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zambs224

Mapping Network Drive Using VPN and Other Questions [Windows 7]

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Hi everyone!
 
I've been trying to solve this issue on my own with no success, and this community seems very generous. I hope someone can help, this is driving me bonkers!
 
To keep things short and sweet, I need to map a network drive on Windows 7 using an airvpn server. I want to access it using a public IP but I don't want the vulnerabilities that port forwarding my router would entail. I think I only need to know what ports need to be forwarded, but nobody seems to have a real answer for this!

 

As an aside, I don't understand how a VPN actually protects data. Researching the issue of mapping a WAN path led to people suggesting using a VPN for specifically the reason of protection, but my exerience with it so far suggests that nothing is accomplished through letting a VPN be the middle man. As an example, if it turns out that I have to use port 445 for Windows to be able to map the network drive, I would have to connect to AirVPN's server, and have port forwarding set up on that server from, say, port 10000 to port 445. From there, the data would be forwarded to my public IP - my router. Well, my router will just drop the data there unless I set up port forwarding from inbound port 445 to private port 445 at my client's IP, effectively doing the same as I would have to do without a VPN. Even if I configured the VPN to send data out on port 10000, I would still have to set up port forwarding from port 10000 to port 445. So, if I do not use a VPN, I have to port forward from inbound port 445 to private port 445 at my client's IP, and if I do use a VPN it's port forwarding from inbound port 10000 or 445 to private port 445, leaving the same vulnerability as before. Am I wrong? Can anyone shed some light on this?

 

It seems that Windows dislikes AirVPN altogether! I can connect using Debian to the VPN via openvpn, but on a different computer running windows I can't connect using the GUI interface. Here's the process I used:

 


step one

1.) Connect via ssh to my dedicated server (note that I specify port 2244 because I wanted to avoid port forwarding to port 22 because of the vulnerabilities I described in the indented paragraph.. I really need answers on this).

 

step two

2.) Launch openvpn using config files that are generated via AirVPN's awesome generator!

 

step three

3.) Connect using the server's IP address (from step 2's screenshot)

 

step four

4.) Enter user credentials..

 

step five

5.) AAAAAAANDDD...!!

step six

6.) Nothing!

 

In this case, the diagnosis given is that Windows is trying to communicate to the VPN on port 1723 and can not get a response, but I don't know how I would fix this. I disabled the router's (and computer's) firewall to check if it is being filtered, but it didn't have an effect.

 

So! to summarize:

  • I need help mapping a network drive through a VPN in Windows 7
  • I need help understanding how a VPN makes a connection more secure (if this is the case) and how I can better configure a router to reduce vulnerability if this is the case
  • I need help connecting to a VPN through the Windows 7 GUI

 

I am really, really appreciative of any help i can get. Can anyone give some guidance?

 

 

P.S.: On the server, I can not use the provided binary files because the server is a flashed Pogoplug V4 which has ARM CPU architecture. I can't use the binaries on the clients either, to keep things clean. I can only work with things that can be done through terminal or command prompt, or things that come with Windows / Debian, without having to download anything (excluding openvpn on the server computer).

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I searched high and low for a fix to this problem, but the only solution is to use an FTP server instead. If anyone in the future reads this researching a similar problem, give up. Find a different way to share your files. SAMBA hates WAN.

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