I have a PPTP VPN Incoming Network Connection setup on a windows 8.1 machine which is where I have all my computers setup on a local intranet (say machine X, Y and Z)

I VPN into the Windows 8.1 machine from my Windows 7 machine using the microsoft VPN software. Works fine, I can access the internet resolve all internet DNS' etc. I see my ISP's DNS assigned to my Windows 7 VPN adapter along with a remote local intranet 192.168.x.x IP address.

Now I can ping the Windows 8.1 machine by NAME and IP ADDRESS. But I cannot Ping/Resolve ANY other machine on the remote local intranet by NAME (x, Y or Z), ONLY by IP ADDRESS.

Why can't I resolve a machine name on my remote network via the VPN connection? I don't have a Domain server or WINS server setup. I've tried disabling the firewall on both sides, no difference. I've tried using the remote machine as the DNS server (forced) but it doesn't work either. I've tried settings the remote network router (running tomato + dnsmasq) as the DNS for the windows 7 vpn adapter, still doesn't work. The only thing I can think of is that the VPN doesn't allow NetBIOS to work. Any thoughts here.


Okay I finally found website that answers my question - but if ANYONE has any alternate ideas please post here.

According to this website: https://kb.meraki.com/knowledge_base/resolving-netbios-names-over-client-vpn

It is NOT possible to resolve NetBIOS names over a VPN. Quoting:

NetBIOS name resolution is a layer-2 broadcast based name discovery protocol. Layer-2 broadcasts do not traverse layer-3 boundaries such as the Client VPN interface on an MX.

The only way to use NetBIOS over a VPN is to setup a WINS server. Quoting:

WINS is service that provides centralized name resolution of NetBIOS hostnames. NetBIOS clients register their hostnames on the WINS server and other NetBIOS clients query the WINS server to resolve NetBIOS names. To allow hosts that utilize NetBIOS names to find network resources over Client VPN, specify the IP address of a WINS server in the Client VPN configuration. This is done using the WINS setting on the Configure > Client VPN page.

  • The only solution I found was a use a different VPN software that allows for Broadcast packet forwarding or use a DNS server that also registers the name of the local machines on the network and use that DNS server for the remote clients – rboy Mar 11 '15 at 8:17
  • Setting manually WINS server worked for me. thanks – Riccardo May 21 '17 at 16:41

When you setup a VPN connection, there are 2 methods you can use.

  1. Make all internet traffic go over the vpn, which makes everything work, but as a result, both your internet and the internet on the VPN side is used for single data.

  2. Use only directed traffic to go over the vpn, the rest over your normal vpn. Uses much less resources on the VPN side, but as a sidenote, things like DNS don't work properly.

If you go to the VPN connection on the client side, edit it, go to the network tab, double click the IPv4, then check Use remote gateway it will make it work like 1. Uncheck = 2.

Best practice for VPN connections is to use IP address, not the Hostname. Or not use VPN but remote desktop.

  • 1
    That doesn't address the question - I know what you're saying and I'm using a single channel directed VPN, but I've tried both. The issue is that it won't resolve computer names on the remote network. I want to be able to see all the computer on my remote LAN through network places and that isn't happening – rboy Mar 11 '15 at 6:10

With the Windows server VPN, on the client side, putting the same class address ip on the network card resolve the issue, DNS and NETBIOS is ok

  • Didn't work when I tried it – rboy Jan 2 at 20:07

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