How to troubleshoot connections (maybe dns)

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http://forums.opensuse.org – Hi everyone. It's been a long time since I used linux and what little I learned from my first shop bought box of suse, is well and truly forgotten :( here's my problem, I hope someone can help. In the country in which I live, the predominant way of connecting to the Internet is via a pptp vpn. Basically, the ISP runs an Ethernet cable to your apartment that plugs directly into your router or PC (in my case PC, my router just died)This provides access to the 'local LAN and hence local resources. These I can connect to via my browser (firefox) without an Internet connection. My problem, since installing opensuse 11.2 KDE, is that I can connect to the local resources when I'm not connected via the pptp vpn to the Internet but as soon as I establish an Internet connection, I cannot. Under Windows and other distros I've tried, this has never been an issue, usually I can connect to either local or Internet resources, interchangeably. In a nutshell, I don't know how to troubleshoot this, so any ideas would be most helpful. Thanks (Distributions)