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Remote connection to 2003 Server

Posted on 2007-03-25
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Last Modified: 2010-04-20
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.  
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Question by:bytesize_solutions
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Expert Comment

by:SimonNq
ID: 18789597
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.
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Jay_Jay70 earned 168 total points
ID: 18789726
or much simpler.....just allows remote desktop (3389) to your server and remotely manage it that way....VPN is a little more secure
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by:Andrew Davis
Andrew Davis earned 166 total points
ID: 18789729
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.
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by:Andrew Davis
ID: 18789737
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.
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by:Jay_Jay70
ID: 18789785
:) lol its all good :)
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Expert Comment

by:SimonNq
ID: 18789888
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?
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by:Rob Williams
Rob Williams earned 166 total points
ID: 18790295
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:
http://www.portforward.com/english/applications/port_forwarding/RemoteDesktop/RemoteDesktopindex.htm
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  https://66.66.123.123/remote  (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 http://www.whatismyip.com and it will advise you.
-If you have a domain name registered with that IP you can use that to access  http://mydomain.abc/remote
-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 www.dyndns.com, but there are many others such as www.no-ip.com
-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.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/833983
Good luck with it.
--Rob
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Expert Comment

by:Jay_Jay70
ID: 18790643
now thats an answer!
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 19845156
Laura, thought my answer was pretty thorough. Perhaps a point split as sever l others supplied similar information??
Thanks,
--Rob
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by:Andrew Davis
ID: 22630935
glad the points split wasnt based on word count ;)
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