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How to print reports to a printer at remote office via VPN?

sasllc
sasllc asked
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I asked this question previously--without the "via VPN" wording in the title.  That was before I found out that a VPN would be the best way to handle this--at least according to the answers I got when I posted this question previously (see below).  I am resubmitting the question in the VPN area in the hope that some VPN experts out there can find the best solution for my customer.

Here was the initial question:

Question: Customer has a 32 bit Vista PC in her office running QuickBooks payroll.  One of her branch offices is 40 miles away, so she would like to direct the paycheck printout to the branch office printer rather than her local in-house printer.  The branch office is running a single 32 bit Vista PC as well.  The home office wants to initiate as much of the process as possible.

If this can be done, then they would like to keep it cheap.  They own pcAnywhere, in case that helps.  They can get a static IP cheap at the branch office, if needed, or use dns2go to effectively give the branch office a static IP.

How would we set this up?  TIA

.....And here is the subsequent discussion:

The way to do that would be to set up a VPN connection. The easiest way would be with TeamViewer. You can get it here. www.teamviewer.com

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Most DSL modems will give you a free VPN connection. As long as both offices have the same modem it should be fairly simple; if they're different then you'll need a lot of searching to find compatible settings. Still, DSL modems are cheap.

With a VPN you can print directly to the remote printer if it is networked. If not, share it from a PC and print to that share.

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Since they are trying to be cheap, I'm sure they would prefer the free VPN connection.  I will check with them on Monday to find out if the modems are the same, but I doubt they are.  I was able to get online with one of their two computers today, and it had a Zyxel EQ-660R modem that did not appear to have any provisions on the menus for a VPN setup.

If they won't buy matching modems that support VPN, is there a low cost software alternative?  I know almost nothing about VPNs at this point, but I did see the Hamachi software from logmein for $199 per year.  Would this do what they need--even with dissimilar modems?  Or, is there other software that is free or cheap to do the job?

Will pcAnywhere do this for them--since they already own it?

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You will have to configure the office router to accept VPN connections. Then create a VPN connection on her computer.

It can be tricky to get it working and it will stop working every time the office IP gets changed which could be daily. It's been a long time since I have done that and if I had a need for it now I would just use team viewer.

I don't think you can do it with PCA.

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I don't know the Zyquel modems, but a Google search indicates the 660R does support VPN. I could not get on to Zyquel's website though, it just times out.

I don't know Hamachi either, but a new modem should cost you less than $199...


...So here is where I am at now:

IF a VPN is the way to go, I need a VPN expert out there to tell me the most cost-effective route to take.  I get the impression that they will need to pay an annual fee for some company to host the VPN service, true?

This is a small company, and they don't want to spend a bunch of money--like on TeamViewer.  They are doing this only to avoid an 80 mile round trip to deliver paychecks each Friday.  I'm sure they would prefer to leave their modems alone, just as they are.  They would be willing to spend a modest amount each year for VPN services, if that's what we need to do.

They would prefer for the home office to be able to connect to the branch office as needed, and simply route the paycheck print job to the branch office's printer.

Can this be done with a VPN setup?  Are there easy, cheap ways to do this as described above?  Will the service we use likely be willing to step me through the setup--since I have no idea how to do it?  Or, if not, is there a site somewhere that explains in detail how to do this kind of setup?  TIA
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Sorry to change up mid-stream, but, I think outputting the file to a pdf and emailing it from one machine to the other is far better a solution.  PrimoPDF is the app that can do this for you.