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Unable to Ping or Connect to Remote Computer Over VPN

Several months ago I asked for VPN access to my workplace in order to be able to connect via RDP to my work computer. For a while it there were no issues. Then suddenly one day it stopped working right. When trying access the machine by fully qualified domain name, Remote Desktop Connection returned an error saying it couldn't be found; when trying to connect via IP address I got the "Remote Desktop can't connect" error. The same happens when I attempt to ping that computer even though it is on and configured to allow connections from all versions of Remote Desktop Connection. Specifically I get "Request timed out" when trying to ping. Nevertheless I am able to log in to the VPN although IP Chicken still returns my normal external IP when I'm connected. The issue is not unique to that one computer. About the only one at work I can connect to is a public facing web server.

After opening a ticket with our campus IT people, the network manager was able to successfully ping my work computer via VPN over an AT&T mobile hotspot connection. He said the problem was a program on my home computer, but I cannot figure out why. Turning off Avast and Zone Alarm has not helped. Windows Defender and Firewall are off and Zonealarm is configured to allow the VPN into the trusted zone. I even restarted the Cisco VPN service to no avail.

This problem has occurred on both my laptop and desktop PC. They both run Windows 8.1, but the former is 64-bit and the latter is 32-bit while my work computer runs Windows 7 Enterprise. The client I am using is Cisco VPN version 5.0.05.0290. I installed it as instructed and have not changed any settings. I even checked the registry for a bug whereby one of the keys has the wrong name (it did not).

Does anyone have any suggestions? Could it be a Windows 8 compatibility issue? I know very little about VPNs and nothing about what system the University uses other than that it's made by Cisco.
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More about unable ping connect remote computer vpn
  1. Reinstalling the client did not help. I did the ShieldsUp! test on port 500 and it came back stealth. The same happened when I tested out "all common ports". Could my ISP, Cable One, be the issue? I may try to connect via a hotspot and see if that helps.
  2. Don't think its my ISP. Earlier I took my laptop to the public library and tried to VPN into work without success. Their ISP is AT&T. The client connected, but the statistics page said all packets were either being discarded or bypassed. This happens at home and to my PC as well. A colleague who also uses Cable One has not had any issues. Clearly something is wrong with my computer, but what? Any help would be appreciated. I used wireshark to capture some network traffic while connected to the VPN. Would posting the results help?
  3. You need to look at some logs from the router, but it looks like you are already checking things pretty well. Check if you have a restore point setup to a time before the issue started, the restore point will tell you what was installed at that time.
  4. Best answer
    It was Zonealarm. Merely disabling the firewall or configuring it to allow the Cisco VPN Client through was not enough; the program had to be removed. The mere presence of Zonealarm on my computer was evidently the source of the problem. I've successfully accessed my work computer from home over VPN. Looks like I'll have to make due with the Windows Firewall for now.
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