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whats another way to get users to access network shared drives when they are remote??

Posted on 2011-03-14
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hey guys,

I have a couple of remote users that I need setup so they can access there network shared drives from anywhere at anytime.  I know I can use VPN so they can connect and it should allow them to access there drives but its not always 100% reliable.

Does anyone have any experience or suggestions on different methods that I can setup for users to be able to access there shared drives securely when traveling???
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Question by:sbodnar
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by:Sikhumbuzo Ntsada
ID: 35128727
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Knight
ID: 35128953
Hi,

You could use an Remote Desktop using redirected drives to a Terminal Server? Using Windows 2008, you have the option of a TS Gateway which provides you with a Pseudo VPN?

You could also consider options as Teamviewer, GotoMyPc etc?

Regards,


RobMobility.
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Author Comment

by:sbodnar
ID: 35128969
Robmobility,

Can you elaborate on how it would work with redirected drives by Terminal Server??? and what the Psuudo VPN is??
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Knight
ID: 35129021
Hi,

If they have mapped drives to the shares, if they configured re-directed drives (usually advanced properties of the RDP connection), then they would be able to open a remote file using a local application?

The Pseudo VPN is TS Gateway which is described in more detail here:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc731264(WS.10).aspx

Regards,


RobMobility.
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by:Rob Knight
ID: 35129095
Hi,

LogMeIn is another option to consider:

https://secure.logmein.com/products/free/

Regards,


RobMobility.
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Author Comment

by:sbodnar
ID: 35129755
Sorry for all the dumb questions but my last one (i think) is... these users all take there laptops with them. So its not like they have a desktop pc at the office that they need access to. They actually have there PC's with them but when they are in certain situation it seems that the VPN connection may be weak or blocked and it causes them to have problems with accessing there drives. I want to be able to eliminate the need of a VPN and give them another more robust way of accessing there drives. Maybe via a web interface or something like that..
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by:Rob Knight
ID: 35129803
Hi,

Have you considered an SSL VPN - this typically is less susceptible to the issues that prevent IPSEC VPNs working?

In many cases, they offer a web based interface which presents files as links on wweb page?

Whatever you do, you are trying to provide a secure link for these users and whatever you are usinjg, it's effectively some sort of VPN?

Regards,


RobMobility.
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Author Comment

by:sbodnar
ID: 35129830
can you recommend any with the web page?
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by:Tomislavj
ID: 35129895
how about publishing folders for FTP access (e.g. in IIS)?
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Knight
ID: 35129897
Hi,

I believe that SonicWall and Barracuda both offer such functionality?

Other SSL VPNs are just that - they allow access via explorer as if they were using another VPN?

There is a new Microsoft VPN called SSTP - it's essentially PPTP tunnelled inside SSL and Microsoft Uaser Access Gateway product or Windows 2008 R2 RRAS can hanle client connections.

Since it's SSL based, it's not affected in the same way as IPSEC would be.


Regards,


RobMobility.
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by:Rob Knight
ID: 35129926
Hi,

Can you be more specific about the issues you believe they will have with a VPN?

Regards,


RobMobility.
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Author Comment

by:sbodnar
ID: 35129953
well when they are working wirelessly or even at some times hard wired it seems that the VPN will connect but access to there shared drives will fail. Im guessing this is due to a weak connection or restrictions on the network they are connected to.

I would love to have something that is web based that they can use to access there drives so that I can eliminate the whole VPN aspect.
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by:Rob Knight
ID: 35130080
Hi,

How about something like this which is a plug-in to Outlook Web Access - it allows you to access fileshares from OWA thereby using the existing SSL tunnel used for OWA?

Do you have OWA accessible externally via SSL?

http://www.everywherenetworks.net/owa-outlook-web-access.php

Regards,


RobMobility.
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by:
Rob Knight earned 2000 total points
ID: 35130104
Hi,

If you have Exchange 2007 OWA available externally, you can look at document access using the DirectAccess feature:

http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/Drilldown-OWA-Direct-File-Access-Exchange-Server-2007-Part1.html
Regards,


RobMbility.
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