Laptop Remote Access SBS 2011

I have a simple AD Network with a SBS2011 Server and a Cisco Router/Firewall.

We have a sales rep who needs to have remote access using a laptop when they are at a conference. They need email, and access to files located on the network.

I know that RDP can be used and also Remote Access as built-in /provided by SBS 2011.

I need suggestions as to the best way to set this up.
1- Should laptop be added to the Domain or should it be left as stand alone and then used offsite?
2 - Should we use OWA for email or connect to their internal desktop via RDP or Remote Access and check email that way?
3 - Should they access network files via RDP or Remote Access?

All help and suggestions appreciated!
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The way I do it for my clients using SBS is that we give remote users access to OWA as well as hardware based (Cisco, Sonicwall) VPN.  Of course, once they VPN into the office then they can directly access their shared files as well as using email client.

I prefer to have the VPN gateway terminated at the VPN router than at the Windows server and try to keep most ports closed at the firewall as much as I can.
David AtkinTechnical DirectorCommented:

Is it an existing laptop or a new one?

Most of what you've asked is upto your preference and the users preference.  Having Outlook installed on the PC and configured for their email maybe simpler for the user to use.  They can always use Outlook Web Access as a fall back plan.

If you have a spare machine at the office for the user to login to isn't a bad idea.  It also means if the laptop is stolen or anything then all the files are safely store on your PC/Server in the office.

Do you know what the internet connection will be like?
GenesisTechAuthor Commented:
It is a new laptop that I have not configured yet.

I am not sure about VPN as the users are "simple users" and this may be too difficult. Besides, I may not be able to set it up either (networking is not my strength).

There may be multiple users of the laptop - depends on which sales rep is going to the conference.

I know that this is all my choice, but I am looking for the easiest way for both (a) me to set up up, and (b) for them to use it.
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David AtkinTechnical DirectorCommented:
Because it's a new laptop I would setup local users for now (saves the possibility of running into trust issues).

If you can install office and setup the mail accounts for each local user then that would be simple for them to access their emails.

That being said, having them use the remote web workplace means that they can access their emails and files from one place and it's the simplest thing to setup.

A VPN would be the most secure way of accessing the files but the RWW will do it.

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GenesisTechAuthor Commented:

Can you share further why you think setting up multiple local accounts, each with Outlook configured, is a good idea.

Seems to me like you are just creating an additional point of administration.

If the laptop had 1 local account that everyone used, then they could access SBS RWW for email and files and there would essentially be nothing to maintain - right?
"Can you share further why you think setting up multiple local accounts, each with Outlook configured, is a good idea. Seems to me like you are just creating an additional point of administration."

I agree, and you don't want that for security reasons.  You want each user to have their own Windows profile and let the email setup be divided as per user's profile.

However, I do agree with RWW setup being the easiest for your case.  Just have the sales people VPN, RWW or RDP (if you have a Terminal Server) and have each one login to their respective account while keeping most point of management away at your end.
David AtkinTechnical DirectorCommented:
Yes creating a single user would be fine if you don't have any sensitive information that one sales rep shouldn't be seeing over the other one.

If had remote workers more frequently then a VPN with outlook would be the best thing to do. But if it's a one of then I'd just create the single user and let them use RWW
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Remote Access

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