Problem solver: getting VPN to work through NAT firewalls

Thursday, 12 June 2003, 2:58 PM EST

With the rising popularity of telecommuting and the increasing need to protect their electronic assets, companies large and small have been turning to Virtual Private Networking (VPN). The good news is that many savvy IT departments realize that many of their telecommuting employees share their broadband connections with consumer-grade routers. Those folks have made their lives easier by using "NAT friendly" VPN gateways and VPN clients that don't require any changes to home users' router settings in order to successfully set up a VPN tunnel.

If you're not so lucky, however, you still may be able to get the job done. The first thing to do is check whether your router has any settings for PPTP or IPsec "pass through." They are commonly found in Linksys routers, but you may have to hunt around for them. Figure 1 is a shot of the bottom of Linksys' BEFSR41 Filters screen, which contains separate enables for PPTP and IPsec pass through.

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