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Map Drive Over WAN.


     my client has engineers around the country with laptops.  We need to distribute documents remotely from the Head Office. We have a file server which is used on the LAN, it supports SMB. IP, FTP etc..

Locally the network drive is assigned to individual clients using DCHP, and is mapped as say a z: drive, which makes it appear to be a drive on the client, in other words users can work directly with the data, there is no need to copy out and copy in the files when editing .

I have a public IP address -- Is there any way that I can achive a similar scenario for remote (wan) users.

Rgds, ChrisColeman.
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2 Solutions
firstly, the drive should be reachable from the net (configure your firewall to pass this, or if using VPN, adjust the VPN rules)

further, the machine that physically hosts the drive need to have static IP or can be connected via domain name or something similar

If the client is on windows machine, try to map the drive (net use z: //Ip.address.of.themachine/drivesharename /persistent:yes). If this successful, repeat on the other clients.
Either VPN connection or an RDP connection to a terminal services server should do the trick.  The VPN connection would allow the remote users to directly connect to the LAN just like sitting at the office.  RDP can sometimes be "better", as it connects to a server on site and when the user logs into the terminal server sessions, drives should map as well.  The downside to this is that they end up working on that TS session instead of "directly" on the laptop, but all the heavy lifting data transfer wise is kept on the LAN where the speed is better.
ChrisColemanAuthor Commented:
The solution proposed by meb_santoso appears to be exactly what I want - I was under the probably incorrect impression that it would not work, it appears that mapping a drive is not limited to the lan but also works over a WAN - Firstly I must obtain a new router in order to service the public IP, currently we're downstream of a lan DCHP server which is shared by several companies.

Can you tell me which IP ports I need to open from the router to the fileserver in order to make this work?

Thanks, Chris.
ChrisColemanAuthor Commented:

   actually the solution proposed by meb_santoso cannot work, because in -

net use z: //Ip.address.of.themachine/drivesharename /persistent:yes

Ip.address.of.themachine is only known on the lan, it is not known on the wan ?

Are there any other ideas, I do not wish to use VPN ?

ChrisColemanAuthor Commented:
No solution actually addressed the question, which was to mao a drive over the WAN and allow r/w access ..

As far as I know local addresses are not directly accessable from the wan ?

A VPN solution althogh viable would mean leaving a PC active in the office 24 hours a day, which is why we did not choose that.

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