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ICS .......yes or no

Posted on 2004-03-30
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Last Modified: 2010-04-13
I got exposed to ICS in a Windows ME environmnet about a year ago. It had been working perfectly in a small 7 member LAN for probably over a year. The office had to go to XP for third party vendor reasons. They had been using AOL as their ISP with no issues. When I took them (a small medical office) to XP. I wanted to be able to RAS in for remote admin tasks. I don't remember the exact issues but it appeared AOL and remote assistance did not get along. I was going to try pc anywhere, and a laundry list of other apps but that meant training for the staff. They did not pay me to do that.

Now I've taken them to w2k on their server. Their is no AOL. However, no it seems I'm having issues with ICS. The third party vendor rep told me that MS has just announced not to use ICS any longer.  I know there are always those for and against any particular product. However, this guy left me to believe that this was some kind of official annoucement albeit perhaps quite.

Can anyone suggest another product or 3 that performs the same function as ICS albeit 'better' in your mind.

Thanks
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Question by:Scott YeahRight
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Expert Comment

by:Pete Long
ID: 10716263
Proxy :)


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by:Pete Long
ID: 10716279
of couse if your using a DSL connection you could just get a swich/router
http://www.linksys.com/Products/product.asp?grid=34&scid=29&prid=561
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by:Pete Long
ID: 10716290
or use the microsoft official product ISA Server http://www.microsoft.com/isaserver/
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spareticus earned 250 total points
ID: 10716383
you can enable NAT using RRAS without paying any extra money
same functionality as ICS plus more granular configuration
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;310357
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=299801

not a firewall as ISA is, but will give you what you had with ICS

BTW, i have not heard anything offical that you should not use ICS, just always heard that NAT was a better choice for administrators that want more control
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Author Comment

by:Scott YeahRight
ID: 10717795
ok. This is a really basic question. But WHY does any office of this size NEED a hardware router? I'm not saying I disagree. I'm saying no  ones ever actually explained the details to me of WHY a hardware router is better than software routing via something such as  ICS in a small LAN environment.

I fundamentally understand it in a large enviroment I think. I would think its performance and security issue. Is this true? Perhaps its beyond a two or three paragraph response even for a simple explanation. I'd just like to understand it.
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by:spareticus
ID: 10723759
Performance is different between an operating system routing packets, and a piece of hardware designed only to route packets.
If you are going to have a server anyway, then you might as well save the cash and run RRAS on it if that gives you sufficient performance.
If this server will be exposed, then you would need to protect it with a firewall product, but you would want to do that for a router too.
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by:Pete Long
ID: 10723828
>>any office of this size NEED a hardware router

Im not saying you do, I have a router/switch/firewall at home yes i can use the functionality of the OS's on my servers to do two of those jobs, but having a peice of hardware do it for me adds another layer of security and stops me having a single point of failiure.

Pete
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