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Sales Staff and branch offices need to access main office servers what protocols should be used RRS feed

  • Question

  • Using Windows XP Pro on travelling sales people's laptops and on branch office computers, I need to set up a way for them to access the Servers at the main office that run Windows 2003.  I have read that this can be done via a dial-up connection which I thought was an outdated method.  I also need to set up a way to troubleshoot the laptops.  I think this can be done using Remote Desktop and Remote Assistance.  I am not sure where to start with this whole situation.  There are so many different ways to set up Remote Access Protocols and configure outbound connections.  Should I set up a VPN Connection?  Do I need to set up both outbound and inbound dial-up connections and if so do I use PPP or SLIP network protocols.  Also should I use EAP, PAP, SPAP, CHAP, MS-CHAP?  As you can see I am quite confused about which course to take.  I know how to do most of these things I just don't know which ones work best in this situation.  Please help if you can.  I really appreciate it.

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011 5:07 PM

Answers

  • My recommendation would be to use a VPN. Have the users of the laptops connect to the Internet at whatever location they are. This could be done by connecting to the network at a hotel, or by means of a cellular phone, or through a connection to a local ISP at the branch offices. Once you get connectivity to the Internet, you open up a VPN through the existing connection. No additional software is needed for this purpose; Windows XP can do it out of the box. At the main office, you need a way for those VPN connections to "come in". If the office connects to the Internet through a high-end router, the router itself can probably support this functionality. Otherwise, you can implement it in software on a Windows Server that connects both to the external and the internal network.

    After the VPN connection is open, the remote computer will behave exactly as if it were directly plugged in to your internal network at the main office, so it can access the Servers, and you can also provide Remote Assistance or use remote desktop connections exactly in the same way as if the computer was inside the office.

     

    Thursday, February 10, 2011 8:28 AM