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Standard User rob_gee
(newbie) Mon 07-Dec-20 09:38:17
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VPN & Citrix connections dropping


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Hi,

I'm hoping someone can provide me with some guidance as to an issue I'm experiencing with working from home. My work laptop logs in to a virtual machine using Citrix. Up until the start of November, I could work from home with no issues (the odd interrupted connection but nothing too concerning). Overnight, I starting experiencing issues where the Citrix connection would be interrupted literally every couple of minutes, but all my other devices at home (phones, tablets etc) continued to work fine. I tried tethering my work laptop to my phone and I had no issues.

My work IT department gave me an alternative laptop to try but the same thing happened with that. They then gave me a laptop that did not use Citrix and that I had to log into using a VPN and again I had the same sort of issue (VPN connecting when connected to home broadband but working fine on phone data).

I have switched provider from Vodafone to Talktalk but the issue persists. Talktalk did send an engineer out last week but he said there was an outage somewhere which meant he was unable to run the tests he needed to but he would expect the problem should rectify itself when the outage was fixed - but it hasn't.

Based on what I can figure out, I think the problem must lie with the cables / junction box that are carrying the signal into my house but would be interested to hear if anyone more knowledgeable about such things has any suggestions. Should I be asking for another engineer visit and for them to check the external things? I assume as this is probably quite costly for the ISP's to do, they will be reluctant to do so but I can't see what other explanation there could be.

Many thanks in advance for any advice or suggestions
Standard User dect
(fountain of knowledge) Mon 07-Dec-20 09:46:01
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Re: VPN & Citrix connections dropping


[re: rob_gee] [link to this post]
 
If your other devices are unaffected are you sure the issue is at your end?
Standard User rob_gee
(newbie) Mon 07-Dec-20 09:59:08
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Re: VPN & Citrix connections dropping


[re: dect] [link to this post]
 
Thanks dect,

I'm sure insofar as our IT department insist that the issue isn't at the work end as they say I am the only person who is experiencing this issue and, certainly from a Citrix point of view, multiple users log on to the same machines so they say if it was at that end, it would be affecting more people than just myself.

My assumption (which isn't based on any specific knowledge) is that maybe the Citrix & VPN connections require a constant, good quality connection, whereas it isn't so noticeable with other devices if the connection loses quality for a few seconds.

Also, the fact that when I'm tethered to my mobile, I do not experience the issue does seem to back that up, but as I know so little about such things, it's hard for me to say with any degree of certainty.


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Standard User haydnwalker
(newbie) Mon 07-Dec-20 10:12:25
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Re: VPN & Citrix connections dropping


[re: rob_gee] [link to this post]
 
Is this the only device you VPN through?

Perhaps your router is blocking something?

If your "normal internet" on your devices carries on whilst your VPN drops, it points to a Firewall (likely your end) or VPN head-end issue (work end).

Oddly, I'm experiencing a similar issue with my work right now! VPN traffic stops (effectively cutting me off) but stays connected, and all other internet connected devices on the same network continue to work fine.

Out of interest, which VPN Client do you use on your work device? We are using Palo Alto Global Protect. I'm curious if you are using the same - so could it be a software issue?

Regards,
Haydn
Standard User dect
(fountain of knowledge) Mon 07-Dec-20 10:13:56
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Re: VPN & Citrix connections dropping


[re: rob_gee] [link to this post]
 
Makes sense

If you connect via the VPN are you able to do a constant ping to one of your company servers or desktops to see if you get any bad pings?

Edit: you could also try pinging say the BBC when you're not connect to the VPN so see if you get any bad pings

Edited by dect (Mon 07-Dec-20 10:17:05)

Standard User rob_gee
(newbie) Mon 07-Dec-20 10:19:22
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Re: VPN & Citrix connections dropping


[re: haydnwalker] [link to this post]
 
Hi Haydn,

Thanks for your response. Yes, this is the only device I VPN through, I did wonder whether I should look at getting a VPN for my home devices and see if the same thing happened but I'm reluctant to spend money on something just to test out a theory.

I guess it's possible that the router is blocking something but I've tried two different routers (the Vodafone and now the Talktalk one) and it's happening on both. In addition, everything worked fine for a good twelve months on the Vodafone one up until the start of November, and I didn't make any changes to the router in between it working fine and then having the issue,

It is Global Protect that we use as well so that's interesting, although I don't know what to do with that information!

Thanks again,
Rob
Standard User rob_gee
(newbie) Mon 07-Dec-20 10:23:32
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Re: VPN & Citrix connections dropping


[re: dect] [link to this post]
 
Thanks dect,

this is where my lack of knowledge probably exposes itself. When I log on to the VPN laptop, I can use Teams & emails etc without needing to connect to the VPN but if I want to do any SAS coding (which is what I need to do 90% of the time) and access the work data files, I have to connect to the VPN.

Once I am connected to the VPN, does that mean all my internet traffic will go through that, and if so I can try the ping suggestion?

Thanks,
Rob
Standard User jabuzzard
(committed) Mon 07-Dec-20 10:27:21
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Re: VPN & Citrix connections dropping


[re: rob_gee] [link to this post]
 
If you can I would try using your laptop on a wired ethernet connection to the router. That would a determination as to whether the problem is your internet connection or the WiFi.

Also if possible log onto your router and see if it can tell you the "showtime" for your connection. This is how long you have been connected to the cabinet. If this is low a matter of minutes or a handful of hours) then your internet connection is dropping then reconnecting with a good chance you get a new IP address each time (certainly the case with TalkTalk). Then as far as your work is concerned that's a new connection and your session get's dropped.

This is one area where a static IP address can help as you will get the same IP address every time so it masks the fact the connection broke
Standard User rob_gee
(newbie) Mon 07-Dec-20 10:36:10
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Re: VPN & Citrix connections dropping


[re: jabuzzard] [link to this post]
 
Thanks, I have tried both a wired and a wireless connection and get the same issue in both cases.

I will have a look at the 'showtime' later on today (I've had to come into the office to work due to the issues) but that sounds like a really good suggestion. If it is dropping and connecting with a new IP address, would you expect that I could set a static IP on the Talktalk router? And if so, is there a recommended way of establishing what static IP I should use?

Thanks all for your help so far, I do feel like I'm making progress and after weeks of what feels like being fobbed off by my ISPs and IT department, then it's really encouraging.
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Mon 07-Dec-20 10:53:11
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Re: VPN & Citrix connections dropping


[re: rob_gee] [link to this post]
 
The dropping connection should be obvious in normal use too, e.g. when streaming a film since the drops due to errors (when modem resyncs) are usually a minute or so long. Static IP won't help with that.

1. Check with Ethernet
2. Run two machines on Ethernet 1 pinging 1 site and work machine pinging same site, if they both drop pings at the same time its your connection somewhere, it might be the street box or it might be elsewhere.

This is very very basic and an IT department that has not got you doing that or similar checks is not a good IT dept

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
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