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Cannot access files and printers over VPN

You cannot access shared files and printers or other services in the remote FRITZ!Box network over a VPN connection.

Simply proceed as described below. After each measure, check whether the problem is solved.

Note:All instructions on configuration and settings given in this guide refer to the latest FRITZ!OS for the FRITZ!Box.

1 Using an IP address to access shared files and printers

You can only access shared files and printers over a VPN connection if you address the devices in the remote FRITZ!Box network using their IP addresses:

2 Checking IP communication over a VPN connection

Ping to check whether IP communication with devices in the remote FRITZ!Box network is generally possible over the VPN connection:

  1. Open the command prompt or the Terminal:
    • Windows: Press the keyboard shortcut Windows key + R. Enter cmd in the field and click "OK".
    • macOS: In the Finder, click "Applications" and then "Utilities", and start the Terminal.
    • Linux: Press the keyboard shortcut CTRL + ALT + T.
  2. Enter ping followed by the IP address of a device started in the remote network (for example ping 192.168.10.20) and press Enter.
  3. Check whether the ping was successful. This is the case if messages like "Reply from [IP address]: bytes..." or "64 bytes from..." are displayed.
  4. If the ping is not successful, IP communication with the remote network is ´not possible. Follow the instructions in the corresponding guide:

3 Restarting the FRITZ!Box

You may be temporarily unable to correctly establish the VPN connection due to an error in the FRITZ!Box or its internet connection. Therefore, restart the FRITZ!Box so that it reinitializes the firewall and re-establishes the internet connection:

  1. Click "System" in the FRITZ!Box user interface.
  2. Click "Backup" in the "System" menu.
  3. Click on the "Restart" tab.
  4. Click the "Restart" button.

4 Allowing NetBIOS for a VPN connection

The following step is only necessary if you connected your FRITZ!Box with a different FRITZ!Box network (LAN-LAN linkup) or a company's VPN:

  1. Click "Internet" in the FRITZ!Box user interface.
  2. Click on "Permit Access" in the "Internet" menu.
  3. Click the "VPN" tab.
  4. Click the (Edit) button for the respective VPN connection.
  5. Enable the option "Allow NetBIOS over this connection (for Microsoft Windows file and printer sharing)".
  6. Click "OK" to save the settings and on the FRITZ!Box, confirm that the procedure may be executed if asked to do so.

5 Adjusting the Windows settings

Perform the following step on all Windows computers:

Adjusting the Windows network settings

  1. Click (Start) and then (Settings) in the Windows task bar.
  2. Click "Network & Internet" in the "Settings" menu.
  3. If you are using Windows 11:
    1. Click "Advanced network settings".
    2. Click "More network adapter options" in the section "Related settings".
  4. If you are using Windows 10:
    1. Click "Change adapter options" in the section "Advanced network settings".
    2. Click on the arrow next to the (Change view) button in the menu bar and select "Details".
  5. Right-click the network adapter that connects the computer to the FRITZ!Box.
  6. Click "Properties".
  7. Enable the "Client for Microsoft Networks" and the "File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks".
  8. Click on "OK" to save the settings.

Adjusting the Windows firewall

By default, the Windows firewall prevents access to shared files and printers over a VPN connection between two FRITZ!Box networks (LAN-LAN linkup). To allow access, configure the following settings on your Windows computer:

  1. In the Windows task bar, click (Start) and then "Windows Security" or "All apps" and then "Windows Security".
  2. Click "Firewall & network protection" in the menu "Windows Security".
  3. Click "Advanced settings" and click "Yes" in the window "Do you want to allow this app to make changes to your device?".
  4. In the window "Windows Defender Firewall with Advanced Security", click on "Inbound Rules".
  5. Double-click the entry "File and Printer Sharing (SMB-In)" for the profile "Private".
  6. In the window "File and Printer Sharing (SMB-In) Properties", click the "Scope" tab.
  7. Click the "Add..." button in the section "Remote IP address".
  8. Enter the IP network (subnet) of the remote FRITZ!Box (for example 192.168.10.0) in the "This IP address or subnet" field.
  9. Click "OK" and then "OK" again to save the settings.

6 Configuring the device's firewall

  1. Configure the firewall on the device to allow communication via the SMB (Server Message Block) protocol. Refer to the manufacturer of the firewall for information on how to set it up, for example consult the manual.