My friends have a local network comprising 2 WinXP Pro PCs and an occasional laptop, behind a Netgear WGR614 v6 router, connected to a COMCAST cable modem.
They use a database program called MYOB / Mind Your Own Business. It allows multiple users to edit the database simultaneously.
They have a work assoc in Boston, who needs to be able to do this from his PC in Boston.
In the past the Boston guy used GoToMyPC to make changes to the MYOB database file by "taking over" a PC on our end. But this is not a workable solutiong, because we lose use of the PC on our end when he "takes it over".
(1) Can these "remote admin" programs (PC Anywhere, GoToMyPC, realVNC) be tweaked to allow the kind of live database file access I'm talking about, WITHOUT taking over the PC controls / resources / screen?
(2) If not, my understanding is that we need to setup a VPN SERVER, and this is most easily achieved by buying a "VPN SERVER ROUTER", as opposed to the more common "VPN Passthrough" routers that are for the VPN client (Boston guy).... AND that SOFTWARE-ONLY solutions, for a small home business VPN SERVER, are either non-existent or problematic?
(4) In addition to the VPN SERVER ROUTER, will we need to obtain VPN SERVER SOFTWARE, or will XP Pro provide a reliable generic VPN solution on our end? (Or does server software usually come bundled with the router?)
(5) I hear about free VPN SERVER SOFTWARE (e.g. SSH Sentinel), but find only trialware versions. Any suggestions there?
(6) Comcast, being a cable ISP, changes the gateway IP regularly. We don't want to pay them extra for a true "static IP" from Comcast. Will using a VPN SERVER ROUTER solution (or any other) allow the BOSTON guy to access the MYOB database, WITHOUT having to call us first to get the gateway IP? What if we use "DNS2GO" or "DynDNS"?
(7) Is there an easier / cheaper solution I have missed?
(Phew) Thanks a ton!