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I recently started working from home using a laptop (A) that connects to a corporate network over a VPN. The VPN end point (B) on the corporate side then has two ports, 3389 for RDP and 22 for ssh, open to my desktop (C) and is restricted from anything else. My desktop then has all the access I need for the corporate network (D).

My co workers typically VPN into the network, RPD into their desktops, and work from there. This is inefficient and I would like to avoid RDP and work on my laptop as if I were directly on the corporate network.

Is there a way to forward all traffic from my laptop through my desktop so my laptop acts as if it were directly on the corporate network like my desktop?

Network Diagram

  • Do you control (administer) the VPN endpoint (B)? Which VPN protocol is in use? – derobert Mar 30 '15 at 23:10
  • Sadly no. I can only ssh and rdp into (C). Everything else is blocked. – Zamicol Mar 31 '15 at 0:24
  • Do you have administrative rights on Work Desktop (C)? I'm thinking about nesting VPNs. – petry Mar 31 '15 at 10:32
  • I have full administrative rights on Work Desktop (C). – Zamicol Mar 31 '15 at 18:26
  • @Zamicol try having a OpenVPN server (bridged mode) on Work Desktop (C) and connect to it from a VM on Work Laptop (A), after connecting Cisco VPN. This should bridge your Work Desktop (C) to your VM. – petry Apr 1 '15 at 8:42
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From an IT standpoint, your VPN provider will have to push routes to your system to access the SAN or application servers the network is running. If RDP is pushed through another firewall or NAT, then you'll have to ask your system admin.

If your IT team is smart, their firewall may block traffic from the VPN network to the server network. Which is why they have it set up like this, or for bandwidth issues/high latency on the VPN network. For an example. If my corporate server network is 10.0.8.0/24 and my workstation network is 10.0.10.0/24, I'm guessing your IT team is using NAT to access the server network from the workstation network with a default gateway: D-0.0.0.0/0 G-10.0.10.1.

If your VPN network is 192.168.15.0/24, then a pushed route would need to be added from the corporate network.. ex: D-10.0.8.0/24 G-192.168.15.1

Also, VPN's are not good for raw file editing, like opening stuff in Excel, or running a low latency required application like Dentrix (a horrible piece of software I deal with everyday). RDP is probably the best solution for you. Ask if your IT team can mess with RemoteApp and set it up for you on your home laptop. This is much more efficient than a full blown desktop.

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