All, here are some very helpful tips about VPN stability and interfering devices to be aware of:
VPN connectivity can be unstable for many reasons. Here are a few:
- The #1 interfering cause these days is web filters in people’s homes. While useful, even critical, many of these filters view VPN connections as possibly bad. If you use anything like Disney Circle, Bark, etc. You will want to log into your web config page for your filter and make an exception for VPN traffic. Some ISPS’s even have their own web filtering upstream to be aware of (SafeLink Internet comes to mind).
- If using a laptop wirelessly at home, be aware that many laptops will put the wireless network card in your laptop to sleep when you close the lid, leave it inactive for a while, or stop typing for extended periods of time. When the wireless network card goes to sleep, the VPN connection will drop.
- Internet web browsers are resilient to random disruption, distance from device weakness, a quick drop into sleep mode, etc. You may have a slightly unstable wireless home Internet and not even notice if all your doing is web browsing. VPN’s are real-time and while they do have timeout settings, a VPN connection can reveal inherent low-level instabilities in your home network. A quick method to check is to open a command window on your Windows device and type the following command: ping -t 220.127.116.11 this will start an endless ping to a google server. If you see any “request timed out” message, there is some instability somewhere along the chain from your home Wi-Fi, your Internet Service Provider(ISP), or their upstream provider. To end the endless ping, hit the Control key and the C key at the same time.
A best practice to protect yourself from lost work is to do the following:
- Open a VPN session
- Launch remote desktop Connection app
- Enter the Full-qualified Domain Name (FQDN) aka, computer name of your PC at work in the “connect To” field.
- Perform ALL work through the remote desktop app on your actual desktop at work.
This will then keep a work sessions as stable as if you were actually physically at work.
If you need any assistance finding out what the FQDN for your work PC is, or how to launch the remote desktop connection app, please contact your school tech.