Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

+ Is it really less than a minute to get a new machine?

Yes, absolutely.  Try it out yourself!  That's where we shine.  We want you into a virtual machine in seconds. Use it how you want (except for unethical or illegal uses).  Install software, mess it up, delete c:\windows if you want.  It's yours to use how you see fit, and it's ready almost instantly.

+ Where did the name Vaasnet come from?

VAAS is a play on the cloud terminology SaaS (Software as a Service), IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), and PaaS (Platform as a Service). It stands for Virtualization as a Service. We're really closer to an IaaS model than Virtualization as a Service, but we like thinking of our services as offering virtualization services directly to you, which is where our name came from.

+ How do you pronounce Vaasnet?

We get asked sometimes how we pronounce our name. If you only read about us online then it's hard to know how to pronounce it.

We pronounce Vaas with the same vowel sound as the word "Vast", as in "The ways that Vaasnet can help you are Vast!" Of course you can pronounce it however you like and we'll still acknowledge you.

+ What if I have template suggestions?

We continue to grow our library on a regular basis.  If you have any suggestions on what you want next, we would love to hear from you. Connect with us through our social media channels on the right, or through our contact us page.

Connection Questions

+ Which firewall settings are required to access Vaasnet virtual machines?

There are two ways to access Vaasnet virtual machines. They are:

  1. Using RDP over TCP port 3389. This is the default connection method.
  2. Using the HTTP gateway over TCP port 443 (SSL). This is available as an easy dropdown choice when connecting to your virtual machine.

It is unusual for network environments to block both of these outgoing ports, but if they do then have your network administrators open either outgoing TCP port 3389 or outgoing TCP port 443 for your computer.

You can obtain the destination IP address of your virtual machine from the virtual machine management pages after creating a virtual machine. If you need to know a range of destination IP addresses for classrooms with multiple machines, please contact our support team.

+ Why can't I connect to my virtual machine

There a few things you can check if you do run into problems connecting to your virtual machine:

Confirm Virtual Machine Status

By default, your virtual machine will auto-pause when not in use. This is one of the features that Vaasnet provides. This can be changed of course, but the default is to auto-pause after a period of inactivity. If you have been idle for a while and you can no longer connect to your virtual machine then check the management page to see if it has paused. 

Confirm Network Connectivity

Next, check network connectivity. Try pinging the virtual machine to confirm that you receive a response. You can do this by obtaining the virtual machine's public IP address from the server's management page. From the command line, type "ping {machine ip}". If you don't receive a successful ping response then confirm that the machine hasn't auto-paused.

If you receive a successful response then the machine is accessible from least at the network level. Continue with the following troubleshooting steps. 

Confirm RDP Access

If you receive an error that you're unable to connect to the virtual machine then you may be blocked at the firewall. The easy option to try is to use the RDP Gateway option from the dropdown option under the connect button in the server management page. That may be necessary in your network.

If you are still unable to connect then check the other FAQ question regarding firewall ports if you would like more details on that.

You can confirm RDP Access with a telnet test to see if you have access to port 3389. Follow these steps to do so:

  • Make sure that you have telnet installed. Since Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, all client and server Windows operating systems don't have the telnet client installed by default. You can add it from Programs and Features (Server Manager on Windows Server). It's a feature called Telnet Client.
  • Obtain the virtual machine's assigned public IP from the server manager page.
  • From the command line type Telnet {your assigned IP} 3389 (for example: telnet 1.1.1.1 3389)
  • If you immediately see a blank screen, then that's a good thing and it means that your network (ISP or corporate network) allows port 3389.
  • However, if you eventually receive a timeout, then your network doesn't allow traffic over port 3389. Talk to your administrator about allowing you to use port 3389.
  • We also support RDP over HTTPS, which uses port 443. You can perform the same test by use 443 instead of 3389.

If you confirm that port 3389 is available but you cannot connect, then try downloading a new RDP file from the server management page (with the Connect button). That will confirm that you are using the latest public IP for your virtual machine. It is possible that the IP address changed.

Confirm Credentials

If you receive an error after entering your credentials then you may have an issue with the username and password. If you are using the RDP file provided from the Connect button then the username should have been pre-filled out correctly. Confirm the password and try again.

If you upgraded your virtual machine to be a domain controller than the username will change. Prefix the username with the new domain, or you could try prefixing it with a dot (.) instead, so that the username looks like .\username.

Mac and iPad users

If you are on a Mac or iPad then you may have an Remote Desktop Connection client that is outdated or that is not compatible with Windows servers. Try searching for the latest Microsoft Remote Desktop client and use that instead. At the time of this writing the latest version which has been confirmed to work for Mac users is: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id714464092?mt=8.

Restart or get a new machine

Windows itself can fail occasionally, so as a last resort you can try restarting the machine from the server management page. 

It's unusual, but on the rare occasion there is a bad virtual machine released to production. If you just obtained the virtual machine and you don't have anything important on it (e.g. you haven't logged in yet), then just delete the machine and grab a new one. That will confirm that it's not an issue with the virtual machine itself.

At any point you can contact our support at support@vaasnet.com and we would love to help troubleshoot this with you.

Billing Questions

+ How are you different than Amazon AWS or Microsoft Azure

You may ask why our pricing is a different model than Amazon's AWS services, or Microsoft Azure.

We offer a different service than those cloud providers. Generally speaking, most cloud providers target long running hosted virtual machines. It's a lengthy process to get up and going and you can't easily save the current state of a machine. This is improving over time with many cloud providers, but it's still more effort than the quick and painless functionality that Vaasnet provides.

Vaasnet targets the training, demo, or testing situation where you log into a virtual machine for a period of time, whether that's minutes or hours. We enable you to easily save or delete the machine. With our per-minute billing increments, you only pay for what you really use.

Some key benefits and uses that Vaasnet has over the other cloud providers are:

  • Get into a new or saved machine in under a minute with minimal friction
  • Persistent machines work like a regular server without requiring cloud storage to maintain state
  • You can save state and pick up exactly where you left off
  • We target a testing, demo, or workstation type situation rather than a web server
  • Can be used for testing, training, development, demos and much more
  • Offers powerful classroom functionality for instructors and students
  • Offers account sharing for corporate accounts
  • Support auto-pausing just in case you walk away and forget that you have a running machine. Just like a screen saver.

The pricing is different too because of the usage type and the power of the standard configuration. In most cases you will pay less for a Vaasnet machine than you will for the other cloud providers because of the auto-saving, instant-on, and convenience of easy starts, saves, and restores. 

We hope that the differences become obvious after you use Vaasnet for yourself.

+ When will I be billed?

You will be billed on the 30-day anniversary of your initial signup. Your charges will accumulate throughout the month and whatever is outstanding as of the anniversary date will be billed to your credit card on file.

You can see the amount outstanding from the Your Account section of the website.

+ Do you offer a trial account?

We don't offer a trial account, but our billing is per-minute with no minimum,, so you can start a virtual machine, use it for 5 minutes and, depending on the virtual machine type, it will cost about 8 cents. Use it for an hour and it's less than a dollar, so there's minimal cost to trying Vaasnet to see if it works well for you.

Furthermore, we won't charge your credit card for less than a dollar, so if at the end of the month you don't have a dollar accumulated, we won't bill you that month.

Of course we hope that you fall in love and use Vaasnet a lot, but we will support you whether it's for a brief one time situation or regular usage.

+ Do I receive an invoice?

Yes, when your billing date arrives your card will be charged and you'll receive an email invoice. Full details of the usage is available online so that you can see a detailed breakdown of usage and storage charges.

+ Can I cancel whenever I want?

Absolutely. If you delete all of your virtual machines you won't receive any charges and your account will remain open for next time you want to use a virtual machine again.

If you want to completely shut down your account just send an email to support@vaasnet.com from your valid email address and we will take care of this for you.

Technical Questions

+ Which operating systems does Vaasnet work with?

You can use Vaasnet with any operating system that can connect to a Remote Desktop Connection over the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). This includes the major operating systems and many mobile phones.

To use our automatic connection option you need to be using Windows, Mac, or some Linux operating systems. If you are using a phone or a different operating system then you can simply use your favorite RDP program and connect using the IP address, username and password.

The beauty of this system is that you can perform full server or workstation functions on devices like an iPad or tablet device.

+ How can I copy files to my virtual machine?

There are a few ways to copy files from your local computer to a Vaasnet virtual machine.  

  1. Our favorite for small to mid-sized copies is using RDP File copy, a feature that many people aren't aware of but is available in the recent RDP versions.  Simply select the files you want to copy, press Ctrl-C, highlight the location on the server, and press Ctrl-V.
  2. Edit your RDP file to support drive mapping. This will map your local hard drive on the virtual machine and allow you to use your favorite copy methods, like Windows Explorer, the command line, etc.  Note that that may slow down your virtual machine somewhat so it's not always the best default. Following are the steps to perform this option:
    • When you click 'connect' to the Vaasnet Virtual Machine, save the .RDP file to disk
    • Right-click on the file and edit
    • Select the Local Resources tab
    • Click More
    • Expand the drives
    • Select your local drive
    • Click OK
    • Connect
    • In the Virtual Machine, your My Computer will show the new shared drive, as shown in the images below.
  3. You can use Dropbox, Skydrive, or some other public storage to use as a staging area.
  4. You can setup an FTP account on the server or use your favorite file copy solutions between your computer and the virtual computer.

+ What is the ServiceAdmin account for?

There is an account on the virtual machines called ServiceAdmin which is an administrative account used by Vaasnet for management purposes.  The primary and most important way that we use this is to inject your user account into your virtual machine when it's first given to you.  It's also used for us to determine the idle timeout so that we can automatically pause your server after a period of non-use, if you so choose. 

If you have security requirements that don't allow our management access, that's no problem. You can remove this account and have a server completely isolated to yourself. However, this will break the auto-pause functionality, but it will not prevent normal operation of the virtual machine.