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How to Remote Desktop into my Work PC from outside the office?

Hello:

I have a cable modem/router that is provided to us from our I.S.P. .  The Internet service is working just fine; however, I would like to find out how I can Remote Desktop or VPN into my work PC's from my home.

I spoke with the Cable Company and they told me that the device that they provided does not have any remote options on it.  Hence, we would need to purchase a router on our own and then configure it with port forwarding.

So the scenario would be as follows.

1.  Internet Cloud.
2.  Connects to I.S.P. 's router.
3.  Then an ethernet cable would connect from ISP's router into our newly purchased router.
       a.  We would need to configure the internal router for port forwarding.
       b.  The Work PC's would receive IP addresses from the internal router.

The External Router (ISP's Router) would get the external Internet IP address,.  

My questions are:

1.  What type of small office router should I look for?

2.  What specific requirements should I look for(in a small office router) to get Remote Connections to work securely?

3.  My goal is to remote into 1 specific PC at 1 time.

4.  What would I need to make sure is configured on the router to allow the remote connections from the outside world.
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Pkafkas
Asked:
Pkafkas
6 Solutions
 
Brad BouchardInformation Systems Security OfficerCommented:
Something like this http://www.firewalls.com/firewall/sonicwall-firewall/sonicwall-tz-firewalls/sonicwall-tz-100/sonicwall-sonicwall-tz-100.html

And make sure to make a firewall rule that allows Remote Desktop traffic into your LAN from anywhere outside.  Then you need to make a NAT policy, or port forward, to the internal IPs of the servers/workstations you want to Remote into.  This will also consist of created custom objects that are on different ports if you want to Remote into more than one computer; meaning if you want multiple computers remoted into you will have to use more than just the default 3389 RDC port.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
1.  What type of small office router should I look for?
You have a business.  Your business is important to you.  The security of your business network is important to you.  Failure to properly secure your business network could result in unauthorized access to your files or the complete and utter disruption of your business should the network get compromised.  Sound reasonable?  Then don't be cheap and buy a $40 Linksys piece of junk - you want a BUSINESS CLASS router.  These are not cheap.  Sonicwall has fallen out of favor with many consultants I know, in part because Dell now owns them (honestly, the logic escapes me), but I don't use SonicWall either, I tend to favor Fortinet.  There's also Watchguard, Cyberoam, Caplyptix, and many others.  And frankly, SonicWall is of the appropriate caliber to protect you, so if you want that, get it.  Just don't get something cheap because you're afraid to spend on annual maintenance and think or have been advised that any old router will do just fine.

2.  What specific requirements should I look for(in a small office router) to get Remote Connections to work securely?
Pretty much ANY can do this.  EVEN the cheap linksys that I would - bluntly - think you were stupid for buying for your business if you did.  Exactly what/how you do this depends on the method(s) chosen to connect and what you have in your office.  More in answer to your next question. And in some respects, my rant in question one should answer this as well.

3.  My goal is to remote into 1 specific PC at 1 time.
Do you have a server?  Can the server run a PPTP or other VPN endpoint software?
If you don't have a server, then you want a router that supports setting up VPN connections because opening ports to RDP in is just stupid (again, to be blunt).

4.  What would I need to make sure is configured on the router to allow the remote connections from the outside world.
This really depends on what you have and you haven't listed that.  If you have a server to run the PPTP connections, then you need to forward port 1723 and ensure that GRE protocol 47 (that's NOT port 47) is supported.  Usually, these days, there is no setting or even easily referenced documentation confirming this one way or the other because these days, pretty much everything supports it.

If you have a server - Windows Home Server, Windows Small Business Server, Windows Storage Server Essentials - then these offer a remote access gateway that would allow you to connect over HTTP/HTTPS.  

Again, more information on what your network looks like is required for a better answer.

And of course, you could just use LogMeIn.  It's free.
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PkafkasNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
The devices that we would like to have to remote into are:

2 - Windows 7 Professional PC's.

No servers.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Then a business class router with VPN end-point capabilities - this is most if not all of todays business class products, though some may consider it a paid add-on.  Or just use LogMeIn or similar product.
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PkafkasNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
Logmein, that sounds like it could work with the current setup.

I know that our users use that at my main job for the Ipads.  That is they install the software on their work PC's and on their IPads.

https://secure.logmein.com/welcome/freeremotecontrola/remotedesktop/?gclid=CJ-CwtepwLICFYYWMgodJXsANQ&wt.srch=1&utpk=logme%20in&destination=/welcome/freeremotecontrola/remotedesktop/&originid=75558&opt=usbrandedpro&ef_id=MjhNGtSQBQAARkI:20120918235405:s

This "LogMeIn" software might be ready to try right away.  What do you think?
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PkafkasNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
Is LogMeIn just for mobile devices?  Like smartphones Cell phones and IPads and Tablets?
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Could work.  I don't pay the apple premium so I don't know.  But if you're connecting with VPN to a router, then you should check with each router manufacturer for iPad compatibility.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
No, I generally only use it on PCs and servers.  The the Trials convert to the free version after expiration.  The free version allows basic remote control.  The paid version does a WHOLE LOT MORE.

Try it - you can test tonight - you're not going to get and install a router tonight.
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m3mph1s1Commented:
You could actually download/install Kaseya free version.  It is a web based remote access utility that sounds like it will meet your needs.
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