Interesting use for Virtual PC and networking

I regularly get questions from people asking about setting up VPN software inside of a virtual machine – however lately I have had reason to do the opposite.  Microsoft provides VPN support so that employees can connect to the corporate network from home – and this is something that I do quite regularly.  Unfortunately – doing so disrupts any long downloads / uploads that I might be doing (and given that I have family in Australia I regularly am sending / receiving large files over a very slow connection).

Now – I could setup the VPN client in a virtual machine (and have done this before) – but the reality is that I want the majority of the programs I am running to be connected to the corporate network – so this would not be efficient.  So what I have started doing is to have a virtual machine that I do the file transfers from while I use VPN on the host to do my work.

Virtual PC works at a low enough layer in the network that it is not affected by the VPN connects / disconnects – and I can easily use shared folders / drag and drop to get files in and out of the virtual machine.

All in all I have been quite happy with this solution.