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95 posts

Master Geek


# 21810 7-May-2008 14:37
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Hi...

We are currently looking for new VPN networking software...

We were originally using OpenVPN GUI 1.0, but due to a conflict of intrest with the developer, we had to move away from this...

We spent alot of time and money building a new server and working through the BirdsSoft VPN-X software, which has proven itself to be totally unstable and unreliable...

2 days ago, an IT person we had out at one of our site PC's, suggested we look at LogMeIn.com...

LogMeIn IT reach has all the facilities we need and it seems to be fairly reliable, however... it also comes with a rather hefty pricetag (to move all our PC's on to this system would cost us well over US$2500 a year)

Does anyone know of any comprable software that pretty much mirrors LogMeIn in terms of capabilites etc, but without the monthly/yearly subscription rates (we want to buy permanent licences for all our machines)

Any Ideas at all would be greatly appreciated!!!

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BDFL - Memuneh
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# 129126 7-May-2008 14:56
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I don't understand... You ask for a VPN and LogMeIn Reach is not a VPN software, it is a remote acess solution.

If you want VPN you have to look at LogMeIn Hamachi instead.




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  # 129129 7-May-2008 15:02
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I'd second LogMeIn Hamachi Premium and have it on your server while all your other PC can just be Hamachi Free.




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Master Geek


# 129156 7-May-2008 15:37
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So what is the difference between VPN and remote access solution... we just need a reliable program that we can get remote access on and do file transfers over without too much drama... 

Why would we have used VPN in the first place instead of remote access... 
Would it have any effect on the Networks we are hooked in to around the country??? (firewalls & port#'s etc)

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  # 129159 7-May-2008 15:44
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VPN (Virtual Private Network) allows one computer to see another computer as if they were in the same LAN. For example I have Hamachi on my Geekzone server, on my Windows Home Server, on my laptops and so on.

Hamachi will give each computer a private IP address and allows you to create your own "network" so that communications between those nodes in this "network" are only visible to them, and can be encrypted and compressed.

With this you can RDP to these machines, map share drives and folders and use them as local drives, do whatever you want, as if they were all in the same LAN - even if they are hosted in different places in the country.

Remote access provides you with access to the other computer as if you were in front of it, with a keyboard, mouse and monitor. Some remote access programs provide you with file tranfer or more sophisticated management, but not all will allow you to access remote services or map drives.







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Master Geek


# 129166 7-May-2008 16:13
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Is Symantec PCAnywhere a VPN or remote access program??

We have been using that to dial in to the sites and it does everything we need it to do...

Our problem is, we have just lost all our technical support which includes the guy who designed the new system we are using at the moment for a small number of sites(using VPN-X server at the office and VPN-X client on the remote PC's to create the connection and using PCAnywhere to remote control and file transfer) but it just keeps faulting... all the IT people we have talked to in the past few weeks don't want to get invovled!!

I don't know if i'm just making it sound more complicated than it is, or if it is quite a specialised area...

I just can't seem to wrap my head around it... I have no training in computers whatsoever but for some reason I'm the poor bugger who has been handed the responsibilty for all of the companies computer problems/solutions/networks etc...

I dont suppose you'd be willing to do a bit of contract work and get it all up and running the way it should have been done to start with?? (serious question!!)
Or perhaps you could recommend someone in Chch who has a good grasp on all of this sort of thing...

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  # 129192 7-May-2008 18:05
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What exactly do you want your network to behave like? Do you want remote access to the client PCs, or remote access to the server? or having access to your network LAN?

At the moment, I am not very clear as to what you would like to achieve out of this.

I am in Chch, I may be of any help if you could explain a bit more what you would like to achieve.




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  # 129243 7-May-2008 21:28
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MallAudio: So what is the difference between VPN and remote access solution... we just need a reliable program that we can get remote access on and do file transfers over without too much drama... 

Why would we have used VPN in the first place instead of remote access... 
Would it have any effect on the Networks we are hooked in to around the country??? (firewalls & port#'s etc)


The simplest way to describe the difference is this:

VPN.

This is usefull if you have a remote PC that you wish to connect to your work LAN as if it is a desktop directly connected to that LAN in your office.  This PC would need all the software normally installed in a desktop at your work.  Once you connect and login you will see all your network facilities as if you were using this PC at work.

This solution is most appropriate for laptops.  When you are in the office the laptop connects to your LAN as a desktop would but without using the VPN application.  When you take the laptop out of the office and connect using the VPN software it functions as if you were in the office - any network shares/network places etc. all work normally.

As far as I am aware there is no 'free' MS VPN client available.

Remote Access.

This allows you to connect to an individual office PC (usually a desktop) at work using any remote PC.  You 'take over' the work PC as if you were using ity directly - your remote keyboard, mouse and monitor behave as if they were directly connected to the office PC.


The fundamental differrence between VPN and Remote Access is that with Remote Access, the remote PC need only have the remote access software installed (along with the underlying OS).  Once the connection is established all software you use runs only on the office PC.  This solution is most appriate where you have employees who require occasional remote access from outside the office (usually home) using a personally-owned PC capable of supporting your chosen Remote Access application.  The employee need only install the remote access software.  There is a package called Remote Desktop that comes free with Windows XP PRO and (IIRC) can be installed on XP HOME.



I have personally used a VPN client extensively to work for over 2 years in Wellington as a contractor for a Sydney-based office - 3 weeks out of 4.  The 4th week was in Sydney.  I simply bought a laptop, had the Sydney office 'configure' it as an office desktop, and used it totally seemlessly in both locations.  At home I had an ASDL connection.

I also used Windows Remote Desktop to manage Sydney-based servers from home in Wellington - using VPN to connect to the network then Remote Desktop to connect to various servers.  When in Sydney I simply used just Remote Desktop.

Good luck and I hope this helps.



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Master Geek


# 129363 8-May-2008 14:20
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OK.... What we do is we look after all the music and ads for the majority of shopping malls around new zealand...

when we get a new site onboard, I set up the PC here in the office with all the software, music etc then send it out to site...
When it is plugged in at the other end, they do not plug in a screen mouse or keyboard... just the power, audio out and network cable...

we have to be able to securly tunnel through our clients networks and firewalls etc to our PC's...

What we need to be able to do once in, is have remote access to the PC's (as if we were sitting in front of it) so we can manipulate schedules, programme the software to turn music off etc at set times, and we need to be able to transfer files to and from the site pcs from our server here in chch on a daily basis...

Any suggestions to make life easier?

We are in desperate need of someone who has experience and a sound knowledge of these types of systems, if not ongoing, then willing to train me up (at our cost of course)

Cheers

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# 129367 8-May-2008 14:29
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What you need then is LogMeIn Pro. It will allow you to remote control and transfer file to and from that PC. The software works through most firewalls and routers.

This is a Remote Desktop solution, not a VPN.






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Master Geek


  # 129370 8-May-2008 14:36
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The only problem with LogMeIn being the ongoing cost... to licence half our PC's would be approx $1500 a year, Hence the reason we went with BirdsSoft VPN-X (bought 100 ongoing licences for a one-off cost)

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# 129372 8-May-2008 14:38
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Another option would be to have LogMeIn Free for remote control, which doesn't have file transfer, but use LogMeIn Hamachi free to create a VPN, and map the remote drives and just copy and paste files from your local computer to your remote computer.

Using LogMeIn Hamachi free means the VPN is only available when someone is logged in - but you could use LogMeIn Free to login, which would automatically start Hamachi, and then you would be able to both remote control and transfer files - for free.





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  # 129400 8-May-2008 15:58
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I agree with Mauricio in that your need is more along the lines of remote connections rather than VPN.  Your circumstances though are different to normal - you have s single 'remote' machine to connect to (and take over) many 'host' machines in the client office.

If I were a client of yours I would be concerned about opening my firewall to let you into my lan.  This could conceivably be limited to specific ports and I would want to be assured that you can connect only to the PC you supplied.  Use of any remote server software should address all these concerns though.  pcAnywhere, from memory, allows you to configure passwords at the host (PC in your client's office) and I would think this would be included in other similar software.

The licencing arrangements though are against you.  I would suggest you contact the vendors (such as LogMeIn and Symantec), express an interest, outline your problem as you have here and ask for a custom licencing deal oriented to a single remote and many hosts.

HTH.

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# 129401 8-May-2008 16:00
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LogMeIn and Hamachi do not require any firewall changes.

I have very strict firewall rules on Geekzone - basiclly just port 80 and 443 allowed, and both work with no problems.






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Master Geek


# 129632 9-May-2008 12:00
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Took me a while, but I managed to squeeze some info out of our old IT guy...

The computer posses no threat to the client networks because it sits on its own network and work group. We use one port which is 35,000 outgoing – & use port 80 incoming on UDP – so no router configurations needed.
 We use VPNX as our VPN and VNC/PC anywhere as our remote desktop client The Firewall is ICS on our PC. And passwords are Level 3...

All this means nothing to me really!

The way i understand it is...
 
we have a server here in our office which is set up as our VPN network and not hooked in to our LAN... site Pc's are configured to automatically connect to our VPN network when windows launches... when the connection is available I get a little green light next to the site PC's name on our office server (if the site pc is faulting and we can't get in I get an orange light) ...

If I have the green light on the PC i want access to, then I use PCanywhere to dial in and gain remote access...

If the light is not up on the VPN server, then I cannot gain remote access with VNC viewer or PcAnywhere


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