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Remotely connect to home office

Posted on 2006-11-03
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Last Modified: 2013-11-21
I currently have a home network setup. I have a static IP address and 4 PCs on the network. I want to be able to access one of those PCs when I am in hotels travelling. The PC that I need to access is running XP Pro.

The router I currently use does not have port forwarding so I need to get a new router but should I buy a VPN router and create a VPN to access the one pc on the network? Or should I just get a standard router that allows port forwarding and use something like RADMIN? Or is Remote Desktop the best option?

My biggest concerns are security and speed.

Any advice you could provide would be appreciated.
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Question by:merimax
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9 Comments
 
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Smacky311 earned 250 total points
ID: 17868999

1.  Port forwarding is sometimes called Virtual Server..might want to make sure your router doesnt have that.
2. While a free remote desktop client like http://realvnc.com does the job it will not provide good security or the speed of remote desktop
3.  VPN is your best option for excellent security and the speed capabilities of remote desktop.  A VPN will encrypt your data and create a secure tunnel between you and your machine.  
4.  Remote desktop won't work without a VPN connection.  
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Expert Comment

by:RiceyRice
ID: 17869068
RDP should work fine (Thats what I, and at least 75% of the clients I administer use). Do track down a better router for the port forwarding option. VPN would be nice if your home i-net connection is nice and solid. Could be too slow if otherwise. Here is a good router for not too much $$$.
http://netgear.com/Products/VPNandSSL/WiredVPNFirewallRouters/FVS124G.aspx
gigabit LAN ports, dual WAN. Client or endpoint based VPN. The features of a $300+ router for under $150.

That aside, you always have the pay services (gotomyPC, etc...) but why when your XP Pro can do it for you.
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Author Comment

by:merimax
ID: 17869098
So, I would need to purchase a VPN router to do this? Which one is easiest to setup?
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Expert Comment

by:kane77573
ID: 17869150
logmein.com is free and works great
Or gotomypc.com
Or setup terminal serivces on one of you xp machines and have that port change from 3389 to 80 and just use dyn dns and create a webname and then just open remote desktop connection when your at a hotel and put the name is and hit connect.
Or just use logmein.com and be done with it, logmein.com is free
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Assisted Solution

by:Smacky311
Smacky311 earned 250 total points
ID: 17869195
You will need to buy a VPN router to setup remote desktop (aka RDP).  You won't need the VPN for much more than the IP address that it will give you upon connection to put you and the other machine on the same local network.  Remote desktop is extremly simple and very fast to use compared to downloadable clients so don't use anything else.
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Expert Comment

by:Smacky311
ID: 17869209
Of course so nobody complains, you can setup remote desktop to work through HTTPS to avoid needing a VPN, but you said you wanted security to be high so this option I ignored.
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Author Comment

by:merimax
ID: 17869248
Ok. I'm sold on the VPN but I looked at the reviews for the NetGear router previously suggested and it doesn't get very good reviews. What features must the VPN router I purchase have to give me good security and speed?
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Expert Comment

by:consulteware
ID: 17869300
Instead of a router you should check the www.ipcop.org that have one firewall with vpn solution freeware.

Instead of realvnc that is veryslowly, but veryslowly, you should use the remote desktop connection that ist available on "SYSTEM" in "Control Panel" on "Remote" tab, you can connect by "Remote Desktop Connection" application that came with any computer, including with PDA computer, you will not needed to have one notebook to access to your office just need and PDA (limited to the screen).
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Expert Comment

by:RiceyRice
ID: 17869443
Smacky-
Could you elaborate on this point?
4.  Remote desktop won't work without a VPN connection.  

Hardly any of our RDP users connect over VPN. Mine to my house doesn't have VPN.

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