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VPN internet failure on 4G.. but only while away?

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VPN internet failure on 4G.. but only while away?

We've been away for a few of days up north - rare as i don't rlike going out or leaving home (I'm a recluse) but on this one occasion I had to.

Didn't take the netbook with me (foolish) and only went with my phone. Not a problem - i could access my computer remotely via VPN if i needed to - netbook or not. The VPN server is my windows7 PC - not the router - although the router is configured to forward VPN traffic to the PC.

VPN connected FINE from my phone on 4G - in fact, it gave me no trouble at all even on the hotel wifi.

But here's the problem, I could connect to my computer and use it's services such as network shares and local http services but I could not use the internet through it. I tried multiple times every day and still could not get any internet access via the VPN through my PC. Despite this, I COULD open up a VNC connection into the computer (proving the internet connection over 4G was fine) and then use the normal desktop and chrome on the desktop PC to use the internet - yes, the internet was working and i was able to (via a small phone screen) navigate my desktop browser around the web.

Despite this, when closing the VNC connection but remaining connected via the VPN, I still could not use the internet using the browser on my phone. I ended up convincing myself that it only worked if the desktop was plugged in via ethernet and not on wifi (i use both - cable when i can to limit RF radiation but wifi at other times). I was sure that the vpn internet had worked in the past when the desktop was on wifi but it was the only conclusion i could think of.

We've got back home tonight, I've not physically touched the desktop PC at all - not even touched the desk. Decided to look into it, connected my phone via VPN on 4G and suddenly the internet is fine. Yes you read that right, I've got back home, stood next to the PC, connected my phone VPN via 4G and the internet works.

Normally I'd find myself thinking that somehow the mobile network had tinkered with the connection and blocked http however I was able to access http services on the PC itself - just not on the internet via the PC.

Despite a VPNs supposedly working from anywhere in the world, mine not only won't but can also determine that i'm not in the local area and decide to block my internet.

 

What am I looking forHuh

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18 REPLIES 18
corringham
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Re: VPN internet failure on 4G.. but only while away?

This is most likely a VPN server routing problem/feature, not an internet issue.

When you are at home are you sure that the internet access on your phone is really going via the PC?

What VPN server do you use, and can you enable some debug logging for it?

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Re: VPN internet failure on 4G.. but only while away?


@corringham wrote:

This is most likely a VPN server routing problem/feature, not an internet issue.

When you are at home are you sure that the internet access on your phone is really going via the PC?

What VPN server do you use, and can you enable some debug logging for it?


I know for sure it's NOT an internet issue - as stated above, the internet was working fine on the desktop PC when i logged in using a VNC connection over the VPN. I had concluded that it was a routing problem of some sort.

Yes I am sure it's going via the PC when at home - using 4G i can still login, use a file manager, access the same http services etc. Definitely connected to the home PC and routing via it.

I use the win7 VPN server.- I did make that clear in my original post!

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corringham
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Re: VPN internet failure on 4G.. but only while away?

Well since you know just what the problem is then you should be able to solve it, and you don't need any help from the community.

Good luck.

P.S. my VPN works just fine.

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Re: VPN internet failure on 4G.. but only while away?

I never said I know what the problem is, I know the symptoms but not the cause.

You've not really told me anything I wasn't already aware of.. 

Glad to hear your VPN is okay, wait til you travel to the other end of the country and then try it - you might be just as surprised as I was.

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corringham
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Re: VPN internet failure on 4G.. but only while away?

MY VPN works fine from multiple places in the UK, as well as across Europe and the USA.

I expect your WIn-7 PC just isn't sharing its internet connection - either the internet sharing option that some versions of Windows have (can't remember whether 7 had it), or the firewall.

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Re: VPN internet failure on 4G.. but only while away?

I thought the same thing but as sooin as we were back at home (WiFi on the phone turned off) the internet through the VPN worked again. The PC is setup to share it's internet too - always has been as i have another machine on the network connected to it via ethernet using it's wifi.

It had me totally stumped - I've been networking my own machines for over a decade. Written my own DNS server (and a crude but functional DHCP server) and have what I'd like to think is a pretty good concept of networking but this had me properly mystified. Stupidly I had no netbook with me so couldn't VNC in to the PC to tinker properly which didn't help..

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corringham
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Re: VPN internet failure on 4G.. but only while away?

Just a thought, but what subnet do you use locally? Bad things can happen to routing if both ends of a VPN happen to use the same (or overlapping) subnets. If you were unlucky the IP of the phone when roaming may just have been in the same range as your local subnet.

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Re: VPN internet failure on 4G.. but only while away?

255.255.255.0

I couldn't even see what i was on remotelywhen away as the internet via vpn didn't work!

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corringham
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Re: VPN internet failure on 4G.. but only while away?

You shouldn't need the internet to see a local address, and presumably you configured the subnet at the VPN server end.

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Re: VPN internet failure on 4G.. but only while away?

Windows 7 doesn't let you configure the subnet - just the start and end IP range. It then hogs the first IP for itself as the vpn server.

In my setup I have allocated 192.168.1.210 --- 192.168.1.215

192.168.1.210 it then uses for itself as the VPN while the remaining are issued to the connecting device. Should be super simple in reality - and it's always worked well for me... until we went half way up the country!

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Re: VPN internet failure on 4G.. but only while away?

Well I of off town again today and have the same fault - connected via vpn, can access the pc but no Internet throughput.
Here's a export from network Analyzer - as you can see, same subnet but I can not change mine (even though its set to something different at home):

Active Connection
- Connection Type: Cell
- HTTP Proxy: N/A

VPN Connection
- IP Address: 192.168.1.212
- Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.255
- Default Gateway IP: N/A
- DNS Server IP: 192.168.1.210
- IPv6 Addresses: N/A
- Default Gateway IPv6: N/A
- DNS Server IPv6: N/A
- Received Since Boot: 220.92 kB
- Sent Since Boot: 122.75 kB

Cell Connection
- IP Address: 10.130.192.225
- Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.255
- Default Gateway IP: 10.130.192.225
- DNS Server IP: 82.132.254.2, 82.132.254.3
- IPv6 Addresses: N/A
- Default Gateway IPv6: N/A
- DNS Server IPv6: N/A
- Received Since Boot: 6.75 MB
- Sent Since Boot: 1.72 MB

Wi-Fi Details
- Enabled: No
- Connection State: Completed
- SSID: N/A
- BSSID: N/A
- Vendor: N/A
- Channel: N/A
- MAC: bc:20:10:9d:9e:93
- Speed: N/A

Cell Details
- Data State: Connected
- Data Activity: None
- Roaming: No
- SIM State: Ready
- SIM Operator Name: TESCO
- SIM MCC/MNC: 234/10 (gb)
- Operator Name: TESCO
- MCC/MNC: 234/10 (gb)
- Network Type: LTE
- Phone Type: GSM
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Superuser
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Re: VPN internet failure on 4G.. but only while away?

It looks as though it doesn't know what the default gateway is when the VPN is up. Traffic to the local network (192.168.1.x) will be ok i.e VNC to the PC but (assuming it's set to sending all traffic down the VPN tunnel) without a default gateway any other traffic doesn't know where to go. I would have thought the VPN would be set to use the default gateway on the 192.168.1.x network i.e the router

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Re: VPN internet failure on 4G.. but only while away?

But even in our local area (eg other side of town) it does not show a default gateway but it still has Internet.

It seems to be some sort of geographical issue but I'm stumped as to what.
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Superuser
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Re: VPN internet failure on 4G.. but only while away?

I can't see why it would be geographical, more likely IP or DNS related.

However , if your VPN really has no gateway then maybe it's set for VPN traffic only i.e 192.168.1.x

That would mean your internet traffic is going to try and go out via the cell connection. That also looks a bit strange , it's default gateway is itself!

Can you check what that's set to when it's working ok?