My VPN Connects, but I cannot get to anything on the other network

After last week’s posts about VPN Clients, I had some questions about the VPN connections themselves. This is a strange one. It’s very hard to describe without getting too specific, so it may not make good blog-fodder, but hopefully this post will help somebody out. The problem typically goes something like this: I set up a VPN connection to my office. I have the software, whether it’s the Cisco VPN Client, or the SonicWall Global VPN Client, installed on my computer. My connection details are correct, the VPN prompts me for a name and password and takes what I provide. Everything is working up until that point. But then whatever resource I try to use, whether it’s a Terminal Server, a mapped network drive, or a software application on the other side of the VPN, it just doesn’t work.

The resolution is easier than the description. Your local IP range is conflicting with the remote IP schema. It’s not as bad as it sounds. Basically, your home router, out of the box, is most likely configured to give your devices an IP address of 192.168.1.x. If your work or office network was configured the same way, then when you punch in a device IP address when you’re connected to the VPN, then the computer gets confused and doesn’t know whether it should be looking around your house for a certain server or device, or if it should be looking on the other side of the VPN.

The easy fix is to change the IP address of your router. Unless you’ve set static IP addresses, all of your other home devices will automatically pick up the new IP addresses and fix themselves, you shouldn’t have to do anything once you change the router setting itself. For instance, in a Linksys router, you’ll just go to the control page (http://192.168.1.1) and login (probably no username and the password admin, then on the main page, change the local IP address of the router from 192.168.1.1 to pretty much “anything else” in that third octet. Example: 192.168.101.1. It may not make a ton of sense, but whoever is on the other end of the VPN may be able to help you out, and if they weren’t sure what the problem was, this should give them some guidance.

2009 – Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears – Tell 'em What Your Name Is

When I was first brought Tell ‘Em What Your Name Is! I had no idea what to expect. I hadn’t heard of Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears and I had no idea that they had only recently put out a previous album. In the years the followed I forgot to check up on them, but the band is still together putting out new music, and it’s very exciting stuff. The band is an unexpected turn from what you hear on the radio these days. I don’t know where they get much air time, but I’m glad a band like this exists to challenge pop music.

Now, these Music Monday posts aren’t intended to be music reviews, they’re just here to help you find something you may not have heard before. Although you may not consider funk and soul your typical genres of choice, I’ll let you judge for yourself whether or not you can resist tapping your foot along to their song Sugarfoot:

Here is the phone number for Xbox Technical Support

This week’s Xbox Tip of the Week isn’t a direct suggestion for the Xbox itself, but rather some easy ways to contact Xbox Support! People constantly ask me the fastest way to get ahold of the folks at Xbox Support. I encourage you to use Twitter or the Ambassador Chat first and foremost. They should be able to help you. But if you really want to contact Xbox Support over the phone, in the United States, just call 1-800-4MY-XBOX (that’s 1-800-469-9269). If you are outside of the United States, or if you do not wish to wait on hold and would rather an Xbox Support representative call you, you can simply fill out this form which will offer you some troubleshooting tips but also provide you with the proper contact information at the bottom of the page. If you’re in the United States, look on the lower right portion of the page after describing your issue and you will see an option to have the support team call you!

Again, you can call 1-800-4MY-XBOX, or if you’re outside of the U.S., just visit https://support.xbox.com/en-US/contact-us and answer a couple of questions so that they can help route you to the right people when you call in!

How Windows 8 applications will handle Push Notifications

iPhones, Androids, even Windows Phone 7 devices and your old brick phones… they all had notifications to let you know if you’ve got a voicemail, text message, email, or nowadays even to suggest that your Draw Something friend has… drawn something. This all happens in the background, either on a schedule like every 15 minutes, or with a technology called “Push.” In many cases, developers need to have their own backend servers for their applications to communicate with. So how will Windows 8 do these Push Notifications? With Windows 8 development, your Windows 8 apps will use the existing Microsoft Azure servers and access the WNS (Windows Push Notification Service). In this video from Microsoft’s Channel 9, Nick Harris is here to tell you all of the details. It’s a lengthy discussion, probably more than the average person wants to know – but for geeks & developers? Some of this might be pure gold.