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Printing to Network Printer while connected via VPN

Last response: in Networking
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October 27, 2011 3:42:22 PM

Hello,
I am using Open-VPN to connect directly to our server at our office. We have a main network printer at the office that everyone uses. While hardwired, I added the printer to my laptop. When I am at the office, either wired or wirelessly, I can print to the printer. When I try to print from home, the printer never opens, it is unable to connect. Is there a way to access a network printer when logging in remotely through VPN?
October 27, 2011 4:14:07 PM

What type of printer is it, and how is connected, directly to the network or through a print server?

Are you able to work with the office network from home? Meaning can you open files or programs across the VPN?

What are the office and home network IP's? (ex 192.168.0.x)?
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October 27, 2011 4:26:55 PM

Jantech said:
What type of printer is it, and how is connected, directly to the network or through a print server?

Are you able to work with the office network from home? Meaning can you open files or programs across the VPN?

What are the office and home network IP's? (ex 192.168.0.x)?


It is a RICOH Aficio MP C4000 PCL 5c. It is set up as an IP printer with our server's IP address and I believe it does come through a print server . I have no issues accessing everything else, programs, files, etc. We have a static IP address that we use to connect to VPN and then a server IP address that we used to create the paths to the shared folders that I use. I don't know my home IP address by memory. The printer shows up when I am working at home, it just can't connect. I get the "Opening" message and then "Unable to connect" message.
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October 27, 2011 4:55:58 PM

I think it could be an issue with DNS, meaning if your printer is setup with a host name and not an IP address your computer at home being on a different network will have trouble resolving the host name.
The thing we would need to know if it is setup with an IP address or host name.
You can go to the control panel
go to printers
go to printer properties
go to the ports tab
What is check off there?
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October 27, 2011 5:03:55 PM

Jantech said:
I think it could be an issue with DNS, meaning if your printer is setup with a host name and not an IP address your computer at home being on a different network will have trouble resolving the host name.
The thing we would need to know if it is setup with an IP address or host name.
You can go to the control panel
go to printers
go to printer properties
go to the ports tab
What is check off there?


Right, it is set up with an IP address.
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October 27, 2011 8:36:04 PM

Well that rules out DNS. There could be a firewall at your work that is blocking it
Try and PING it from your house.
Open a command prompt, click on start, click run (or type run for vista or 7), type CMD
in the command window type ping "space" then the IP address of your printer at the office.
Does it time out or come back?
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October 28, 2011 3:12:14 AM

Jantech said:
Well that rules out DNS. There could be a firewall at your work that is blocking it
Try and PING it from your house.
Open a command prompt, click on start, click run (or type run for vista or 7), type CMD
in the command window type ping "space" then the IP address of your printer at the office.
Does it time out or come back?


It comes back. By the way, thanks for helping! :) 
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October 28, 2011 12:20:03 PM

That is interesting, the only other thing I can think of is something is blocking the traffic.

There are a few places where it could be being blocked,
1. The VPN Firewall at your office
If you have another laptop to try on this would eliminate this as a problem, if it works on another laptop then you know it's something with your computer or your home equipment
2. The Networking equipment at your house (not very likely)
You can try and print on the VPN at somewhere like starbucks, this would eliminate any home equipment
3. A Firewall on your computer
You can disable the firewall on your computer and see if it prints
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November 4, 2011 2:03:09 AM

I was able to resolve the issue. I was attempting to add it via IP the wrong way. Thanks for the help!
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February 7, 2013 6:56:27 PM

jmarnold30 said:
I was able to resolve the issue. I was attempting to add it via IP the wrong way. Thanks for the help!


ARG! I feel like I'm 1:45 into the movie and it stopped. ;-)

So what was the wrong way and what was the right way? I'm having the same problem and I'm evidently still doing it the wrong way.
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March 6, 2014 11:39:07 AM

jmarnold30 said:
Hello,
I am using Open-VPN to connect directly to our server at our office. We have a main network printer at the office that everyone uses. While hardwired, I added the printer to my laptop. When I am at the office, either wired or wirelessly, I can print to the printer. When I try to print from home, the printer never opens, it is unable to connect. Is there a way to access a network printer when logging in remotely through VPN?


Usually, the culprit here is going to be that the 'Use default gateway on remote network' box is checked in the VPN properties. In order to fix this:

1. Right-click on your VPN connection and choose 'Properties'
2. Click on the 'Networking' tab, highlight the IPv you're using (probably IPv4) and click on the 'Properties' button
3. Click the 'Advanced' button
4. Under the 'IP Settings' tab, uncheck the 'Use default gateway on remote network' box
5. Click OK on all boxes until you're closed out of the VPN properties
6. If your VPN was connected, disconnect and re-connect for the change to take place

After you've done this, as long as your computer knows what credentials to use locally to reach the printer (it will want to default to use your VPN credentials), you should be able to connect to and print from that printer.
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!