I've really got very little idea what I'm doing here, so please forgive me if I am missing anything painfully obvious.

As the nerd of last resort for a friend, I've recently found myself in the position of performing the administration tasks on a Windows Server 2003 server being used in a business. Its a Windows 2003 Server behind a consumer DLink DSL Modem/NAT Router with a Dynamic DNS setup. It is used by 3 Laptops for file storage (in the office) and file storage and access via Remote Desktop (on site).

They have requested I set up a method for them to access their files in a method beyond a remote copy of Office when they're on site. I've never done this before, and I've got no idea how to even start. Loosely, I thought that I should try setting up a VPN, though I'm not even sure that this is the best way, or would do the trick. My problems with VPN are compounded by Server's apparent need of using 2 network connections - 1 for the network and 1 for internet.

This may be overkill. Essentially, I need a solution that can give access to files on a 2003 Server, like they're in a folder on the machine (through My Network Places, or a shortcut to the folder on the desktop) whilst on the internet, when the Server isn't functioning as the DHCP Server/NAT router.

Has anybody got any clue on how to solve this? Network administration is really very new to me.



What you're looking for is RRAS. Here are some of the links:




Please keep in mind, that some of those DSL router will NOT allow appropriate VPN connectivity, just because the manufacturer cheap out and didn't implement this feature.


i don't have a whole lot of time (and i can expand on this), but you might find the following technologies pretty useful:

logmein hamachi: in lieu of vpn, which is just painful (if getting slow performance due to both sides being behind a nat, then open the specific port on one side so it doesn't have to bridge the connection)

windows live mesh 2011: this is really good for syncing 'pairs' of folders across the net. you don't have to be limited to the 5gb limited skydrive either. just install live mesh on one side, and live mesh on the other, and sync computer to computer.

  • Live mesh looks fantastic - but unfortunately, they've now dropped support for Server 2003. LogMeIn may be an option - but I don't know if I can get them to pay up for it just yet. We'll see. – lochok Apr 9 '11 at 3:37

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