How can I set up a network at home that I can access remotely?

Hi Experts,

I want to set up a network at home. I have 3 computers I want connected in a network. I also want to be able to access this network from a remote location. Do I use an IP address for this?

Is there any books or tutorials on how to do this? Do I use a VPN? I am a newbie at this stuff.

Thanks

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indyngAsked:
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Yan_westConnect With a Mentor Commented:
First, connect your 3 computers to a INternet router/firewall.. Like a linksys router..

http://www.linksys.com/products/product.asp?grid=34&scid=29&prid=561

after, plug your cable/dsl connection in your new broadband router.. (user guide provided on the link i gave you).. installation guide will also be provided with the router.

There is 2 ways of accessing your internal network from outside.. a secure way (vpn), and less secure way.. (Port fowarding).

In any case, you will need XP Pro on your computers if you want to do any remote desktop access on them..

Get Started Using Remote Desktop
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/mobility/getstarted/remoteintro.mspx
Remote Desktop for Windows XP
http://helpdesk.its.uiowa.edu/networking/remotedesktop/default.htm


If you choose the Port Fowarding method, you will have to configure your router to pass all request asking for access on port 3389 to your internal computer running XP Pro with remote desktop enabled.. you will have to know the external Address that is given to your Broadband router before doing this.

If you choose the VPN Method, you will have to buy yourself a broadband router, with VPN Capabilities.. much more complicated for someone who doesnt know about these things..
VPN Router..
http://www.linksys.com/products/product.asp?grid=34&scid=29&prid=639

Why is VPN More secure? Because your connection is encrypted from the client to the remote host, and no doors are opened on your router, unlike the port fowarding method..
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specmanConnect With a Mentor Commented:
You might need to provide more explanation ie: what type of resource do you need to access from your network?  There's many angles that this can be attacked from.

The easiest way to accomplish this is to use a solution like PC-ANYWHERE or the remote desktop feature of WinXP-pro. Hook your network up with a router.  You will need to provide static port routing to the pc that has the remote software installed on it.  Getting to your network would then be a matter of knowing what the external IP address is that is currently being used by the modem/router in your network.  Note that the PC with the software on it will have to be on when you want to access your network remotely.

More detailed instructions here would be difficult; you'll need to do a fair amount of reading for the solutions you choose.

cheers
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whiting002Connect With a Mentor Commented:
A very simple way of doing this would be to setup a VPN like you said.  Linksys sells a Cable/DSL VPN Router with 4 port switch 'http://www.linksys.com/products/product.asp?grid=34&scid=29&prid=607' that you could use for this.  I found it on amazon for $99.00 'http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/search-handle-form/002-2588280-8296809'.  The other thing you could look at doing, if your computers are running Window's XP Professional, is using the Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection.  This second option is what I'm trying to do right now and am experiencing some problems with.  If you only had one computer it would be no problem but since you have more than one like I do it gets a little tricky with the port forwarding.  I would suggest the VPN Router solution since all you would have to do is connect to your router and immediatly have access to your other three computers.
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Yan_westCommented:
btw, for the vpn router, I provided you with a more "business like" one.. this one would be cheaper, and more appropriate.

http://www.linksys.com/products/product.asp?grid=34&scid=29&prid=607
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Yan_westCommented:
If you decide to go with a VPN, you will have to load a VPN Software on the computer you will use remotly to connect to your network, here is a list of different clients you can use:

http://www.thebusinessmac.com/features/vpn.shtml
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