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Knowledge document #343

Cannot access shared files or printers over a VPN connection

Although IP communication with network devices in the remote FRITZ!Box network is possible over the VPN connection, for example via ping, you cannot access shared files or printers in the remote FRITZ!Box network.

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 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 "Permit Access" in the "Internet" menu.
  3. Click on 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.

3 Restarting the FRITZ!Box

You may be temporarily unable to correctly establish the VPN connection due to an error with the FRITZ!Box or your 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 Correcting the Windows network settings

Perform the following step on all Windows computers:

Windows 11

  1. Click (Start) and then (Settings) in the Windows task bar.
  2. Click "Network & Internet" in the "Settings" menu.
  3. Click "Advanced network settings".
  4. Click "More network adapter options" in the section "Related settings".
  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 "OK" to save the settings.

Windows 10

  1. Click (Start) and then (Settings) in the Windows task bar.
  2. Click "Network & Internet" in the "Settings" menu.
  3. Click "Change adapter options" in the section "Advanced network settings".
  4. Click the arrow next to the (Change view) button in the menu bar and select "Details".
  5. Right-click the connection that lists the (wireless or LAN) network adapter that connects the computer to the FRITZ!Box under "Device Name".
  6. Click "Properties".
  7. Enable the "Client for Microsoft Networks" and the "File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks".
  8. Click "OK" to save the settings.

5 Configuring the Windows firewall

By default, the Windows firewall prevents access to shared files and printers over a VPN connection between two FRITZ!Boxes. 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 firewall

  1. Configure the firewall on the computer 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.