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Remote Desktop Connection Problems with connecting by Dialup

I have a network at work using a LINKSYS Router. I have successfully set it up so that I can connect to through remote computer by any of the computers that are in the network. The reason I am setting this up is to be able to connect to a work computer from home using my laptop. All the computers at work have Windows XP Pro. I will be connecting to the internet by dialup and also a wireless network using my laptop. I have read numerous help files, and it continues to tell me to connect  but I have to have VPN server or a remote access server. I do not know what these are or how to set this up.
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npayne
Asked:
npayne
2 Solutions
 
dis1931Commented:
They will need to be setup at work...unless you are a network admin at your job then you will not have access to do this.  I would consult the IT department or MIS to find out if they already have VPN or RAS setup on the network.

Dis
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npayneAuthor Commented:
I am the IT Dept. We are a very small business. We do not have a VPN or RAS setup on the network.
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jodypeetCommented:
Remote desktop works on port 3389 by default. To get it to work from outside all you need is.
1. The client (target machine) to accept RDP calls. In XP go to properties of my computer, remote tab, tick the box "allow users to connect remotely" this will allow the administrator to connect, you can add other users if you wish.
2. Port 3389 open through your firewall, and redirected to the target machine, be it a workstation or server.
3. on the laptop open the remote desktop connection and point it at your outside IP address for work, or if you have an mx record you could point it at mail.yourcompany.com

The reason why people suggest vpn or ras is it is more secure, and a good idea, but it is not absolutely necessary.
 
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npayneAuthor Commented:
Okay you lost me after #1.

What do you mean port 3389 etc.?

2. Port 3389 open through your firewall, and redirected to the target machine, be it a workstation or server.

How do I figure out what the  "outside IP address for work" is? I don't know what a "mx record" is either?
3. on the laptop open the remote desktop connection and point it at your outside IP address for work, or if you have an mx record you could point it at mail.yourcompany.com

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jodypeetCommented:
thats the tcp port it communicates on ... like webpages run on port 80 ...
if you have a linksys firewall at the office it needs to know to redirect port 3389 traffic to the PC you want to connect to
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jodypeetCommented:
also for point 3
from inside your network open a webpage to http://www.whatismyip.com this will tell you what your outside IP address is
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OllienCommented:
jodypeet is right, but I thought I'd just sum it up a little.

Using remote desktop, you can only access one IP address if you are using that alone.  In other words, only one of your work computers at a time can be set up to be connected to externally.  To access your network from the outside, you need the IP address, access your router, and determine its external IP.  You could alternatively go to http://www.ipchicken.com/ (I find http://www.whatismyip.com isn't very reliable in giving the right address, sometimes it gives the ISP's address).

If you point your home computer's RDP to that, it will just be accessing your router and it will ignore thi request.  What you need to do (as mentioned above), is redirect port 3389 (RDP) to a computer on your work network, so the request goes to it.  Make sure you have RDP set up on it.  To redirect the port, find out the IP of the computer (look at the status of your network connection and go te support), and set port 3389 to go to that address (on your router).  It will be in one of the menus of the router and is fairly self-explainatory.

Now, when you point your home computer te your work's IP, you will be accessing the internal computer.

***RDP over the internet is a quite non-secure way to access your computers.  Anyone in the world will be able to access the RDP logon prompt you see, if you do choose this, make sure few users can logon to RDP (only admins with passwords by default), and that the passwords are VERY hard to guess.  Otherwise a hacker could easily access your internal computer the way you do, and in effect your whole internal network.  Although it isn't terribly likely you'll be targeted, it is better to be safe.

Hope that helps, Ollie.
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jodypeetCommented:
To add
there is a simple registry change to tell a PC to listen for rdp on a different port
you can then have one listening on 3389 another on 3390 ...etc etc.
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npayneAuthor Commented:
does it matter if we have dynamic ip's?
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npayneAuthor Commented:
what is the simple registry change i would have to make?
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jodypeetCommented:
dynamic ip address' shouldn't be too much of a biggie... you'll just need to know what it is at the time you want to connect

to change the port a server or workstation listens on follow this
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=187623 
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npayneAuthor Commented:
thanks I figured it out from both of your answers
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