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I work in a tiny two-person software company. The other employee is literally half a world away. I'd like to set up our single Windows server to provide all the services we'll need to run our domain. Here's what we have configured so far:

  • Dell PowerEdge 2900
  • Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise SP2
  • Active Directory (domain controller)
  • DNS Server
  • IIS

My challenge is to set up a VPN that would allow the remote worker to sign into the domain. What's the easiest/best way to do this?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Buy a simple hardware firewall that supports vpn. You will be much happier in the long run. You can even use a cheap linksys router and DD-WRT with openvpn enabled to do the job.

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DDWRT will definitely support this and save you a ton of money. If it were a large company I would say go for something more expensive, but for a small 2-person office DDWRT would be sufficient. –  cop1152 Jun 15 '09 at 14:04
    
Setting up OpenVPN was a bit tricky. Now that I have the configuration sorted out, it works great. –  dthrasher Oct 21 '09 at 20:21

For software development, do you really need VPN? Hint: I would say not:

  • Use webmail for emails (if you run Exchange)
  • Use SubVersion for code versioning
  • Use SharePoint (free with Windows Server) for shared documents, calendars, client contacts, etc
  • Use a web-based bug tracking system

Seriously, for that configuration I really wouldn't use VPN.

If you do have to use it, RRAS (Routing and Remote Access) on Windows is easy to set up, but fiddly to administer. You can, however, then log onto the domain across VPN (if the remote computer has already been joined). Again, I really, really don't recommend this approach.

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A possible (and not very expensive ) solution for the VPN might be to get a LANCOM router with VPN support. They provide an easy way to set up an IPSec VPN between either the router and a mobile client or between two routers.
I've done it and besides some minor difficulties configuring the VPN (you need to setup firewall rules that are not really firewall rules, just a way to express which network is connected to which over the VPN. The documentation is a bit sparse regarding this step) it works like a charm.

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Get Small Business Server and use the Wizard.

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