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I'm a programmer a little rusty on my networking / server skills. Our company decided to move so I've had to put aside C# and Java for a bit in order to get them up and running. So at our new location we have a cable modem. I'm trying to setup the Windows 2003 server (a domain controller) to have VPN with NAT. Having a heck of a time getting it setup. The cable modem is connected to a Wireless router which works fine for wireless devices. But I'm having trouble with users logged into the domain. They can access the domain but not the internet. I'm sure i'm missing something simple. If anyone has any ideas I'm open.

What's the best way to configure a Windows 2003 Domain Controller to use a cable modem and a wireless router? Haven't connected the modem directly to the 2003 server yet but will try that next. But if I do, I'm not sure how the wireless router will need to be configured. The router can handle DHCP but if it's better to use the server for DHCP i'm willing to do that too.. Would love a step by step tutorial.. But then again, I'd like a 3 month vacation to Fiji too... I'll take whatever works!!!

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Is the entire scope of your network equipment just a cable modem and a wireless "router"? Where do your desktops come in (or do you all use laptops on the wireless)? Is your DC setup with DNS also? How many users/devices? I'm assuming your Dc has a private IP? –  Cypher Jun 30 '11 at 2:33
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3 Answers

This is a slightly more complex answer and makes some assumptions regarding the "typical" wireless router, domain controller, and network infrastructure found in the "typical" small office and your familiarity with such.

Connect the ethernet, LAN, or internal port (however it's labeled) on the cable modem to the internet, WAN, or external port (however it's labeled) on the wireless router. Connect the LAN port on the wireless router to a switch and connect all of the internal hosts to the same switch (including the server). For any wireless clients, simply connect them to the wireless network as you normally would. The wireless router is going to handle NAT for you (if it really is a router). It should also have a rudimentary firewall built in and should be configured to block all incoming connections and allow all outgoing connections by default. Disable the DHCP server on the wireless router. The modem shouldn't need any configuration but the router will in terms of ip addresses, internet connection type, SSID, wireless security, etc., etc.

Configure the server as the DHCP server and create a DHCP scope appropriate for your network. The server (if it's really a DC) should already have DNS installed and will have at least one zone, for your AD domain. Make sure to configure your DHCP scope options to assign the server as the DNS server for the DHCP clients. You can optionally assign the DNS suffix in the DHCP scope options but that shouldn't be neccessary if all of the clients are joined to the domain.

You can configure the RRAS service on the server and configure the wireless router to allow VPN passthrough but I would hold off on doing this until you've got the core networking services operational.

There could be quite a few variables that throw this answer off for you, but hopefully you'll get a general idea from this to put together a plan for getting everything configured.

I'm sure others will chime in on anything I missed and will post their answers for you as well.

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+1 and my guess is that if the wireless clients are working ok, then the DC and workstations are on the wrong subnet (but on the same broadcast domain, hence working AD) or the workstations have the wrong default gateway assigned either statically or via DHCP. –  gravyface Jun 30 '11 at 3:14
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Simple scenario - make your DC a DNS server if you haven't already (hopefully, you have.) Set all of the clients to use ONLY the DC as their DNS server. On the DC, use either forwarders or root hints to resolve the rest of the internet.

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It looks like you have two questions here:

I'm trying to setup the Windows 2003 server (a domain controller) to have VPN with NAT. Having a heck of a time getting it setup

I commented on your question with questions of my own. I might be able to help if you can elaborate a bit. Either way, you'll have to forward VPN ports on your wireless router to your DC so your DC can handle the VPN traffic.

The cable modem is connected to a Wireless router which works fine for wireless devices. But I'm having trouble with users logged into the domain. They can access the domain but not the internet. I'm sure i'm missing something simple. If anyone has any ideas I'm open.

You may want to ditch DHCP on the wireless router and use the Windows DHCP Server. It's a bit more robust than your average wireless router (though, I don't know what you have so that may or may not be true). Either way, there are two things you may be missing that is preventing users on the domain from accessing the internet: a default gateway, and dns servers.

In your DHCP server, make sure you are passing out a default gateway with the address of your wireless router, and also the address of whatever is serving DNS for you. If it's your domain controller, then hand out that address. If it's your wireless router, then hand that address instead.

You can check what these values are on your desktops by doing an ipconfig /all command from the command line. If you are missing one or either, or they are pointed to the wrong place, the "internet" won't work as expected. Look for Default Gateway and DNS Servers ip addresses. It should look something like this (this is a Windows 7 snapshot on my LAN):

Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection:

   Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . : irdev.local
   Description . . . . . . . . . . . : Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller
   Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 00-22-68-46-46-85
   DHCP Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : Yes
   Autoconfiguration Enabled . . . . : Yes
   Link-local IPv6 Address . . . . . : fe80::e0fe:f05a:ea7d:bb17%10(Preferred)
   IPv4 Address. . . . . . . . . . . : 10.0.10.0(Preferred)
   Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.0.0
   Lease Obtained. . . . . . . . . . : Wednesday, June 29, 2011 12:36:39 PM
   Lease Expires . . . . . . . . . . : Thursday, July 07, 2011 12:36:37 PM
   Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 10.0.0.2
   DHCP Server . . . . . . . . . . . : 10.0.1.1
   DHCPv6 IAID . . . . . . . . . . . : 234889832
   DHCPv6 Client DUID. . . . . . . . : 00-01-00-01-13-6D-44-E8-00-22-68-46-46-85
   DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . : 10.0.1.1
                                       10.0.1.2
   NetBIOS over Tcpip. . . . . . . . : Enabled
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