Remote Connection to a Desktop Computer on a Small Business Server Domain Using an Apple Computer

The CFO/COO has an Apple Mac at her home and she wants to connect to her desktop at work.
What is the best method to do this - it does not need to be free.

NOTE:  I checked the EE Knowledgebase and found lots of (good) information but most of it was more than a year old.  So I thought I would ask the question again just to get the latest solution.

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There are two methods I would recommend. Mac's can do PPTP VPN and this works well with using remote desktop for mac available for free from Microsoft. Your SBS already has this ability to manage the VPN. The second and one I have been using more is an SSL VPN since it is HIPAA compliment and really slick. There are third party software vendors as well as open-source which will do IPSec but I have not been happy with them in the past.

I would recommend the Sonicwall SSL appliances or the newer line of TZ firewalls.  They too can do SSL as well as IPSec VPN's.  Primarily for price and ease of install.  Plus they have a mac client.
B HCommented:
since you didnt specifically ask for ssl, i'll give you the quick and easy way:

load this on her mac:

use it to connect to the outside ip address of where her desktop is at
before she can connect, you'll need to do a few things:

1. make sure her desktop is listening for remote desktop connections, and her windows firewall allows it.  right-click my computer, properties, remote, checkmark at the bottom
2. give her workstation a static ip address on your network so it doesn't change
3. forward port tcp 3389 in your gateway/firewall/router to her new static inside ip address

if your outside ip address already has a hostname like, she can use that to connect to instead of the actual outside ip address

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B HCommented:
oh - if you already have 3389 forwarded to something else, like your server, you can do a redirect like this:

"allow incoming destination port 4389 (or anything not in use) and redirect it to inside ip address destination port 3389"

then on her mac she would connect to for example:
(or whatever number you chose)
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SlatorAuthor Commented:
OOPS!  -  No matter how careful one tries to be, it seems something is always left out.

I should have mentioned (without appliances).
What I meant by "it does not have to be free" is that the (software only) solution does not...

Sorry for the confusion.

SlatorAuthor Commented:
I found 2 versions of the Microsoft solution:
--Remote Desktop Connection Client 1.0.3 for Mac  (see link above)
--Description of the Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection Client for Mac 2.0.1  (

Does it matter which one I use?

Also, is there a 3rd party vendor solution?  They usually do a better job thna microsoft.

All of the solutions mentioned so far are right on target but as an alternative I would suggest a paid version of something like Go To My PC by Citrix which has 128-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). Or a newer product on the scene is TeamViewer which uses 256 bit AES encrypted sessions (preferred). Either of these will make it a pretty simple affair.

You can follow the step by steps for each product to set them up.
nappy_dThere are a 1000 ways to skin the technology cat.Commented:
So you have a Mac that is in a Windows AD domain and connected to an SBS box correct?

 - If you have RRAS configured on your SBS box, all you have to is follw this link to configure PPTP from a remote Mac to get to your network

 - Once this is done, your user can then connect via VPN to your office network and get to their office workstation via RDP.  I would recommend that you als o use this version of RDP for the Mac is it a newer updated version

Stick with the MS solution, it will give you a much better experience.
B HCommented:
the mac 1.0 or 2.0 remote desktop client will work fine either way

what direction do you want to go here?  many people use remote desktop exactly for this exact setup...  

teamviewer and gotomypc will work nicely too, but if anyone is in the room when she remotes in from home, they can watch what she's doing and i don't think she'd like that.  remote desktop locks the local screen so others cant watch

teamviewer is about $700/lifetime for commercial use (the program knows if you're commercial or not based on an rdns lookup every time)
gotomypc is like $40/month for commercial use
nappy_dThere are a 1000 ways to skin the technology cat.Commented:
RDC is free and will give you the best experience of your remote terminal.
SlatorAuthor Commented:
WOW!  Great responses - with lots of information.
Thanks for your time - it is GREATLY appreciated!

I have decided to use the (free) Microsoft solution(s) and split the points between "byron4403..." and "nappy d".

Thanks again for everyone's input.
SlatorAuthor Commented:
Thanks again.
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