Remote connection to 2003 Server

I have a static ip address on a dsl line. I will be running a windows 2003 small business server behind a
netgear router  and a 24 port switch.  I would like to securely connect from a remote location to access files,
applications and email.  I do have a registered domain name I can use for the business server. What would be the best means to accomplish this task.  
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

If you want to use a VPN connection then all you have to do is setup the server to allow remote vpn connections, then forward the port 1723 on the router to the internal server's ip address. From the remote client you initiate a VPN connection and point the client to the routers internet address. Once connected you can use remote desktop etc.
or much simpler.....just allows remote desktop (3389) to your server and remotely manage it that way....VPN is a little more secure

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Andrew DavisManagerCommented:
it depends what your are talking about, do you want remote access for administrative reasons, or do you want a client to have remote access.

2003 SBS only supports RDC for Administrators so is no good for general client access.

if all you want is for administritive reasons then you can do as above, but if you want to simplify it you can forget the VPN and just port forward port 3389 to the SBS server, make sure all other non essential ports are not open, and if your router supports it, allow the sbs "connect to internet" wizard to auto configure your router.

if you want to allow access for clients, then you are best of creating a vpn, this will allow the client to be connected as though their computer is located in the office and connected directly to the lan.
Determine the Perfect Price for Your IT Services

Do you wonder if your IT business is truly profitable or if you should raise your prices? Learn how to calculate your overhead burden with our free interactive tool and use it to determine the right price for your IT services. Download your free eBook now!

Andrew DavisManagerCommented:
Duh... Jay that wasnt there when i started typing.
for bytesize info, VPN gives you encyption of data transfering, RDC has built in encryption. For RDC the only thing you need to make sure of is that you have strong passwords. RDC uses the account passwords, VPN uses a set password or encryption key.
:) lol its all good :)
A VPN will give you access to all of your internal services. RDC will give you access to the server and what the server has installed. For example if you don't have outlook installed on the server, no mail etc. Also remember that you can only have 3 connections to a SBS server via RDC, 2 for administritave purposes and one to directly access the console session.

What is the main purpose for the access? What are you trying to accomplish?
Rob WilliamsCommented:
All of the above are very viable solutions, but you are using Small Business Server, which has options only available to SBS, which are secure, easy to configure, and allow far more control. Once configured SBS offers you secure SSL access, through a web browser, to access the server, your office desktop, company Intranet web site, server reports , and e-mail. This can all be set up by running the CEICW (Configure E-mail and Internet Connection Wizard) located by going to:
server management | Internet and E-mail | Connect to the Internet
This will even configure the router if you have UPnP enabled on the router.
Below is a copy of an earlier post of mine outlining how to set it up.

If you wish to access using RWW (Remote Web Workplace) follow the following steps:
-On the SBS, under administrative tools open the "Server Management" console. In the console click on Internet and e-mail on the left, and on the page that opens on the right, choose connect to the Internet, even though you may have done this before. The wizard will allow you to add to, or change your present configurations. If you already have an Internet connection you really only need to make one addition, but just verify the current options and click next through the screens. If you only have one network adapter configured, you will be prompted regarding the firewall. One network adapter is fine, click no to viewing documentation, and continue. On the "Web Services configuration" page, if it is not already enabled, check "Allow access to only the following web site services", and check the box for "Remote Web Workplace". If "Allow access to the entire web site from the Internet" is already checked that is fine too, but as a rule I recommend you only enable the services you plan to use. Then just continue through the next options and finish.
-If only administrators are connecting you are done on the server. If others wish to connect, and have access to their own desktop, with their existing permissions, they need to be added to the Remote Web Workplace Users Group, located under "Security Groups", again in the Server Management console.
-Then on the router, at the SBS site, you need to forward ports 4125 and 443 to the SBS. You can find details regarding port forwarding at:
On that site click on your router model to see details. However, this is for remote desktop, port 3389, not RWW ports 443 and 4125,. Substitute the port numbers and configure.
-From the remote site it doesn't matter if it is just a DSL connection, a DSL with a router, or even a dial up account there is nothing to configure
To connect; in a web browser enter your public IP such as  (don't forget the 's' on the end of http)
-If you do not know the public IP, from a web browser on the SBS, log on to and it will advise you.
-If you have a domain name registered with that IP you can use that to access
-If you do not have a static (fixed) public IP you can also set up a DDNS service that will assign you a domain name, and track the changing IP so you can always simply use the domain name to connect. Get it working, and then if this is an issue you can deal with the DDNS service afterwards. I prefer, but there are many others such as
-When the connection starts you will be asked to accept an SSL secure certificate
-Then a logon window will appear where you enter your username and password.
-On the first page you will be given the options available to you. As an administrator you will have access to servers, but users will only see desktops.
-The first time the web page is viewed on any computer, it will ask to install an Active-X control when you try to log on to a computer. allow it to do so. If XP you may get the message bar at the top warning the Active-x control was blocked. Rick click on the bar and allow installation. You may then need to click on the logon option to a computer again. There is a little delay while the component is installed.
-Then you will be asked again for your username and password.
It works very well and is quite secure. There is a webcast outlining RWW features.
Good luck with it.
now thats an answer!
Rob WilliamsCommented:
Laura, thought my answer was pretty thorough. Perhaps a point split as sever l others supplied similar information??
Andrew DavisManagerCommented:
glad the points split wasnt based on word count ;)
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Microsoft Server OS

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.