Using a Server connected laptop away from office (how to download)


  1. Posts : 35
    Windows 10
       #1

    Using a Server connected laptop away from office (how to download)


    Hello there, have few people computer setup to our network however sometiems on the road they need to be able to use them. they can login to there network login as its cached however downloads are unviewable as I guess there stored so they can't be viewable unless connected to server for security reasons.

    what is a way for staff to be able to download when not at office?

    thanks
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  2. Posts : 11,176
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux
       #2

    Hi folks

    @Whelan189

    Most remote office workers who use office networks away from the office connect into a work VPN. That's probably what the office needs -- use the VPN to create the Virtual desktop for your remote workers. Access privileges can decide who can access what data and what downloads can be allowed -- Internet proxy / gateway etc.

    This type of approach also isolates a normal users desktop / workspace from the work VPN.

    You can add further security to the login process by having those token key things where as part of the logon you have to enter the number generated by the token. Not expensive either.

    Using a Server connected laptop away from office (how to download)-token-png.png

    It can also be done without a hardware device -- an app on mobile phone

    Cheers
    jimbo
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  3. Posts : 17,266
    Windows 11 Pro
       #3

    @jimbo45 is mixing a few terms together - VPN and VM - virtual machines. A VPN, by itself, does not create a virtual desktop. All that a VPN does is connect the computer to your office network through an intermediate network. Let's say employee takes computer to hotel on travel. They connect the computer to the hotel network, probably via WiFi. Then they start the VPN software which establishes a "tunnel" through the hotel's internet connection to your office network. As long as the VPN stays connected, the hotel network pretty much disappears to the computer and the computer will act just like it was plugged into the physical work network. All the network drives will be connected, network printers will be connected, remote desktop sessions can be connected, etc. But there will be no "virtual desktop". All applications and data processing are still done on the remote computer, just like at the office.

    A VPN server is much, much cheaper to run than virtual machines. Most modern home use routers even have VPN servers built in.
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  4. Posts : 11,176
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux
       #4

    Hi there @NavyLCDR

    I meant basically for the VPN to be used and then connect to the server which could be a VM or not , depending on what the work network wants to let external logins see and use. Largish organisations often provide the "Virtual Desktop" idea as users may have access to different applications and systems of course.

    However for smaller ones just a simple connection to network drives is probably all that's needed in this case -- depends on what type of work the remote users have to do and the data they need to access.

    However the main idea would be for the OP to use a VPN -- the token logon method is often used these days as well as an extra layer of security -- some comanies also have a mobile phone app instead of a physical token.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My Computer


  5. Posts : 35
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #5

    NavyLCDR said:
    @jimbo45 is mixing a few terms together - VPN and VM - virtual machines. A VPN, by itself, does not create a virtual desktop. All that a VPN does is connect the computer to your office network through an intermediate network. Let's say employee takes computer to hotel on travel. They connect the computer to the hotel network, probably via WiFi. Then they start the VPN software which establishes a "tunnel" through the hotel's internet connection to your office network. As long as the VPN stays connected, the hotel network pretty much disappears to the computer and the computer will act just like it was plugged into the physical work network. All the network drives will be connected, network printers will be connected, remote desktop sessions can be connected, etc. But there will be no "virtual desktop". All applications and data processing are still done on the remote computer, just like at the office.

    A VPN server is much, much cheaper to run than virtual machines. Most modern home use routers even have VPN servers built in.
    jimbo45 said:
    Hi there @NavyLCDR

    I meant basically for the VPN to be used and then connect to the server which could be a VM or not , depending on what the work network wants to let external logins see and use. Largish organisations often provide the "Virtual Desktop" idea as users may have access to different applications and systems of course.

    However for smaller ones just a simple connection to network drives is probably all that's needed in this case -- depends on what type of work the remote users have to do and the data they need to access.

    However the main idea would be for the OP to use a VPN -- the token logon method is often used these days as well as an extra layer of security -- some comanies also have a mobile phone app instead of a physical token.

    Cheers
    jimbo
    Hello Guys thanks for the responses, I did think it would be a case such as this, With going forward to setting this up, where do I go to set up the network for a vpn. Virgin is the then connection.

    I'm just apprentice on a site and wanted to get a better understanding before contacting manager in a diffrent location, many thanks
      My Computer


  6. Posts : 8,633
    Mac OS Catalina
       #6

    You really need to be using a cloud drive to allow "Road Warriors" to access files on the go. Look at Jumpcloud.com to handle the heavy work in what you are wanting to do. Box.com is a very good Cloud drive service.
      My Computer


  7. Posts : 17,266
    Windows 11 Pro
       #7

    Whelan189 said:
    Hello Guys thanks for the responses, I did think it would be a case such as this, With going forward to setting this up, where do I go to set up the network for a vpn. Virgin is the then connection.

    I'm just apprentice on a site and wanted to get a better understanding before contacting manager in a diffrent location, many thanks
    My VPN gets set up as a combination of a DDNS server and VPN server and both are included in my router. I need DDNS because my IP address is dynamically assigned by my ISP and may change at times. A business internet connection that is going to use VPN should get a static IP address and that would eliminate the need for a DDNS server. This is the DDNS setup page of my router:

    Using a Server connected laptop away from office (how to download)-ddns.jpg

    It keeps track of the public IP address of my internet connection and uploads it automatically to the mynetgear.com DDNS server (which is really no-ip.com). Then instead of using the IP address of my internet connection (WAN side of router), I use mynetworkname.mynetgear.com and that returns the current IP address of my router.

    This is the VPN server page of my router:

    Using a Server connected laptop away from office (how to download)-vpn.jpg

    My router uses OpenVPN. On my laptop, I download and install the OpenVPN client program. I download and install the configuration file from my router. When I start the OpenVPN client and connect to my VPN, my network connection changes to as if I was plugged directly into my home network. My mapped network drives start working again. I can print to my network connected printers. I can remote in to other computers connected to my home network, including those that might be connected via VPN themselves. With my setting, even the internet traffic gets channeled through my home netowrk. The local network connection my laptop is connected to, such as the WiFi at the hotel, only sees encrypted traffic being passed. Without sophisticated hacking software, they (the hotel) has no clue exactly what that encrypted contains, their network only sees a stream of encrypted data - it might be web surfing, file transfer, printing, remote access to other computers - they cannot tell what it is.

    Now, VPN connections can be blocked...but I've only had VPN connections blocked on US Government connections, never a hotel or other public internet connection.

    If you don't have VPN server available on your router, then your ISP (Virgin) may be able to provide the service. You can also run a separate VPN Server on your network, but that involves forwarding the appropriate ports to the server and also ensuring that server is always powered on and available when you want VPN connections to be available.

    Another thing to consider is your VPN performance is limited, usually, by the upload speed of your server's internet connection. My home internet service is 400 Mbps download and 10 Mbps upload, so my VPN connection is limited to 10 Mbps when I am downloading something from my local network.
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