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Difference between Remote Desktop Connection and VPN

I Currently connect to my Win2K server from my XP Pro desktop using a Remote Desktop Connection, but this does not allow file transfers. I have been told that a VPN would allow this. What extra functionality does a VPN have and how easy would it be to set up.
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VPN is a connection method. this in itself won't allow for connection transfers, but will give you a more direct connection to the other box.  You need VPN enabled devices on either end though, and it can get complicated.


I try and avoid Remote Desktop if I can.  I use VNC for remote connections.  More because I need to see if there are any messages on the actual machine which RD doesn't allow.

The above link allows for file transfers, use that instead of RD and your existing connection setup should be fine.  If you have a firewall you will need to open the relevant port.  I think it's 5900.
Why VPN is safe and secure can be got here

MS is yet to get the option of file transfer in Remote desktop connections which will be probably be an added feature in Longhorn or future windows..

If you have a vpn connection and you have correct name resolution you can transfer files all you want to whether you use RDP, VNC, Net Meeting or what not. You don't even have to connect to the mahine.
Just connect to the destination machine's drives if you have acceess permissions.

You vpn FROM remotePC1 and you want to put files on hostServer2
From remotePC1 go to your run command and type

If your not an admin on hostServer2, then use a network share you do have access to like \\hostServer2\MyShare

If homePC1 is not a member of the domain for hostServer2 you'll be prompted to enter username/password/domain. Log in.
The folder from hostServer2 will open cut/paste, or whatever you need to do.

Don't have name resolution? then change it to the IP of the host machine as in \\\c$

VPN is, as stated, a connection RDP/VNC, ect., is a remote operational method
You only need VPN to get to the machines for file transfers

Hope it helps
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