How to design and set up small home network with file server and ability to access files and server remotely?

I need guidance and some step by step instructions on how to best set up my Network environment for running a small side business from home given the following scenario.  (please keep in mind that I am new to working with servers and setting up home network)  So my apologies in advance for many stupid questions to follow.
Final Goal:    To be able to use our home computer to work with Graphic Design files, save them to external hard drive connected to file server.  Also have a couple of employees be able to access the file server from there home and be able to work with the files save changes, and even copy the files back and forth from their home computer to the file server.    One external hard drive will always be hooked to the server and I will then periodically hook up another portable USB hard drive to back up all the data.
Current Setup and hardware:       
1. Home computer running Windows XP pro, and the two employees who will connect to server run the same.  
2. Gateway PIV 1.6 GHz cpu with 1GB Ram, two NICs, and Windows Server 2000 installed.  
3. One My Book western digital 500GB external USB HD, and one more portable USB HD to synchronize and back up the data to.
4. Cable comes into ISP cable modem and I have cat5 running from that to Linksys 5 port wireless router, and another cat5 going to home computer, and another to Server.  Wireless is set up with WEP so we can use laptops as well just for personal use.
5. Home computer and server are both just currently on workgroup.

Given this information can anyone start pointing me in the right direction, and maybe be able to give step by steps on some of the procedures when it comes to configuring my server to allow for this.
CompservtechsAsked:
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dis1931Commented:
Hello Compservtechs,

The hardest part of this will be setting up the port forwarding on your router.  Your ISP will usually give you one real Internet Address.  This should be assigned to your Internet/WAN port on the router.  You will have to login to the router via web interface to see the address.  Give this address to your employees.  They will connect to this address to connect to the server.  The way it works is that you will need to forward say the Remote Desktop ports to point to your server.  So when employee hits the IP address it will hit your router via port 3389(This is the port RDP uses.)  The router needs to be set to forward any hits it receives on port 3389 to the server you have setup(say 192.168.1.2).  Then your server will take over the authentication, etc...

If you look at the book for your Linksys router or download the manual there should be a section on port forwarding.  It is really easy only need to enter a couple of items all of which you can easily get.

That being said some providers don't give out the same IP address each time and you can receive a new one on occasion.  This is where a tool like dyndns will work well...they will give you a domain name such as dave.dyndns.org and you can use that to connect to your box.  Their software will update the DNS server for dyndns.org with your updated ISP address if it changes.

I think that is all for the overview, let me know if you need more specifics or more clarification
Regards,

dis1931
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CompservtechsAuthor Commented:
Thanks Dis1931,

Will start with that direction and be posting back when I start having problems, which I'm sure I will.  Busy with other job and might not get to try this until the weekend.  Will keep you posted.
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CompservtechsAuthor Commented:
Dis1931,

Need some help with how I can find my actual Internet/WAN IP address.  I was able to log into the Linksys 5port wireless router with the (172.16.etc...) and go to port forwarding area, I then put in the 3389 twice, and finally put in the IP of the server I set up.  So I think I'm close.  But I guess I missed where the actual Address is that I need to get for my employees and to test logging in remotely.  Its a Linksys WRT54G wireless router if that helps.

And you are right, my ISP will probably ocasionally change the actual IP so I may have to explore that problem further too.
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CompservtechsAuthor Commented:
Also in regards to the ISP possibly changing the actual IP, would it be smart for me to give a static IP to the server so that at least that number doesn't change?
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dis1931Commented:
I have the same router at home..I will take a look in the evening.
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CompservtechsAuthor Commented:
Hi Dis,   I think I found it.  I won't know until I get to work tomorrow now to test logging into it remotely.  Next I will be asking questions about securing the server probably.  I'll post new questions I'm sure.  Going to leave this one open yet though until I get a chance to test that it's working.  Thanks
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CompservtechsAuthor Commented:
Well it still isn't working.  I could sware that I have everything set up right but obviously not.  I can of course remote into the server from the house because everything is on the same network.  But remotely from work or a computer on the outside, I still have no luck.

I got the 10.62.etc.... which has to be the actual IP of the router.  Looked at the Routing table entry list and the status page.  Could swear I had everything turned on.  Also tried to turn on the ability to remotely manage the router so I could log into that from another site and can't figure out how to get into that.  i'll leave that question for another time.

Any other ideas what I may need to do, or what I might be missing to remote to this server offsite?  I did check and the Terminal Services service is running as well.  Thanks for your guidance.
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dis1931Commented:
Once I log into the router...It is the status link under Router.  There is an IP address/mask/default gateway.

I wouldn't expect it to be 10.62.xxx.xxx. The 10.xxx.xxx.xxx network is not Internet routable, neither is 172.16.xxx.xxx through 172.31.xxx.xxx or 192.168.xxx.xxx.

This can't be your Internet address.  How did you find that?  So you have your ISP which provided a cable modem and you have your router directly into that?

If you can't find the address I will make a couple changes to my side to see how it appears because I do have network equipment between the cable modem and my wrt54g for other purposes.  Then I can have the same scenario as you.  I will also try to setup RDP on my system if you can't get it working.  I used to have it setup a year or two ago but I haven't had the need recently.
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CompservtechsAuthor Commented:
yeah, I'm more a hardware man so this networking stuff is a little confusing to me at times.  Your right, it's not the 10.62.....   or 172....    I'll log back on and check the status link again and see if I missed something.

When you say "Once I log into the router...It is the status link under Router."  You mean the wireless WRT54 router correct?  Not your modem itself because that is my actual problem trying to find that number to even loginto.  i'm sure that's what you mean.  

Anyway, yes my ISP is Qwest and they provided the cable modem. (can't think of the name and model) Then I have the router connected directly to that.   I'm going to check the status link again, and otherwise try plugging the modem directly to my pc and see if that can give me the "real" IP.  Otherwse any other suggestions you have are definately welcome.  Thanks
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dis1931Commented:
Yup I meant the web interface for the router....There is a link you can click on that says "status".  Once you click that the main frame changes and the tab that is selected by default was Router at least on mine.

I think the firmware will change some of the look and what you see...I believe I updated my firmware recently...due to some issues so it may be different.
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CompservtechsAuthor Commented:
DIS,

Sorry finally got a chance to look into this some more, and I'm an idiot.  Our ISP is doing DHCP, so the modem itself is processing DHCP to the router.  Not going to work.  Have requested Satic IP.  Will let you know when I get that if I still have problems or if I can award you your points!!!  I did exactly as you said cicking on the status page and to my frustration it was a 10.62.... number.  Unplugged everything and went straight from the modem to the PC and still a 10 number.  Called ISP and waiting for Static number.
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dis1931Commented:
I would imagine the modem then would have an external address...which is DHCP but something like dyndns.org can help with the DHCP portion and not having to care that you are using DHCP if you don't want to pay for the static.  If you'd like you can leave it open in case you have issues or you can close...no points to me...I think you fixed your own problem...

Thanks
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CompservtechsAuthor Commented:
Thanks for all your help dis,

I will close this then.  I'm sure I'll probably have more questions on this setup down the road.
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