If I am connected to a VPN, and go to my browser and enter an IP address as the URL, will it resolve to that address within the network I am VPN’ed to, or will it try to resolve it within the physical network I am connected to?
Unfortunately it’s impossible to answer this question in general. The answer depends on how the VPN is implemented and what routes it has installed in your computer.
If the IP address is in the same subnet as your computer, it’s very likely that you’ll connect to the machine on your local network. Beyond that, it’s really going to depend on how routes to your local network are configured as well as the configuration added by the VPN.
If you’re technically savvy, you can control this with the route command in Windows. You define what interface (VPN or physical LAN) is used for certain IP ranges.
Since you’re putting in the IP address and not a host name, there’s not really any resolution going on.
Now, there is routing happening. I’m assuming for this purpose, we’re talking about a public, route-able IP address and not one of the reserved local ranges (e.g., not part of 192.168.0.0/16). If the VPN is configured to only route local traffic to the VPN, then the IP would be routed through your local network and your non-vpn connection. If the VPN is configured to route all traffic through the VPN, then the traffic to the IP address would be routed through the VPN and out through its gateway.
But those are generally the two main routing options. There are ways to find out which it is, and there are more complex solutions too, but those are the two main ones.
It’s a local address in 10.0.0.x range.
When you are connected to the VPN, open a command prompt and run
It will show you what interface is the gateway for a netblock. You will see addresses listed from least specific (0.0.0.0) to most specific (255.255.255.255).
On this computer, I have Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client installed. (It’s the VPN client software we use.) One of the checkboxes under Preferences is to “Allow local (LAN) access when using VPN (if configured)”. I’ve never tried to print at home on this computer, but years ago, using a different VPN client, I used a similar option to print locally while remaining connected to the company via VPN.
Thanks for the answers. Just for the record, since I posted the question, from home I connected to my office servers over VPN and can reach a server using the IP address, no problem. On my home network there is nothing but 192.168.0.x so there is no conflict. So I imagine that most of the time this is not an issue for me. YMMV.
for the record, “resolve” was the wrong word. It was “route” he wanted to use in this question.
Resolving is DNS resolving, which is a different complication introduced by VPN’s. Does the DNS resolve locally, not via the VPN, or via the VPN ?(with the same answer, it depends, and YMMV as to whether you need to know ,or if the problems of wrongness is persistent or fleeting or 50/50 … )