Our sysadmins moved a machine I need into a different network, so now I need to VPN in to access that machine. Is there a way to configure Windows so when I try to access that domain that the VPN automatically dials?
There is an Easier way, that doesn't involve 3rd party software. and it can be done from I know xp sp3 and latter sp 2 might also be able to do it but all my xp boxes are on sp 3 so not sure there. As Windows does have a native VPN connector that can be configured for "dial on demand" just like a dial up connection.
Step One: you need to set it up so you can connect manually for XP: http://compnetworking.about.com/od/vpn/ht/newvpnwindowsxp.htm
for Vista and 7: you go into Control panel > network and internet > Network And Sharing Center > Setup a new Connection or Network > Connect to a workplace > Use my Internet Connection (VPN) from there just follow the prompts to put in all the information, and you should now be able to manually connect to a vpn with out needing special software.
Step Two: go back out to the "Network And Internet" and this time pick "Internet Options" (you can also get to it from in IE @ Tools > Internet Options) Now go to the "Connections" Tab and you should see your connection on the list, select "Dial when ever a Connection is not present" and set your vpn connection you made in step one as the default connection, and hit okay.
Now when it needs to get data from a source other then the internet or local lan it should attempt to connect to the vpn that we set up.
The cisco VPN client has a configurable automatic VPN Initiation for Windows. I am making some assumptions here, but the cisco documentation illustrates what I believe you are interested in:
“Auto initiation provides a generic way for the VPN Client to auto initiate a connection whether the VPN Client PC is based on specific networks or not.”
The mechanism for doing this is by creating an Automatic VPN initiation in the vpnclient.ini file and configuring exceptions with the connect parameter.
Here is an example of an entry in an auto initiation list that excludes the network from auto initiating:
[more dod] Network=192.168.120.0 Subnet=255.255.255.0 ConnectionEntry=XXXXXX Connect=0
Here is a screen-shot of the client with auto connect: