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RE: access office computer from home

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Mark,

Option number 1 can also be done over the internet, which means that
higher speed connections can be used (DSL or cable modems).  Another
program that does remote control is Timbuktu.  It can do remote control by
way of IP (internet) addresses.  Therefore, it is not necessary to have
modems for every computer.

Scott Maxwell, PE, SE


On Mon, 28 Aug 2000, Jones, Mark A (Battle Creek) wrote:

> Ken Peoples <lvtakp(--nospam--at)yahoo.com> wrote
> >
> >now have the option of accessing my work computer from home for late
> >at night work, but we do not have any kind of system set up to do this.
> >We only have about 15 people on computers and would probably only have
> >three or four accessing from home.  Can any of you recommend how to go
> >about this - or where to look?
> 
> You have a couple of options.  Given your situation, I'd probably opt for #2
> but would also take a strong look at #3 using NT's built-in VPN.
> 
> 1) Remote Control - e.g. Symantec's PC Anywhere.  This works by an outside
> computer calling in and controlling an at-work workstation.  The at-work
> computer does all of the work with your home PC simply acting as an input
> device ala the old mainframe terminals.  You need a modem on each of the
> workstations in your office.  This tends to be slow because it takes a lot
> of memory to display your screen.  It takes a bit to get used to the delayed
> response time.  Your mouse doesn't move immediately.  The home mouse moves;
> sends the info to the work computer which then sends back the screen to the
> home PC. However, this is a great solution for tech support people to be
> able to fix anyone's computer.  I've seen it used for business commuters.
> Quite frankly, their are better alternatives.
> 
> Advantages: Flexibility - from any machine to any machine (that has the
> software, of course).  Security - Because this is a point-to-point
> connection, the info is not being passed through other computers.  Someone
> has to know what telephone number to call.
> 
> Disadvantages: Cost - modems for ALL machines; a copy of the software for
> all of the machines. Also, if you have to call long-distance to work.
> Slow/delayed response time. Security - PC Anywhere has some good security
> but most people turn it off because it is a pain to use and by default it is
> off. Lots of support: the IS dept needs to keep Users x 2 modems and
> software working, some of which will be on home machines. 
> 
> 2) Direct Dial-in - In this case, the at-work computer is acting as a
> pass-through/peer-to-peer connection.  This is much faster than remote
> control.  The home PC is acting as a limited computer on the system.  Most
> of the major operating systems, NT server & workstation, Unix, Linux; have a
> daemon or process to do this already included.  You just have to install it
> and set it up.
> 
> Advantages: Security - Same as remote control with the added advantage of
> using the OS's, hopefully rigorous, login security.  Cheap on the small
> scale: You basically need enough modems and dedicated phone lines in the
> office for the number of callers that you have.  If you have 3 callers, you
> need 3 modems.  However, modems can be quite cheap, say $50 a piece.
> 
> Disadvantages: slower than VPN/can't take advantage of high speed
> connections such as cable modems, ISDN & DSL.  Home machines need to be
> configured properly. Lots of support: the IS dept needs to keep Users x 2
> modems and software working, some of which will be on home machines. Cost -
> if you have to call long-distance to work.
> 
> 3) VPN (Virtual Private Network) - Your home computer becomes just another
> computer on the network at work with all of the privileges/rights and
> responsibilities.  In this case, the home PC calls the local internet
> dial-in, makes a secure connection with the server at work and acts just
> like another other PC you would have at work.  This is the fastest
> connection because it can use the high-speed internet connections.  NT
> server has a VPN built-in.  Many companies prefer to go to a 3rd party
> software and hardware. 
> 
> Advantages: Speed; Long-term maintenance; Flexibility - your home PC/laptop
> can connect from anywhere where their is an Internet connection;  Cost -
> Software is free if you use the NT built-in stuff; no long distance bills;
> very scaleable; very cost effective on the larger scale.  Ease of use - your
> computer thinks it is right on the LAN at work.  Security - Heavy duty
> security built-in, including firewalls, etc. & all communications are
> encrypted, typically with a high level algorithm.
> 
> Disadvantages: Cost - if using a 3rd party VPN for a small number of people
> (the hardware boxes can cost $3-4K for the server plus there may be a charge
> for the software on each of the home PC's/laptops).  Security - all
> communications go through the Internet, anyone along the way can copy the
> packets & all encryptions can be broken (given enough horsepower).  Also,
> may be vulnerable to Internet hacker attacks - see advantages.
> 
> 
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