Q

To set up a VPN server, do you need two NIC cards?

To set up a VPN server, do you need two NIC cards? Find out the answer to this and how to fix disconnects in this Q&A with Sampath Ramaswami.

To set up a VPN server, is it helpful or necessary to have two NIC cards on the VPN server?

Also, I can connect but always lose the connection after two minutes or so. What would be the cause of the frequent disconnects? I also noticed that my Internet connection doesn't work sometimes after I connect to the remote desktop. Could this problem be related? The server is XP Pro and the clients, Home and 2000.

Assuming you really mean to set up a server and not a client, yes, a VPN server should generally always have two NIC cards for enhanced security and performance: one inside and one outside. The inside NIC connects to the internal LAN, while the outside NIC is the one that will connect to the WAN. This is regardless of whether it's an appliance or a MS server running a VPN service.

As for the disconnects, it sounds like your IP stack is being reset; probably due to the VPN dropping. Check for timeout values especially in your DHCP lease configuration but also for inactivity. If all looks normal, try logging on everything you are using and if it doesn't support verbose logging, place a sniffer inline to help ascertain what is calling for the disconnect.

This was first published in July 2007

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