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Remote Printing via VPN - How to establish a point-to-point connection from the remote printer?

I could use some advise with the following issue. We have a Remote Office connecting to the Main Office via PPTP VPN. Remote Office systems are XP Pro., Main Office system is SBS 2003. Both offices use SMC 80132g-CCR cable modems for Internet connectivity. We have no problems with RWW or VPN connectivity. The problem I need to find a solution for is the Main Office uses proprietary Unix based software, (which runs fine from the Remote Office). However, printing from this software must be directed to a network ready printer with a static IP (which are in place). The remote workstations establish a point-to-point VPN connection. How do I establish a point-to-point VPN connection from the remote printer? The printer cannot be shared from a workstation or GUI interface.  Any thoughts on how to resolve or get around this issue would be greatly appreciated. We are trying to stay away from the expense of a T-1 solution.

Thanks!
Chip
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atsanders
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atsanders
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1 Solution
 
plemieux72Commented:
When you say "We have a Remote Office connecting to the Main Office via PPTP VPN.", do you mean, there is a permanent site-to-site PPTP VPN tunnel between the two office routers or each client at the remote office "dial-in" by using the Microsoft Windows PPTP VPN client?

In other words, do you have a remote access VPN solution or a site-to-site VPN tunnel?

In your case, it seems like you'd need a site-to-site tunnel.  With a Cisco router at each office, you can setup an IPSec VPN from each public IP to reach the other public IP.  Once the tunnel is established, you have full private IP connectivity between the sites.  At that point, it doesn't matter what you want to access (printing, directory access, etc.) as long as it's IP-based.

Let me know if that's what you mean and if you need help with this setup.  However, no T1 is necessary as long as both sites have Internet connectivity.
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atsandersAuthor Commented:
Hi Plemieux,
Thanks for the response. I think you answered my question. We are using the Microsoft PPTP client on the remote workstations. Each workstation establishes it's own VPN connection. I'm not at all familiar with Cisco configuration. Can you recommend other routers that can provide site-to-site capability that are a little more user friendly? GUI interface for the non-techie types J

Thanks,
Chip
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plemieux72Commented:
Although I have no experience with them, I've heard that the Linksys RV0xx routers can be good for site-to-site VPN.  However, they are just plain bad for remote access.  This is from my own experience.    

So, if this is for a business, I would not hesistate to get Cisco unless you think you will never use remote access VPNs.

Now, even on the new Cisco's there is a GUI.  I am not certain if it works well because I've always used the command line only.  However, here is the deal... with any Cisco  hardware, also purchase a SmartNet contract.  This gives you one year of support from Cisco engineers, downloads like the Cisco VPN Client plus advance replacement should you need it.  So, if you can't figure out how to configure, open a TAC SR on cisco.com and someone will help.  There is also EE here where we have many Cisco gurus I am sure will be willing to help.

Moreover, Cisco VPNs are rock solid and once setup, they never break.

Anyway, I am sure there are other products others can recommend however I only know the Cisco stuff so that's the only thing I personally can recommend without any hesitation.
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atsandersAuthor Commented:
Plemieux, Thanks for  taking the time and for the great advise. I'll look at the Cisco solution.
Chip
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plemieux72Commented:
No problem... In your research, check for the Cisco 800, 1800 series routers, PIX firewalls, or the new ASA devices.
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