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Topic # 124561 12-Jul-2013 09:22
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Hi,

My girlfriend works from home.  She works for a company in the UK so often connects to their network via VPN.  She's been complaining about constant local network disconnects for months now, and I had put it down to a flaky VPN at their end as when I work from home my VPN stays up almost 100% of the time (I always connect via WIFI).

Fast forward to this morning.  I'm working from home today and I decided for a change to connect via Ethernet rather than WIFI.  And guess what?  My VPN doesn't stay up either when cabled to the network.

I'm pretty sure it is not faulty equipment related as I am connected via a different network switch to her.  There is also a network switch connected to our Orcon Genius router, but that is reasonably new and she was getting disconnects before I installed that.  And the Orcon Genius router has just been replaced so it can't be the router's fault as she got the same issues with the old Genius router.

Just to be clear, we are losing Internet and network connection locally when signed in via VPN.  And only when cabled in and not via WIFI.  When not connected to the VPN (but cabled to the network), the network seems to be stable.

Is there a simple setting I am missing?

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BDFL - Memuneh
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  Reply # 854240 12-Jul-2013 10:06
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What do you mean "disconnects"? As soon as you connect to the VPN your web access stops?

If that's the case, then the VPN is probably configured to use the remote gateway, and all requests go through the VPN, even the ones to the Internet.

What kind of VPN is this? If it's SSTP/PPTP defined in Windows Network Connections, then you can change the advanced TCP/IP setting to not use the remote gateway:



Obviously the company might have a different VPN and the policy to not allow Internet access while connected to the network. You might have to explore this as well.







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  Reply # 854242 12-Jul-2013 10:13
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Hi frietsam,

Thanks for the questions.

When I say disconnects, I mean that my laptop (or hers) gets disconnected from our home network (and because of that, VPN obviously disconnects too).

Both our VPNs allow Internet access, but it is not just internet we lose. And yes, while connected our internet access is routed via VPN (apologies if I am not getting the terminology correct).

In terms of the type of VPN, I don't know how to tell this sorry. How do I tell?

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  Reply # 854243 12-Jul-2013 10:20
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Does your modem / router go offline at all or are your devices just getting booted off?
Can you see any logs on this modem/router?



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  Reply # 854249 12-Jul-2013 10:35
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I don't think the router goes offline as reconnecting to it is pretty quick. Not sure if any other devices get booted at the same time. I checked my iPhone connection to the router the last time it happened and it still had access.

And I don't know re logs. Do Genius routers produce logs? Even if they did, I wouldn't know what I was looking at...

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  Reply # 854256 12-Jul-2013 10:55
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could it be due to any power saving settings on our laptops?
i.e. certain states / timeouts involking the wifi card to dissconnect ?



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  Reply # 854262 12-Jul-2013 11:10
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Gooseybhai: could it be due to any power saving settings on our laptops?
i.e. certain states / timeouts involking the wifi card to dissconnect ?


Wifi isn't the problem.  When I am on wifi and VPN my connection is stable.  When I am connected by Ethernet that's when things go up and down (only when VPN is connected).

If it were a power saving issue, then my non VPN connection at home as well as my full time work network connection when in the office would be up and down all the time...

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  Reply # 854272 12-Jul-2013 11:21
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Satch:
Gooseybhai: could it be due to any power saving settings on our laptops?
i.e. certain states / timeouts involking the wifi card to dissconnect ?


Wifi isn't the problem.  When I am on wifi and VPN my connection is stable.  When I am connected by Ethernet that's when things go up and down (only when VPN is connected).

If it were a power saving issue, then my non VPN connection at home as well as my full time work network connection when in the office would be up and down all the time...


My bad... i did see that ! 



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  Reply # 854276 12-Jul-2013 11:25
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SO to recap

When your on ethernet to the router....
1) VPN drops and also anything else that needs a connection doesnt work e.g. your browser.
2) You never get any VPN drops or non VPN drops when using wifi.
3) what happens if you reboot, plug into the router and just browse normally without any VPN...

You say you are using two different VPN connections on two different devices at the same time using the one router (genius)?


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  Reply # 855206 14-Jul-2013 12:22
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Can you still access/ping LAN IP addresses over ethernet while using the VPN?




Qualified in business, certified in fibre, stuck in copper, have to keep going  ^_^

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  Reply # 855250 14-Jul-2013 13:42
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Hmmmm. Does the ethernet connection drop out when you're not using the VPN? And when ethernet is plugged in, is the wifi adapter still enabled?

Sometimes there's settings to disable the wifi adapter automatically when ethernet is plugged in. But if not, it could kill a VPN connection when wifi disconnects and reconnects.

The VPN obviously uses a different IP range than your own LAN at home? I ask this important question because Windows has a habit of putting in a route for the entire 10.X.X.X private range if the VPN is using that. If your home network is also 10.X.X.X there could be some conflicts etc....

Also you may have different firewall settings on your laptop for ethernet or wifi that may add to the problem, but I don't think so in this instance but keep it in mind when troubleshooting the whole picture.

From what you are describing it really sounds like a bad network cable or faulty switch. You say you're on a different switch, how many of these switches do you have connected? To many switches can cause a broadcast storm and that can cause erratic behavior and network time outs etc....

Do these laptops both have the same wifi devices in them? There's no third party software that disables the Ethernet when wifi connects?

It really sounds like hardware issues or driver switching between wifi and ethernet repeatedly.

Gavin.






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  Reply # 855793 15-Jul-2013 12:53
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Gooseybhai: SO to recap

When your on ethernet to the router....
1) VPN drops and also anything else that needs a connection doesnt work e.g. your browser.
2) You never get any VPN drops or non VPN drops when using wifi.
3) what happens if you reboot, plug into the router and just browse normally without any VPN...

You say you are using two different VPN connections on two different devices at the same time using the one router (genius)?



1) Correct
2) Correct
3) This issue has been occurring for months on my girlfriend's laptop and VPN connection.  So in other words, through many reboots/restarts.

The network is very unstable when either of us are connected to VPN via Ethernet.  Friday was the first time ever that we were both connected via Ethernet and our respective VPNs.

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  Reply # 855801 15-Jul-2013 12:58
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Id go with looking into what KiwiRock said above.

What kind of VPN connection software are you using? Has it been installed by your employer(s)?



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  Reply # 855802 15-Jul-2013 12:58
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webwat: Can you still access/ping LAN IP addresses over ethernet while using the VPN?


I didn't try that but can.  What will this tell me?



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  Reply # 855817 15-Jul-2013 13:17
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kiwirock: Hmmmm. Does the ethernet connection drop out when you're not using the VPN? And when ethernet is plugged in, is the wifi adapter still enabled?

Sometimes there's settings to disable the wifi adapter automatically when ethernet is plugged in. But if not, it could kill a VPN connection when wifi disconnects and reconnects.

Ethernet is pretty stable when not on VPN.  I think the wifi on my GFs laptop is off but is always on on my laptop.

 The VPN obviously uses a different IP range than your own LAN at home? I ask this important question because Windows has a habit of putting in a route for the entire 10.X.X.X private range if the VPN is using that. If your home network is also 10.X.X.X there could be some conflicts etc....


I have set up my Genius with a 192.168.x.x range so there should not be any conflicts there.

 From what you are describing it really sounds like a bad network cable or faulty switch. You say you're on a different switch, how many of these switches do you have connected? To many switches can cause a broadcast storm and that can cause erratic behavior and network time outs etc....


If it was a faulty switch or cable (and trust me, cables and switches have been swapped around a few times to eliminate such an issue), then surely my non VPN connection would be just as unstable?  Also her laptop and mine were in different rooms of the house using diffferent network switches and cables.  I was originally getting a network loop caused by a poorly placed Ethernet over Power adaptor but have removed that now.

I have a total of 4 network switches in my house.  One connected to the router as there aren't enough ports on it, one connected at my HTPC end to service the HTPC and network enabled TV.  One in the office servicing two computers, and one in my mancave servicing my network enabled TV, a PS3, and an XBox 360.

 Do these laptops both have the same wifi devices in them? There's no third party software that disables the Ethernet when wifi connects?

It really sounds like hardware issues or driver switching between wifi and ethernet repeatedly.


They are different laptops so I assume the network adaptors are different (big assumption I guess).  No third party software to disable anything is installed.

I can't understand how it can be a hardware or driver issue when it only happens when one or both of us are connected to our respective VPNs via Ethernet?

Thanks for your comments/suggestions, and any further responses you make.



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  Reply # 855818 15-Jul-2013 13:18
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Gooseybhai: Id go with looking into what KiwiRock said above.

What kind of VPN connection software are you using? Has it been installed by your employer(s)?


It is the Cisco VPN client.

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