reliable now. Thanks for all the input.

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