How to protect a computer over VPN


Retrospect for Windows and Retrospect for Mac both support protecting computers over a VPN. It requires the correct networking setup and workflow within Retrospect.


The Retrospect engine must be able to reach the client:

  • Ensure port 497 is open.

  • Find the direct IP of the client computer.

  • To ensure the computer is protected moving forward, configure the VPN software to assign a static IP to the computer.

Setup Steps

  • Go to Clients.

  • Add client via "Direct IP".


  • Try to "ping" the computer from the engine computer

  • Double check the IP you typed within Retrospect is the same as the direct IP of the computer.

  • Testing from the engine side:

    telnet <machine IP> 497
  • If it connects, you will get a black screen, press control and the ']' key (that is the right square bracket character) to exit.

  • If it does not, you will get a message similar to:

    Could not open connection to the host, on port 497: Connect failed
  • Note: Telnet is not installed on Windows by default. To install it from the command line, enter:

    pkgmgr /iu:"TelnetClient"
  • For more troubleshooting ideas, see Why is Retrospect communicating with address

Last Update: October 9, 2017