The best way to join two LAN's

Hi -
I have two LAN's one running a server(my office), the other P2P (my house). I need to be able to access the server at work from my machine at home, and if I could work out how to access the workstations as well that would be ideal. What do you think is the best way? Remote desktop connection? VPN? The server in the office has static ip, but the workstations do not.

Cheers.
Dave.
weerdboilAsked:
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Wilson_PhillipsConnect With a Mentor Commented:
For the connection to the office, I would use a VPN. Windows can handle that just fine without buying new software.

As far as access to the server, you can turn on Terminal Services on the server and log in from home and it will look like you are sitting at the server. If you don't need that much access, then you can skip the Terminal Services and just log in normally and you will appear to be another node on the office network, with the same permissions as all the other nodes.
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scampgbCommented:
Hi weerdboil,

A VPN would be the best way of doing it- that way all of your data is secured.

As for exactly how, we need to know a little more about your environment.
Do you actually need to connect the LANs (any device on one can talk to any device on the other), or just access your office network from your home PC?

Can you tell us what OS you're running on the server, the office PCs and at home?
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Pentrix2Commented:
Just as long your work servers has a static ip, the workstations of course are not static ip's.  Hardly anybody that I know put their user's workstation on static, mainly dynamic.  You just need do a Microsoft VPN (RRAS) is probably the cheapest and pretty secure.  I know it's not the best secure but not bad if you ask me.  What server OS are you using, Server 2k? or 2k3?  After VPNing, then just use Remote desktop.

And yes, if your client workstations are running Windows 98, then you can't do remote desktop, only allowable from Windows 2k to XP.  It's pretty easy stuff if you ask me.  But need more information on your infrastructure and protocol/routing diagram.
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lbecqueCommented:
Actually you have to be running XP Pro in order to run the Remote Desktop server.
XP Home can only run the remote desktop client to access an XP Pro machine.  That may burst your bubble.

Instead, you can run TightVNC (tightvnc.com).  The server and client run on any 98, XP, 2K even Linux machines.
If you are concerned about Internet packet sniffing the docs even explain how to use SSH to encrypt all communications.
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lbecqueCommented:
Did I mention earlier that TightVNC is FREE, Open Source!!!
There are also other variants, RealVNC, VNC, etc.

Again, if you are not using XP Pro you can't run MS's solution of remote desktop server.
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Wilson_PhillipsCommented:
If he is running Server, he can enable Terminal Services and access it. Remote Desktop was born from Terminal Services. :-)
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lbecqueCommented:
weerdboil never really said what OS his 'server' was running.
We all assumed it was Windows XP but you could be right it could be Server 2003 or it could be XP Home or Pro.
Who knows it could be Linux for all we know!

weerdboil??  What are you running on each of the machines?
It makes a difference on what you would use.
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scampgbCommented:
lbecque - well said :-)
I was waiting for a response myself before wading in with possible solutions.

Weerdboil?




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