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Best way to connect to a remote computer through the internet??

Posted on 2003-03-03
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Last Modified: 2013-11-21
WHat are the different(only) options I could have if during the working day I wanted to leave my home computer on and access certain files on it from my work computer?

My home computer is connected to the internet via an ADSL line but it behind a router using NAT as well as an easily configurable firewall.

My work computer is behind a firewall which can easily be configured to let outgoing connections etc.

Id like to have as much functionality on my home pc as possible but want to be secure.

I.E. id like to control the desktop if possible but access to files/folders would also be beneficial.

Home computer runs both W2K server and WinXP and i dont care which OS i have to use to connect to(i.e. if one is better/more secure for this then I will use that one)

I also have pcAnywhere if that helps.

Would I need to set up a VPN (have never done this before)?
What configuiration options do i need?

Thanks for the help...any resources also appreciated..
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Question by:mistajjj
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16 Comments
 

Expert Comment

by:anco
ID: 8056590
I think you could manage this problem by using port forwarding.
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:GeneriK
ID: 8057107
mistajjj, your best option is to do as follows:

Configure Terminal Services to run on your home PC (Windows 2000 Server, right?. Start the serivce from Control Panel, Admin Tools, Services - and configure it from Admin Tools, Terminal Services Configuration and Manager.

You will need to know the hostname or IP address of your PC so you can connect to it from work. Run ipconfig from the command prompt before you leave home and write down you IP address. Then when you come to connecting from work, you need to have Terminal Services Client. This is available for download from here: http://downloads-zdnet.com.com/3000-2178-10179939.html?tag=just_in

Then, set up a file share on your home PC. Do a "Properties" on a chosen directory, and click "Sharing". Ensure that the user you want to use to connect can read and write to the share. To connect to this share from work, you need to do the following: map a network drive (My Computer, Tools) to \\your_ip_address\share_name and click "different user name". Here you must enter a valid user logon for your home PC. You may have to enter your IP address followed by a backslash before your username when you do this, e.g. "10.68.14.2\Admin"

Now you can control your desktop, and transmit data from your office.
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LVL 9

Assisted Solution

by:MSGeek
MSGeek earned 280 total points
ID: 8057163
I see this question a lot on EE.  You may want to read through this PAQ: http://www.experts-exchange.com/Networking/Broadband/Q_20473763.html
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Author Comment

by:mistajjj
ID: 8057540
OK thanks Generik,
My PC is behind a router that uses NAT however. So the actual Ip address of my PC is 192.168.1.12 which wont be routable from the internet .
Will your method still work?
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LVL 51

Accepted Solution

by:
Netman66 earned 280 total points
ID: 8057633
You'll need to use a Dynamic DNS service (like dyndns.com) to be able to find your ISP-assign IP address (this keeps changing) and be able to "hit" your router.  From there you should use port forwarding so the router forwards traffic bound to a certain port to your internal host.

If using pcAnywhere - you'll need to go to Symantec and find out what ports your version uses.  If using Terminal Services or XP's remote desktop sharing - go to Microsoft to find out those ports.

You could also use VPN to your server through the router.

All options require you to know what IP address your ISP has given your connection to them.  SInce this is constantly changing (unless you have been issued a static IP) you'll need to enlist the help of a dynamic DNS provider.  A small application is loaded that communicates to this provider so it can track the IP of your connection.  You then connect through that provider by DNS name so it can find your PC connection.

Hope that helps.
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:MSGeek
ID: 8057673
>> My PC is behind a router that uses NAT however. So the actual Ip address of my PC is 192.168.1.12 which wont be routable from the internet .
Will your method still work?

All this is addressed in the Post I referred you to.
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Author Comment

by:mistajjj
ID: 8057802
Ok thanks guys i will go through this tonight and post a reply as soon as possible, probably tomorrow
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LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:Adam Leinss
ID: 8058589
I like Remotely Anywhere (http://www.remotelyanywhere.com/).  Allows me to remote control the desktop, chat and transfer files over SSL (Secure Socket Layer) from work securely.  Also, you only need a web browser on the client end to get all of this functionality. Goes for $99.
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:GeneriK
ID: 8058614
Terminal Services Advanced Client provides this functionality - so does VNC, which is GPL and available for free.
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Expert Comment

by:falban
ID: 8059697
Don't bother paying for anything.  I use Terminal Services on Windows 2000 and it works like a charm.  Easy way to allow it through your firewall is to allow port 3389 through to the computer you want to access remotely (althought that does open up a hole).  
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LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:Adam Leinss
ID: 8059699
You cannot transfer files over VNC natively...also VNC is not secure unless you tunnel through ZebeDee or other tunneling protocol.
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LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:Adam Leinss
ID: 8059713
But...if you use VNC over VPN, then it is secure...but you still won't be able to transfer files unless you have some type of FTP server runninong on the other end.
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:MSGeek
ID: 8059763
Will you guys stop arguing, the guy said he is going to get back tomorrow:
"Ok thanks guys i will go through this tonight and post a reply as soon as possible, probably tomorrow "
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LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:Adam Leinss
ID: 8060487
MSGeek: Please post concerns to the Community Support forum.

Thank you.
0
 

Expert Comment

by:Mooligan
ID: 8089833
I currently use Radmin on a daily basis. Its a small application similar to VNC but I find Radmin to be much faster. Radmin also has FTP transfers built right in.

The process for getting it going is pretty simple.
1. Install Radmin at home. Set the Radmin Server to run as a service when you start windows, also set a password for connections
2. Either make a note of the default port that i uses, or select any port you like, lets say 5905
3. To make your IP 192.168.1.12 visible to the internet go into your router and forward port 5905 TO 5905 TCP and enter your local IP there, 192.168.1.12
4. Take note of your real IP, not local (www.whatismyip.com), as well as the port you selected, and take it to work

That is all you need to do from home. Now from work
1. Install Radmin
2. Launch the Radmin Viewer
3. Enter IP, Port
4. Click connect
If you successfully get past your work router and through your home router to your PC running the radmin service you should now be prompted for your password and your in!

Notes: Radmin can be downloaded at www.famatech.com (at the time i wrote this it appears there site is down, google search also returned a www.radmin.com, which it didn't used to be)

Your setup sounds identical to mine, I am running ADSL and you have to be aware that its not a 100% static IP address. A good way around this is to have your hostname recorded (as this never changes). So if you get to work one day and can't connect, try pinging your hostname, and sure enough you might see that the IP changed. From home, from a command prompt you can type PING LOCALHOST to get your hostname.
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:paullamhkg
ID: 9212148
No comment has been added lately, so it's time to clean up this TA.
I will leave a recommendation in the Cleanup topic area that this question is to:

Points split between Netman66 and MSGeek

Please leave any comments here within the next seven days.

PLEASE DO NOT ACCEPT THIS COMMENT AS AN ANSWER!

Paul
EE Cleanup Volunteer
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