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Having two gateways for a network with two routers

I have a network with two routers with different IP addresses. One of the routers is for Internet access and the other makes a VPN connection to another location.

What should I do in order to allow a PC with Windows 2000/XP to access both locations (Internet and VPN) at the same time since Windows Network configuration doesn't allow for more than one gateway configured? Many thanks.

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The answer to your solution is quite simple.

You use one router for your VPN and the other for general Internet activities, so what you'll need to do is create multiple route entries in your Windows machine, so it knows when it should use either router.

The easiest way to achieve this would be to set as a gateway the router you use for your main Internet connection, and then use the following commands to pass all traffic related to your VPN through the VPN router:

'route –p add <vpn network> mask 255.255.255.0 <vpn router IP>'

You'll need to repeat this commands depending on the number of networks you need to contact through your VPN.

The -p option makes the route entry permanent, meaning that if you reboot your PC, these entries will still remain in your routing table so you don't need to retype them. <vpn network> refers to the VPN network you need to access, (e.g., 192.168.70.0), and the mask parameter is standard, assuming your networks are Class C type.

In closing, the <vpn router IP> is the IP address of your VPN router. I think that pretty much covers it. Remember that you'll need to create multiple entries for each VPN network you require to access!

Good luck.

This was first published in April 2005

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