Virtual Private Networks
VPN is a great way for employees to work from home or road warriors to access office files. The original and best reason for VPN requires some explanation.
There are people who use remote control software to access a PC at home or in the office. That works very well in some situations but there are drawbacks. That access method occupies a system on the other end of the connection, in the office, and nobody can use the system for anything while it is being remotely controlled. The connection on a remotely controlled system is fairly slow under the best of conditions because every screen change requires a lot of information to flow across the Internet. The best feature of remote access is that it's like sitting at your desktop, but you are somewhere else.
Unlike remote control or remote access a VPN connection allows you to run your application locally but access the data remotely. This would be the same as working on the local network. It still isn't as fast as working locally but it sure is a lot faster than using the machine remotely. The only thing that flows across the Internet is the data, not the software or the screen changes.
There is a very secure VPN connection program that's free and only takes 10 minutes to set up. If you don't require a high level of security in your office, (the connections themselves are secure), this might be a good solution. And - free is a good thing. .
We're also using another program that for very small annual subscription fee, (currently $39.95), will allow someone to either access the files like a VPN, (the remote drives are available anytime you are connected to the Internet and appear automatically), or remotely control the desktop. This program, for the one small fee, allows you to connect to as many as 5 systems. VPN or desktop control, The best of both worlds. (No links to this software since I can't give away all my secrets!). Both of these programs will allow you to take control of the remote system in a pinch but using different methods
While we have used GoToMyPC for years and it's a great and very mature product, there are less expensive alternatives that will do as well or better.
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