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VPN Features, Continued

At any rate, the only thing I had to do in the WZR was to create a User account via the lower half of the PPTP Server page (Figure 10).

BuffaloTech WZR-RS-G54: PPTP user account setup

Figure 10: PPTP user account setup

A subtle point that you may have missed from Figures 9 and 10 is that there are two Address Restriction List entries. The one in the Server Settings section controls the range of IP addresses from the WZR's DHCP server that are handed out to PPTP clients. The list in the User List section restricts the range of IP addresses that the WZR will accept PPTP connections from. This confusion is compounded by the fact that the Enforce Address Restriction enable / disable is grouped with the DHCP server-based restrictions. At any rate, you should note that you can't define IP address ranges or subnets in the PPTP connection restriction control.

Once I had the WZR PPTP server setup, I followed the procedure in the printed VPN Setup Guide that came with the WZR to configure my Win XP computer (the instructions also cover Win 98SE, ME, and 2000 setup). All I had then to do was hit the Connect button on the WinXP Network Connection window and I was part of the WZR's LAN.

Once connected, I found that network browsing (My Network Places) didn't work, so I had to find out the IP address of the share(s) that I wanted to connect to and use Run and enter the UNC notation (i.e. An easier way, however, was to log into the WZR's admin interface and use the /hosts.htm screen or click the Remotely Accessible PC's button on the /vpn/top-vpn.htm screen to get a screen similar to Figure 6. Once there I could see the IP addresses of all connected PCs or, if running IE, click on the Shared Files icon to get to the shares.

Buffalo's main pitch for the WZR is "Access your PCs..Anytime...Anywhere", i.e. as a replacement for GoToMyPC and similar remote-access subscription services. But rather than leaving buyers on their own to obtain a remote control application, Buffalo bundles one with the WZR. I installed the copy of TightVNC that Buffalo includes on the WZR's CD onto both my test machines. (TightVNC is a free remote control software package derived from the popular VNC software.) I've used pcAnywhere and, at least for my simple needs, TightVNC seemed like a good (and did I mention free?) substitute, and I got it up and running with no problems on the first try.

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