Sorry in advance for the long question. In many ways, it makes the answer that much shorter as I could be close to being correct on some. Or even a great resource as long as my VPN and desktop question is addressed.
I am still trying to grasp completely the advantages of different remote connections. I basically use RDP and RWW. But, I know of a lot of the other modalities out there, and I dont always know which is best and why. A great deal of this stems from the message boards I frequent for my Amazing Charts electronic medical record. I am the admin there and tend to answer most of the actual EMR questions as well as many computer and networking questions, but I get a bit bogged down when the R topic comes up. R being remote. Many of the users on the AC board tend to ask very wide open and nebulous questions such as I am setting up a network. What computers, OSs, server and how should I network it? And, should I do peer-to-peer or client/server? I am sure you dont get questions like that on here, lol. My other favorite question is the one where a doctor says, we have two offices and would like to connect the one network to the other. Should I use LogMeIn or GoToMyPC? While I know those wouldnt be very viable solutions, I am not always sure whether VPN or something else would work. By the way, I tend to tell them if you have to ask, then you need to hire someone.
But many of the questions are simply how do I log in from home. So, I am going to list the various ones I am familiar with and try to explain what I know and then ask you to correct me. I am hoping that I can one day actually understand all of the subtle nuances of these connections.
" Remote Web Workplace My understanding that RWW, which is actually RDP/RWW is extremely secure, even more so than VPN since traffic cant come back to the source computer and nothing is left on the remote computer. Also, port 4125 is not opened until your credentials and your being an RWW member is verified. Not to mention the other options it gives you.
" RDP a protocol first available on Windows XP that uses port 3389 to connect to the server using terminal services. I am not sure if it needs terminal services anymore. It is encrypted, but I do not think it is as secure overall as RWW.
" I have SBS Connection Manager on my PC, which connects to my server but nothing useful happens. Does RDP run through it like a VPN for better security?
" LogMeIn and GoToMyPC I have used these in the past, and I believe they would best be described as 3rd party programs which set up an SSL connection between your client computer and the host computer.
" UltraVNC and RealVNC, etc. Virtual Network Computing. Other than I believe the host computer uses TCP/IP, I have no idea.
All of these solutions control the host/remote computers and can see their computer screen and run programs, etc. Even though your Internet connection may only be 2MBs, you arent really sending data back and forth so the only limitation would be sending the controlling data?
Now, every time a user on the AC message board talks about remote access, the acronym VPN gets thrown around. I certainly understand that Virtual Private Networks are basically set up by tunneling through existing Internet cables to set up a secure connection. This connection is generally set up between two routers which are VPN capable. However, there are other ways to set this up such as computer to server, etc. which have their disadvantages. Now, where I get confused with VPN is doesnt it just connect two computers or networks together so that you are basically connected to or part of the other network? You can access files as if you are there. I just dont understand how you can interact with the computer at the desktop level. Do you need 3rd party software such as Citrix or whatever?
I know this is kind of a big question. In general, when a user asks how to remote in from home, if they cant use RDP and dont have SBS, I just recommend LogMeIn Free. For continual connection between offices, I suppose VPN would be the way to go.
Or possibly http://www.2x.com/applicationserver/application-publishing.html
Thanks in advance.