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How do I setup a NetGear VPN? (FVS114)

Posted on 2006-05-04
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I've got a netgear FVS114 VPN router and want to setup a VPN so that people can connect to it and be able to copy files back and forth. Effectively,  what I want to do is be able to do file sharing through the VPN.

1st question: Do I have to get NetGears ProSafe client to connect to the netgear VPN? I'd prefer to just use Windows to do the connecting if at all possible.

2nd question: How do I set this thing up properly? I was assuming that since clients would be connecting that I'd have to setup usernames and passwords and all that, but I don't see anyplace in the policies to do that.

3rd: Ultimately we'd like to connect to the VPN and then run our quickbooks over it so that the auditors file and the bookkeepers file are always the same. Is this feasible? I'm not convinced that the performance will be all that acceptable, but it's what they want to do to prevent further issues where the auditor corrects something and the bookkeeper keeps using the older, incorrect file.
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Question by:Sootah
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Rob Williams earned 1004 total points
ID: 16610720
1) Using the ProSafe client is the right way to do it, it is a little more secure, and actually simpler, as you cannot use the Windows basic PPTP client.  I have never tried it but if you are ambitious the following link should help with connecting NetGear to Windows :
http://kbserver.netgear.com/kb_web_files/n101485.asp

2) Must say the Prosafe client (actually SafeNet) is not the easiest to set up if you have never created a VPN before. To set up using the NetGear and the ProSafe client have a look at the following. They do not have specific documentation for your unit but these should be similar and helpful:
http://kbserver.netgear.com/kb_web_files/n101500.asp
http://kbserver.netgear.com/kb_web_files/n101436.asp
http://kbserver.netgear.com/kb_web_files/n101545.asp

3) QuickBooks cannot be run over a VPN, assuming you are referring to running the application on a local system with the data on a remote network, connected by VPN. The data with QuickBooks must reside on the same physical network. You could grant access with Windows Remote Desktop either directly or using the VPN, to allow a user to log on to an office computer to run the application, as if on a terminal server. I think you would be pleased with performance of remote desktop with that scenario, but otherwise it will not work. If you are not familiar with remote desktop, please advise.


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by:amohat
amohat earned 664 total points
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Rob is dead on for #3.

You want to use some kind of remote access software for Quicken, and probably everything else you want to do, including printing.

Problem is, most programs are designed to a) run on a single computer, or b) run across a LAN which usually provides for very fast connections, 100Mbps. As such, they don't worry about making software to run very lean and efficient. They figure they have a whole bunch of bandwidth to spare. People like you will be very disappointed trying to run much of anything over a WAN or internet link, even at T-1 speeds.

So, terminal services, built-in with Windows Server 2000 and 2003 if you want more than one person to remotely access. Or Remote Desktop if you want to run QB on a single box remotely, but only one person can be logged in at a time, local or remote, so you might have to have the box be dedicated. There are others, too, of course, but those are easy choices.

A VPN is still good---you want to connect remotely as above through the VPN for security.

If all you are interested in is QB, there are hosted solutions available. Either totally web-based through Intuit, or companies that will run it on a Win2003 terminal server and everyone connects to it via an icon on their desktop, you, bookeeper, auditor, etc. I've found that the performance is just as good or better than running it locally---depending on your internet connection, of course. Plus backups are taken care of...some people love the shifted responsibility / added cost of hosted solutions.
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by:scrathcyboy
scrathcyboy earned 332 total points
ID: 16612189
# 1 -- No you dont, all windows VPN can be done through router directly.
#2 --  You use the router to setup VPN, need 2 VPN endpoint routers at either end to do it, preferably same ones.  Remember, VPN is like long extension network cable still need to login like on local network.
#3 -- I can tell you for a fact that quickbooks is too slow to RUN over a VPN connection.  What the people do is copy the QBF file over the VPN, then edit it locally, then copy it BACK to the server after editing.  Even the file copying takes about 30 mins.  It is unrealistic to actually RUN the QB program with the data on other side of VPN.

SO if you follow this rule, you will be OK.  If you try to run QB software with data on other side of VPN, it will take you hours to do one accounting update session.  Sorry, but that is the reality of protected VPN handling.
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by:Sootah
ID: 16613290
I don't want to setup port forwarding to use the native Windows VPN connection because from what I understand that will only accept one connection at a time. I need to have at least 5 on at once.

I didn't think that the QuickBooks over the VPN would be feasible, but I figured I'd ask.

I use PCAnywhere/Remote Desktop all the time. However, where we've got multiple client machines it's not feasible to use that as the way of accessing the QB data because there's going to be 5 properites all needing access to the accounting stuff at any given time.

The main concern here is the QuickBooks issue. More than anything the de-synch problem I mentioned above needs to be rectified. It's really annoying for the auditor and the bookkeeper both if the bookkeeper forgets to update her file with the corrected one and then makes a bunch of additions to the older, crappy file.

Since the VPN won't work like I really hoped it would, do you have any specific suggetions for the QB issue? (Like links to the online resources, etc)

Also, since you can't connect to the Netgear VPN with the standard Windows client, what client should I use? I'm pretty sure you have to buy NetGear's client.

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by:Rob Williams
Rob Williams earned 1004 total points
ID: 16613896
>>" I understand that will only accept one connection at a time"
If you are connecting to a Windows XP machine (which would be the VPN server), yes only one connection. If you have a Windows server you can connect as many PPTP VPN clients as your physical network can support, which is pretty much limited by the bandwidth of your Internet connection.

Granted a hardware VPN will allow many users access to the network, there are other limitations. If your data is hosted on a Windows XP or 2000 workstation you can only connect 10 devices to that machine at a time (local or remote devices), if you wish to use remote desktop you can only have 1 remote user at a time on a XP machine, and 2 on a server, unless you add Terminal Server and licenses.

>>" since you can't connect to the Netgear VPN with the standard Windows client, what client should I use?"
You can use the Windows client, as I mentioned earlier, but it is not a pleasant task. Therefore you need to use the ProSafe client (which is actually the SafeNet client available by several companies) or you can use a 3rd party client like the GreenBow, but that has to be purchased as well. You actually do not have to purchase the Netgear client. It is free, but according to NetGear, as with many VPN routers, you have to purchase licenses and activate them on the NetGear. However I have set up several NetGears and have never found any request for licensing information. I have also purchased 5 licenses and all I got was a CD with the disk, no paper work, no codes and no activation software.

With QuickBooks the usually method of having multiple remote users is to install a terminal server and allow access through remote desktop either with or without a VPN. The other option as amohat suggested is to take advantage of one of their in house services where they offer to host the application.
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by:amohat
amohat earned 664 total points
ID: 16616169
Yes, it sounds more and more like you are headed for a terminal server. It's not that big of an obstacle, just be sure to lock down the user rights...locked down tight, so they can't do anything they don't need to.

http://www.2x.com has great tools for this, the free SecureRDP and the inexpensive ApplicationServer. Actually right now they give a free license for 5 applications for that, too. ApplicationServer allows you to offer users to connect to your terminal server normally except they only see a menu of the apps you choose. Sort of like the most poular Citrix feature. (ok, just one poular Citrix feature...Citrix rocks, if you can afford it)

If you use Windows 2000 server, you can save some money because Microsoft considers 2000 Pro and XP as having built-in terminal server client licenses. If you go with 2003 server, you have to buy 5 licenses at $90 each (or something) no matter what you connect with. MS effectively jacked the price up for 2003 terminal servers way past a lot of people's budget.

As far as hosting providors who do the heavy lifting for you, I googled "quickbooks hosting" and here are three top links I pulled. (I have no affiliation with any of these companies):

http://www.rightnetworks.com/asp/qb/solution2.jsp

http://www.frontpages-web-hosting.net/quickbooks.web.hosting.asp

http://www.itx.net/Offering.asp?id=36

This may be a lot more than you were looking for, like being told don't bother fixing the car, you need to buy a bus. But, unless we're reading you wrong, next stop is the terminal server forums.
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by:Rob Williams
Rob Williams earned 1004 total points
ID: 16616205
For the record, if you should decide to uses terminal server there is a series of steps you should follow to set it up properly:

You can make QuickBooks available in a TS environment, if you give the users some extra privileges. Here are the steps:
1. Perform a normal installation of QuickBooks (in install mode!)
2. Reboot
3. Enter install mode again (change user /install), start QuickBooks and activate it by entering the registration code (this is a crucial step, and must be performed immediately following the reboot
4. Go back to execute mode (change user /execute)
5. Copy the %system root%\Intuit folder into each users %user profile%\Windows folder
6. Create a QuickBooks Users group
7. Add your users to this group
8. Give the group Full Control to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Intuit\QuickBooksRegistration
9. Give the group Full Control to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.QPG
10. Give the group Full Control to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\obja.obja
11. give the group Full Control to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\QuickBooks.application
12. Give the group Modify rights to the Program Files\Intuit\QuickBooks Pro folder
Also make sure that clients use short names for printers if they need to print to a redirected local printer. QuickBooks cannot handle long printer names.

Copied from: http://www.network54.com/Forum/thread?forumid=346313&messageid=1102705038&lp=1115999167
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by:Sootah
ID: 16646627
Thanks for all of your detailed help guys. It's nice to have experts answered that actually know what they're talking about. (I've run into a few retards here and there :) )

I'm going to split points but I've opened a new thread because I have another seperate VPN question.

Question #2: http://www.experts-exchange.com/Networking/Broadband/VPN/Q_21844763.html
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 16647727
Thank you Sootah,
--Rob
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by:amohat
ID: 16653385
Rob, that's excellent info. Thanks.
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 16653712
amohat, useful bit of information to have handy isn't it.
I wasn't aware of all of the hosting services you provided, so we all learned here. Good question. :-)
--Rob
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