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We have some Windows users that connect to our network via VPN from home. They need to be able to connect to our Samba server and access a mapped network drive just as they do as when they are on our LAN.

The complication is that VPN clients are placed on a subnet other than our office LAN, and behind a firewall. What's the easiest way for me to allow them to still connect to the network share?

The solutions I've currently seen involve setting up a WINS server for name resolution purposes and then tunnelling a bunch of the NetBIOS stuff through the firewall. However that means I'd have to set up the VPN DHCP server to hand out the WINS address, something I'm not even sure is possible on the Cisco hardware we have. I'm thinking there must be an easier way. Should I use an LMHOSTS file? Or just map by IP address?

Also, I'm not terribly familiar with Windows networking, so which ports would I need to pass through my firewall in order to get the file sharing through?

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2 Answers

Another Non-Answer Alternative :-)

If they all have Desktops at work, they can just leave them on, and then maybe just use remote desktop to connect to them and do everything that way.

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If only it were that easy. They're actually on Mac laptops and run Windows in a Parallels Desktop instance on their laptop. I originally thought about putting all the Windows instances on a central server that people would remote desktop in to, but the idea wasn't well received for some reason. –  Kamil Kisiel Jan 15 '10 at 19:16
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If it's fairly ad-hoc and your users aren't put off by the thought you could just tell them to connect by IP or even create an entry for the link on an internal or external DNS server.

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