/ technology

VPN Success

Well, after a l-o-n-g hiatus, I returned to the scene of the crime today (which actually folows an attempt last week to get this shit working), and installed my boss’ VPN solution. It works! He’s got a new PC, and a remote access solution that will enable him to extend his already ridiculously long day further into the wee hours of the night.

If you are familiar with my previous battle, you may be interested in what I needed to do to get it working. So am I. After jackassing around endlessly with his old router, and bouncing between tech support calls to Verizon, SonicWall, and NetGear, I came up empty handed back in September. Last week, I had a new computer for my boss, so it made sense to try again.

No dice. After futzing with the SonicWall box for so long, I decided to punt and use the SonicWall GlobalVPN client software, which works so well on my computer and that of a co-worker. No dice, again. Another call to Verizon, they insist that they do not block any packets that might be necessary for VPN to work. SonicWall says they must be, or it’s the router. 30 Minutes on hold to talk to a so-called technician at Netgear, and when I get a human he tells me my router is “no longer eligible for support”. Fuck you too, Netgear.

In a desperate attempt to remove a link in the possible fault chain, I tried once more to get the SonicWall router to work, and after mindlessly clicking through a wizard, it worked like a charm. I didn’t know whether to be happy, or really, really pissed off, since I tried everything shy of a rain dance in September to get this to work. OK, progress. Well, I guess I don’t need the Global Client anymore, I’ll just uninstall it.

Bad idea. For some reason, the uninstall process trashed my boot.ini file, rendering the new PC useless.

Fast forward to today. I returned to my boss’ house armed with tech support numbers, salient passages from various Usenet threads, and a .44 magnum. After trying in vain to revive the new PC, I punted and did a full reinstall. Mindless fun for a couple hours. Ahhh, what the hell; it gave me a chance to do a few things differently anyway.

Time to test the VPN. Didn’t work. Yet another call to SonicWall tech support, but this time it bore fruit. A couple of tweaks to the security association, and I was in. Success. Finally.

Of course you realize, this means that right now, this very minute, a lightning strike in my boss’ backyard is destroying all my hard work.