How to set up a server and access it remotely

I'd like to set-up a server at home and access  it from 2  remote locations.   I'd like to know what hardware and OS i need and what kind of  connection I need.  (DSL, cable,T1)    The server would contain a database of info that I would need to access throughout the day.   One of my offices would be using a tablet PC while the other would have a desktop. As of right now all my systems (home & office) use XP.  Any help with this set-up is appreciated.
coachdAsked:
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callrsConnect With a Mentor Commented:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/filezilla/     SourceForge.net: FileZilla
With this free ftp server, you can share any folders on your hard disk, assign permissions, passwords, etc.

http://www.apache.org/   Has a great free webserver that I use. Turns your computer into a web host.

www.realvnc.com has a free remote-control program -- lets you use home computer from the internet.


Unless you pay extra for a static IP, you need to get a dynamic dns client etc. (see http://www.webmonkey.com//templates/print_template.htmlt?meta=/webmonkey/03/11/index2a_meta.html).

I have DSL. My IP changes some nights every few minutes, all night long, although most days it stays static. What the possible rapid changes in IP means is that your server may be inaccessible for hours, even with a dynamic dns client updating your IP every 10 minutes. When I had cable, IP rarely changed. So if your cable internet is like it is in my city,  you won't need to spend an extra $10 to $15 for a static IP..

Regardless of DSL or Cable, you need a wireless or wired ROUTER, which you can often get at half price if you read the local flyers (Best Buy etc.)
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Computerguy107Commented:
It would depend on how many users would access it at the same time and how large the database is and what applications you wanted to use. Windows XP Professional with a static IP address should do fine. For basic access to your computer remotely..... https://secure.logmein.com/go.asp?page=home .....free would work for one user at a time.
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coachdAuthor Commented:
no more than 7 users at any one time... The database is about 2GB right now.   The only application would be a medical records program which holds the data set.  
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HyppyCommented:
You need to make sure that the connection you are using has either a static IP or a Dynamic DNS entry.
Also, make sure the computer is set up on the DMZ or port forwarding, with all of the patches applied and strong passwords.
For an OS, WinXP Home or Pro should work fine.  Server 2003 if you want to splurge, hoever I do not think it to be necessary.  Linux would be an option too, but requires a lot more sweat if you're not already familiar with it.
Hardware is pretty much irrelevant.  Just about anything with a decent hard drive that can run the OS.  The hardware requirements might rise if you plan on doing a lot of intense queries.
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coachdAuthor Commented:
I have static IP's @ all 3 locations.  Is MS server 2003  an  easy install..??  (Xp wasn't too bad to install  ....just start clean and take your time.)  Also.....just how difficult  is Server 2003 to configure..?  or does it a set-up wizard like XP..
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callrsCommented:
I haven't set up a server 2003. But it's an advanced version of the non-server version of Windows: more features. Setup should be with the same ease, although you will have more options to play with.
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coachdAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the info...............
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