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MS SBS 2003 will not allow Remote (VPN) connections!?

First, let me apologize for the length of this post.  I want to be as informative as possible.  I have moderate or higher computer skills, but I am totally lost with this issue.  Maybe one of the experts can help.  

Recently, I agreed to help a friend install a server for their business.  This is the first time I have ever worked with a server; let alone the complete installation of one.

We determined that our combined computer knowledge would help us over the hump, rather than having to pay an extraordinary amount of money to have someone build, install and configure the server.  Initially the installation of the Microsoft Small Business Server 2003 operating system went very well.  I have since configured the server for internet and local access.  Currently, we have 2 other computers that share with the server via the same internet connection (we do have the server behind a router).

The problem is with VPN or remote connections.  We have a domain name and a dedicated static IP provided by our ISP.  I have configured the router by checking all port forwarding numbers to make sure they are in place (SBS 2003 had configured the router by UpnP).  All appears correct.  When trying to log on from a remote desktop by entering the domain name in a browser window, the Microsoft SBS 2003 home page pulls up with various selections (links) to site configuration.  Once you click any of the links, a web page displays indicating that this server does not recognize this IP address, you do not have permissions to access this site.

I am assuming that I have to enter IP information from the various remote computers that will be accessing the server so that it recognizes the remote connection?  If this is the case, what steps do I take to correct this problem.  If I assume incorrectly, can anyone instruct me as to the proper method of getting remote functionailty with the server?  Remote connection is the primary reason we decided to delve into the great unknown with a server install.  One remote system does have Vista Home Premium x32 installed.  The rest are WinXP Pro.  If you require any further information, please feel free to ask.  I look soooo forward to hearing from anyone who can help!
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Brawly
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Brawly
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2 Solutions
 
dlan75Commented:
Hi
Are you taliking about remote desktop or VPN connexion? Because those are two different things. What exactly do you need to do?
If it is VPN then your router must be VPN compliant and your server should have two network cards to start with.  Here is an article on how to set up vpn on a microsoft server : http://www.chicagotech.net/vpnsetup.htm
Here are different articles related to vPN connexions : http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/network/bb545442.aspx

If it is remote desktop you are looking for you need to setup a user on your server as a user of remote desktop (right click "my computer" then properties then remote connexion and you have to allow remote connexions and the select the authorized user.

Hope that helps
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tigermattCommented:
It sounds like you are getting the term "VPN" confused with HTTP/HTTPS. From what it sounds like you are doing, you are accessing your server in Internet Explorer using the external IP address which your ISP has assigned to you? (or you've setup a DNS record to point to this, and are using that)

This is simply web browsing. A VPN, on the other hand, is a virtual tunnel into the network. You can connect a VPN from anywhere with an internet connection, and this means the computer you are connecting from appears to be present and acts like it is on the local SBS network. (I.e. you can type 192.168.16.x and access a workstation, which obviously isn't possibly when on the Internet)

Run the CEICW again and, when prompted, select the option to "Allow access to the entire website from the Internet". Then try again.

Good luck!
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tigermattCommented:
Just to clarify, the CEICW is the Configure EMail and Internet Connection Wizard, and it is linked as "Connect to the Internet" on both the To-do list and Internet & Email section of the server management console.

A visual representation can be found here: http://sbsurl.com/ceicw

-tigermatt
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BrawlyAuthor Commented:
Thanks gentlemen!  I'm sorry that I have not responded to your posts, but I just got in from work this evening (9pm EST).  I plan on reviewing the various links to help with my problem.  It appears that the VPN connection is ideal for our scenario.  I will concentrate my efforts on this.  I will post my results tomorrow.  Thanks again!
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tigermattCommented:
Hello again,

If you would like to set up a VPN connection, you must run the Configure Remote Access wizard from the Internet & Email section of the Server Management console. That will configure the PPTP VPN.

You must ensure that TCP port 1723 is forwarded in your router to the SBS server, and you also need a port called GRE 47. This is used for authentication. It *isn't* TCP port 47, it is GRE. If you have a VPN compatible router (some are not) then you will either have to tick a box called "Allow/Enable PPTP Passthrough", or when configuring the port forwarding, use its built-in rules for PPTP VPN rather than create your own manually.

If you want further help, post back the model and manufacturer of the router.

-tigermatt
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dlan75Commented:
Hi
GRE is not a port it is a protocol like a brother to TCP. So you cannot forward anything to port 47. You don't necessarely need this protocol to setup a vpn connexion on windiws 2K3 server. If your router has the vpn passthrough facility like said above then this should be enough. Works very well for me. Just make sure you have two network cards in your server if you want to be able to browse files and folders.
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tigermattCommented:
As far as I was aware, PPTP VPN passthrough is the same as forwarding GRE.
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BrawlyAuthor Commented:
Thanks again.  I have been reviewing the link information that was provided.  I am scheduled to begin work with the server tomorrow (Thursday).  I am quite sure that by that same evening I will be able to respond to the various posts that I have received.

In the interim, thanks to all who have contributed their knowledge and shared information with regard to this problem I am having.  Because everyone is willing to help and respond so quickly, it makes me quite glad I have my membership to Experts Exchange!  Talk to you tomorrow!
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