VPN Access w/o Domain Account

Posted on 2013-01-31
Last Modified: 2013-02-01
Is it possible to log into an SBS 2011 or Server 2012 Essentials server using VPN without a domain user account?
Can they do it with a local account?
Question by:cliffordgormley
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LVL 77

Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 38842064
There has to be a domain account on the SBS so thy can authorize.  There are no local accounts on a domain controller.  However the remote PC does not need to be a member of the domain.
LVL 95

Assisted Solution

by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 250 total points
ID: 38842108
I always prefer a hardware VPN box. That way, any authorized person can have VPN access to the network. Server access is then a matter of have a user id and proper credentials.

... Thinkpads_User
LVL 77

Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 38842139
I would agree a VPN appliance/router is a much better solution from a security, perfomance, and managbility point of view, but I should ask why do you need a VPN.  There are a few reasons but with both of your server options you can access the server, PC's on the LAN, and shared folders using Remote Web Access and SSL, which is built-in and offers security advantages over a VPN.
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Author Comment

ID: 38842552
This question is an addition to this one here -

Since the users will have various OS's, including various Mac versions, they will have limited functionality with the server. So I'm not entirely sure if they will have Remote Web Access available to them.

So just to confirm. The best option would be a seperate VPN box that would allow them access through User ID and Credentials though it is possible for the remote pc's to access files on the server through VPN w/o them being part of a domain?
LVL 77

Accepted Solution

Rob Williams earned 250 total points
ID: 38842649
Looking at the other question, are these local or remote users?  A VPN is used for remote users accessing files.  If so yes any computer can access the server MAC, Linux, Windows home or pro using a VPN.
Every user does need a domain account to access but the PC does not have to join the domain.

In order to use RWA they must be Windows machines, home or pro, as they require Active-X which is not supported in other browsers.

In the other question you mention SBS 2011.  You are aware it will be discontinued in June through all but OEM channels, and those in December?
Server 2012 Essentials does not use Exchange but has better integration with Windows and MAC computers as well as pro of course.
LVL 95

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 38843478
If you have a VPN appliance, then you can do what you want above.

If you wish to use SBS2011 instead of a VPN appliance, then you need to follow RobWill's approach.  
... Thinkpads_User

Author Closing Comment

ID: 38843943
Thanks for the answers! I will be looking into both options for the user and actually pushing towards Server 2012 Essentials.
LVL 95

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 38843965
@cliffordgormley - You are most welcome. I was happy to help and good luck going forward.

.... Thinkpads_User

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