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Peer to peer office needs a VPN

I've been asked to setup a vpn for a small office (5 work stations) they want to access their office network from home or when on the road. This office is likely TO grow a little, but not much, 8 at the most. My two experiences trying to setup VPN haven't been successful. So I need idiot proof instructions every step of the way.

They are currently using 2 DSL modems, apperrently no one in the office knows what a router is much less how to configure one. I suggested they replace the 2 DSL modems with 1 cable as that should be more cost effective. They want to avoid the cost involved with purchasing a server. So I'm hoping a vpn can happen in a peer to peer environment if I get the correct router. Would $300 be enough for a desent vpn router?

 I hope I'm making sense with my desciption.  
1 Solution
Will SzymkowskiSenior Solution ArchitectCommented:
Hello there,

Here are instructions on setting up a VPN.



These are 2 didderent links depending on what OS you are trying to create a VPN.

hope this helps
have a look at this: http://openvpn.net/
adn this: http://openvpn.net/howto.html

I use OpenVPN all the time.  It is FREE! to download and install, has a GUI, is stable & secure and works across most OS's, including Windows. I'm pretty sure it works for a peer-to-peer environment also.   Fansastic time & money saver!

I would certainly check this out before purchasing & installing any equipment.

Good luck!

Rob WilliamsCommented:
You can set up a Windows VPN on an XP machine to act as a VPN server quite easily, however since you want to set up tunnels to multiple machines you cannot use this method as the router will not support multiple PPTP VPN tunnels. So there are 2 options:
1) Use a VPN router and the clients connect to that with a software client. A couple of good units for that are the Linksys RV042 and the Netgear FVS318. Although the Linksys is my favorite "affordable" solution, some folks have had problems with the client software. The Netgear  is more elaborate to configure but works well. There are dozens of others and if you are willing to spend more your best choice is a Cisco PIX 501
2) I assume these users want to connect remotely to their desktops. They can do this without a VPN reasonably securely using remote desktop if they have XPpro (not home). For this remote desktop needs to be enabled on the machine and port forwarding enabled on the router. Normally you forward port 3389 to the users computer, but in this case you have more than one user, you will need to change the default port that each user uses, so that user1 uses port 3389, user2 port 3391, user3 port 3393 and so on. Some article relating to this below. We can elaborate if necessary.
Instead of using a vpn in this senario it sounds like to may want to just use something like http://www.logmein.com and allow them to remotely control their workstation.  This is very quick and easy to install only 3mb file and you don't have to forward any ports through a firewall.   I have over a hundred workstations that I have it installed on for support and it runs in real time with a dsl connection.

Opening files accross a vpn can be very slow depending on the size of the files.  

The remote desktop  built into xp works very well also.  This will get more complicated if you need to access more than one workstation if you only have 1 static ip address.  


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