DirectAccess clients may be unable to connect when a static proxy is configured

Applies to: Windows Server 2012 R2 DatacenterWindows Server 2012 R2 EssentialsWindows Server 2012 R2 Standard

Symptoms


Consider the following scenario:

  • You have the Remote Access (DirectAccess) role installed on a Windows Server 2012 R2-based server.
  • Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 clients connect to this DirectAccess server for corporate connectivity when they are outside the corporate network.
  • You have a static proxy server that is configured on the DirectAccess clients.
  • The static proxy server is manually configured or is set by using Group Policy. The configuration may also be a static path of a .pac proxy configuration file. 

In this scenario, DirectAccess clients may be unable to connect to the DirectAccess server for corporate connectivity and may be stuck at a "Connecting" status. Removing the static proxy settings from the client and then restarting the client enables the DirectAccess client to be connected.

Cause


This issue occurs because the IP Helper service cancels the connection to the DirectAccess server as soon as it detects that there is a static proxy configured.

Workaround


To work around this issue, use one of the following methods.

Method 1

If you have DirectAccess clients that roam to locations where they will not be using a proxy server, you can use WPAD on your intranet to obtain a proxy setting for the clients. This enables the DirectAccess client not to use a proxy when the client is roaming and has to connect to the DirectAccess server.

Method 2

You can add an exception for the DirectAccess server in the advanced settings to skip the proxy for just the DirectAccess server address. For example, you could add directaccess.contoso.com as an exception for the DirectAccess server, or you could add *.directaccess.contoso.com if there are multiple DirectAccess servers.