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Connect to office from home

 
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Hello all,
I am trying to find help on the steps I need to follow to connect 2 computers from home to the network at the office.
Office computers have XP-Pro
Home computer 1 XP- home
Home computer 2 (different home from 1) W2K-Pro
I got the network in the office working just fine, but I can't seem to get the two computers outside of the office to be allowed in.

The firewalls all have the IP addresses in the trusted zone. Windows firewall is off and Norton firewall is on the network
Zone Alarm is on one of the home computers and configured to allow for the IP addresses of the other computers.

Yet, in the office the one computer can't ping itself but it can ping another computer, but not outside of the office. No other computer can ping any other computer.
We are using a Linksys Router with no other problems noted.
I tried to find a tutorial for this problem but there were none listed. Can anyone out there help me solve this problem? I have been trying to find a solution since September.

 
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The computers in the office probably have a internal IP address (e.g. 192.168.1.#). Is that correct? You won't be able to connect to them remotely using their internal IP addresses. One option is to find the IP address assigned to your office by the Internet Service Provider. You can then create a VPN or connect via software made for that purpose. (Don't ask me the specifics on setting up a VPN since such troubles are what has me visiting here today.)

 
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are u trying to get to a specific pc in the office if so u have to get access throught the servers and u would need the static ip for the server that the pc is connected to. remember there are firewall on the server so those will deny access to the desktops pc's

 
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Thanks for the responses. I have contacted Linksys and they were able to help me configure the router to allow me to use GoToMyPC program again. However, that ties up the office computer, which is not what I wanted to do. I really need to access the office database without tying up a computer that someone there can be using.

 
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so u need access to the server where the data base is stored

 
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yes that is correct, bobbyraw

 
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VPN is the way to go. You may be able to configure this on your router if it's capable. The router can authenticate or you can use a RADIUS server to authenticate.

 
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Hi Darla,

I agree with Inky - a VPN is probably the way to go.

Have a look at this tut: http://www.onecomputerguy.com/networking/xp_vpn_server.htm

It has instructions for creating a VPN server with XP. You'll need a static IP address (which I assume you have if you already had one type of remote access going). You'll probably want to leave your nominated XP, VPN Server on, though it should be available for use by others when you 're connected.

As the tut mentions at the end, you'll also need to forward incoming traffic on port 1723 to your nominated VPN Server in your router at the office.

You'll then connect to your work's external IP address from home using a username/password on the VPN server.

Once it's set up, you should be able to access your database over the network as if you were at work.

Chris Fry
Canberra, Australia

 
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that's all advanced. If you just want to remote into your office computer, I recommend www.logmein.com
Gives you free access to your computers.

 
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I did try to establish a VPN only to find out that our router does not support it. Is there any other ways? It is too late to return the router, so I guess I am stuck with this setup.

 
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>Is there any other ways? It is too late to return the router, so I guess I am stuck with this setup.

like I said, if you just want to remote into your work computer, logmein.com is a free solution.

 
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yes that is correct, bobbyraw

then u would need access to the server to run a remote program that will allow your pc access, ultra vnc or pc anywhere

 
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Thanks everyone for all your help

 
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Sorry, I know this is "solved", just a couple of quick additions:

TheNNS: I think Darla was trying to avoid monopolising a PC during remote access - doesn't logmein do that?

Darla: You could configure one of your PCs to replace your router then configure that as a VPN server...

The configuration would be:
<Internet> - <PC acting as VPN Server/router> - <Internal Network>

Post again if you want instructions for that.

CF

 
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Yes, CFry, I do want instructions for that, but I have a question.... we have 2 computers in the office if I remove the physical router will that interfere with the internet connection for the computer with no router to use?

 
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Ok - these instructions assume your router isn't a wireless one (if it is, you'll need some extra configuration to make it act as a wireless access point in stead of a wireless router).

Firstly, you need two network interfaces in the PC you're going to use as your router - one for the internet, the other to share it with your network. A network card can be purchased for under $20 AUD (probably less in the US) and is reasonably easy to install. You could opt for a USB network card if you want to make it really easy or if you can't install a normal (PCI) one for some reason, but these are more expensive. If your modem has a USB connection, you can use that as your first network interface and your existing network port as the second (no need to buy anything :-) ).

Once you've installed the second interface (if required), set up the internet connection on your nominated PC as you would if it were the only computer using it. Use either the USB connection if available, or one of your network adapters.

Check you can surf the web and don't proceed until you can.

Next, you should be able to use your router as a switch (a box that connects your computers together). It will most likely have one port for the modem/WAN/ADSL (labels vary), and probably 4 others or so for computers on your network. You won't use the port that connected to your modem/WAN/ADSL any more. In stead, plug your computers into the other LAN ports on your router (they may be labelled "LAN").

Now we have to share the internet connection. Click Start, Control Panel, Network Connections. There, you should be able to see your internet connection and the extra network interface/your link to the other computers.

Right click your internet connection and click Properties.

Click the Advanced tab

Tick/check the "Allow other network users to connect through this computer's internet connection" box

If you have an option to choose a "Home networking connection:", select "Local Area Connection"

Click OK - if you're still connected to the internet, you should be told that the changes won't take effect till next time you connect.

Restart the computer and say a prayer (this is a Microshaft system after all ;-) )

Connect to the internet on your computer

Check your router is on and all your network cables are plugged into the "LAN" ports and NOT the "WAN"/"ADSL" port (there should be nothing connected to this port).

Try to browse the web on other computers.

Hopefully that works - though there are some strange quirks with this sort of thing. Let me know if it doesn't work and I'll give you some troubleshooting tips.

Once your internet sharing is working, set up the PC you're using as a router as a VPN server using the instructions mentioned before. That should give you:
1. Remote access to your network from home
2. All PCs at work available to be used during remote access
3. All PCs at work able to use the internet

This isn't a really secure solution by itself by the way so be aware of that. You might want to install something like Comodo Personal Firewall on the router-PC, which you can get for free here: http://www.personalfirewall.comodo.com/.

Post again, possibly in a different section if you want instructions for that - it will require some more advanced configuration.

Regards,

Chris Fry
Canberra, Australia

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