How do I make Homegroup work with a VPN?
March 1, 2014 12:41 PM   Subscribe

Two laptops can see each other but not the desktop; the desktop cannot see or connect to the homegroup, or start a new one. One laptop and the desktop connect to the internet through a VPN.

I did google this, but in between the instructions like "Add a static route on the client use route print command" that I did not understand, and the people screaming at each other that doing this thing [techs] the [tech], defeating the purpose of a VPN (!), I am no wiser.

I have three computers:
  1. My desktop: running Win7, connected by ethernet, running a Private Internet Access VPN, and connected to an external media drive
  2. My daughter's new laptop I just took out of the box last night, running Win8, connecting by WiFi, and running a PIA VPN
  3. My son's laptop, running Win7, connecting by WiFi, no VPN
My daughter's laptop and my son's laptop can see each other on the homegroup. Neither can see the desktop on the homegroup, and the desktop cannot see either of them. We all can see each other on the network.

I ran the homegroup troubleshooter, which said, "This computer is connected to multiple networks. This configuration might cause incorrect or limited HomeGroup functionality. The best configuration for HomeGroup is to be connected to a network with the Home network location. Disconnecting any other networks might resolve the problem."
I changed the network location for the VPN on the desktop from work to home.
I started a new homegroup on the desktop, and when I attempt to join it, I get the error message: "Windows cannot set up a homegroup on this computer."

I know VPN doesn't prevent use of a homegroup, because my daughter's laptop and my son's laptop can connect. All the goodies are on my desktop, though, so I want to be able to share them -- if not through the homegroup, some other way? I definitely do not want to defeat the purpose of a VPN, at all.

Any ideas for me?
posted by pH Indicating Socks to Computers & Internet
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