I want to provide a remote employee remote desktop into a PC in the office and am trying to decide between the following two options:

  1. Use Microsoft VPN to get him a local network IP. Use RDP to connect to host machine.
  2. Use local SSH tunneling for VPN port. Connect RDP to localhost:portNumber

Is either option more secure than the other? Will either option perform better than the other? Are there any better options I've missed or considerations I should make?

  • 1
    What do you call "local SSH tunneling for VPN port" ? – Gregory MOUSSAT Mar 18 '12 at 16:34
  • ssh -L 8888:localhost:3389 remoteDesktopHost. Then remote desktop to localhost:8888 – Jonathan Mar 18 '12 at 17:53

Both VPN and SSH are secure, I think it's more important to check the performance and usability of each option. If you want better performance NX would be interesting for you.

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Your other main option would be some form of Terminal Services Gateway ( http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc731264(v=ws.10).aspx ) of Remote desktop Web gateway ( http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc731923.aspx ) depending on your version of Windows.

Which option is best depends on the skill of your users, while developers/techs may be able to figure out SSH tunnels, VPN or web gateways are probably easier for non-technical users.

All options are encrypted so you should be fine on that front and performance will depend more on other network factors than any of those above choices (in my experience).

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