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Setting up a remote server

Posted on 2006-10-25
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Last Modified: 2010-03-18
Hello,

I want to be able to access a drive or a folder that is located at my work, and access it from home. Is there a website that describes the remote access process in detail. I'm running Windows XP Pro.

Thanks,

Jeff
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Question by:adrew1508
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 17804355
You can use remote desktop to actually connect to and work on your computer at work, or to access the file as asked, you can create a VPN. If by any chance your server is running Windows Small Business Server, please advise as you should use the wizards to do this, and you also have additional options built-in.

The VPN is quite straight forward to set up. The basic server and client configurations can be found at the following sites with good detail:
Server 2003 configuration:
http://www.onecomputerguy.com/networking/w3k_vpn_server.htm
Windows XP client configuration:
http://www.onecomputerguy.com/networking/xp_vpn.htm
You will also have to configure the router to forward the VPN traffic to the server. This is done by enabling on your router VPN or PPTP pass-through, and also forwarding port 1723 traffic to the server's IP. For details about that see the following link. Click your router make and model # which will take you to another page where you need to click on PPTP forwarding for details specific to your router:
http://www.portforward.com/english/routers/port_forwarding/routerindex.htm
The only other thing to remember is the subnet you use at the remote office needs to be different than the server end. For example if you are using 192.168.1.x at the office , the remote should be something like 192.168.2.x

Once this is configured you can then use services similar to how you would on the local network. You will not be able to browse the network unless you have a WINS server installed. Also depending on your network configuration you may have problems connecting to devices by name. Using the IP address is less problematic such as \\192.168.1.111\SharenName. If you want to resolve NetBIOS names we can elaborate on how to "fix" that, if not working properly.
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Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 17804360
You COULD do this over the internet... as long as you don't care how many people access your files and hack your system.  Instead, what you want to do is use a VPN.
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Expert Comment

by:Chris Staunton
ID: 17804375
Jeff,

We will need to know how your network at work is connected to the net.  Do you have a firewall, VPN Box etc.

Windows 2003 server can be setup as a VPN server by using Routing and Remote Access to allow for secure connections to your network, one of the safest ways to access your company info from the outside.  If you want to pursue that avenue then there are lots of step by step sites out there that can help.  

More info about your company network is needed before we start looking at what needs to be done.

Cheers,

Shoota
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Author Comment

by:adrew1508
ID: 17804775
There isn't really a network set up at my work. There's two computers on a router that are hooked up to the internet through DSL. Computer 1 has a drive that can be accessed by Computer 2 but I'm not really sure how it's hooked up. That's the extent of it

Thanks for the help,

Jeff
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 17804820
Should you still want to go the VPN route, you can connect to a workstation, rather than using a server using the same configuration, except use the following instructions for the VPN "server" end for a workstation rather than 2003 server:
http://www.onecomputerguy.com/networking/xp_vpn_server.htm
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 17804844
A simpler solution where you just have 1 workstation to another is to connect using a 3rd party tool such as LogMeIn. This allows you to remotely access and use the workstation without a VPN or any router configurations. They currently have a free version you can use to do this.
http://www.logmein.com
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Author Comment

by:adrew1508
ID: 17804977
this logmein, is it as "safe" as the VPN?
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Rob Williams earned 500 total points
ID: 17805151
LogMeIn is very secure, it encrypts traffic and requires authentication. Having said that, personally I prefer VPN solutions where you are more in control, but LogMeIn is a highly recommended and frequently used tool.
LogMeIn also offers a free VPN client/server application, Hamachi, that does not require router port forwarding, if you want to look at that. It  set's up in minutes:
http://www.hamachi.cc
to run it as a service:
http://www.itsatechworld.com/2006/01/17/hamachi-vpn-solution/
batch file to set up service more easily, see near end of thread.
http://forums.hamachi.cc/viewtopic.php?t=522&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=batch&start=15  
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Expert Comment

by:trenes
ID: 17805788
Have a look at SSL explorer it works like a charm.
Just publish UltraVNC or RDP as an application and you can take over you whole computer.
Or create a secure share for your files which you can access over the net.
You name it.
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 17807691
Thanks adrew1508,
--Rob
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