Make mac VPN connections easier
Posted on 2009-12-29
I have an SBS 2003server (it will be replaced with a non-SBS flavor of windows server 2008 soon) at the HQ that users connect too via PPTP VPN. Our branches will also soon be connected through site-to-site VPN through the new firewalls that are ordered. However we have a few mobile mac users that needs to connect to the office while they are on the move, with a variety of connections like3G modems, WIFI and private ADSL.
I have setup for them so that they use the built in VPN connection in OSX which works great. Then they connect to the server shares through the saved smb://serverip shortcut in the finder menu "connect to server".
So all they have to do is, in the menu bar at the top click on the VPN symbol, click on the company name and then go to the finder menu and click "connect to server" and then the saved server and they have access to the files. I have also made a few manuals with pictures and a low-tech language.
The problem is, however, that they want something even simpler when they are on the move. 4 or 5 mouse clicks seems to be too much for them. I am work mostly with windows computers and servers so I am not an expert on mac. Is there a way to script the VPN connection and connect shares in some way on the mac? Or is there perhaps an other way to make things simpler for the users?
Also: When the macs are physically in the same network as the server they see the server share directly under "Macintosh HD" however when they connect through VPN the shares doesn't show until they do the "connect to server" procedure above. Is there a way to fix that as well?