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I have a network over about 20 computers that need to be maintained from a remote location. Would the best way be to setup software from say LogMeIn on one of the systems and then configure all the other systems to only allow remote access from that one central system?

What I need to do is be able to manage all 20 something systems from a remote location with a limited budget so the best idea that came to mind was using a central system with 3rd party software and once logged into it I can use Windows Remote Desktop to access the other systems.

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Why can't you use remote desktop directly from the remote location? It works remarkably well. –  SmallClanger May 22 '12 at 19:00
    
How would that get setup? Would the require port forwarding to that machine? Never set that up so figured the most secure and fastest way was to use a 3rd party system. –  Tiffany Walker May 22 '12 at 19:28
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Why not create a VPN and once joined to the VPN you can remote desktop into the machines as necessary? This way you don't have to open port 3389 on your firewall / router and can access the network remotely. The ability to set up a VPN is built into most SOHO routers, so it should be a pretty quick and easy setup, and if not then you can investigate software VPNs.

Alternatively you could look into setting up TS Gateway, however this will require you to have a server running Server 2008 running in a DMZ of sorts. This method will allow your traffic to travel over the standard SSL port of 443, but takes a bit more time to setup then a simply VPN connection would.

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SOHO routers? How would I go about setting up a VPN for this type of setup? The only time I've used a VPN is for accessing the internet under another IP. –  Tiffany Walker May 22 '12 at 19:29
    
The methodology would depend on what type of router / OS the router is operating under. The process under a Linksys would be different then that of a MikroTik. Research VPN's for that gateway device and you should find your answer. Once your VPN is established you can connect with the public IP of the network, and enter your username and password. Your computer will then act as though it's on the internal network that you wish to control remotely, and you can then do your work. –  DKNUCKLES May 22 '12 at 20:09
    
So basically I connect to the Firewall/Router VPN using one of their clients then I act as if I am on that network's subnetmask? –  Tiffany Walker May 23 '12 at 17:26
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I'd agree. This way, you limit the exposure of opening up remote access mechanism (RDP) to the public while still maintaining connectivity. Since LogMeIn (among other providers) leverages reverse tunneling, all that you need is to ensure the workstations have Internet connectivity. Considering LMI offers a free version, you could install LMI free on each of the workstations. So as long as you leverage the security controls in LMI (i.e. two factor auth), you also increase the security posture of the architecture as well.

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