To VPN or not to VPN

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The_Urge

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I work at a small insurance agency and have been saddled with maintaining the network etc... We are going to be adding a branch office soon and will need to that office connected to the network in the main office because of our paperless system.

In the main office we have two servers, one that keeps our shared files, antivirus software and a couple other minor apps. and runs Windows Server 2000. The others server houses all of our imaged documents and runs Windows Server 2003 small business.

The branch office has windows XP systems. Both offices have boradband connections and Zyxel Prestiege 324 routers (which I don't believe can do VPN)

What I want is that when the employees turn on the systems in the branch office that they either automatically connect or just need to clinck an icon or something (some are not very gifted when it comes to computers :) )

What is the best way to get this thing off the ground? I can get new routers if need be.

Is it possible to use VPN and get the results that I want or do I need to explore other avenues?

Any ideas or help would be greatly appreciated.
 

mikesgroovin

HONK if you route packets
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Can you draw out a schematic of your logical network? it sounds like vpn is the way to go.....and you can just setup a server to handle the vpn traffic. this designated computer can be anywhere on the side of the lan that you want your users to connect to and it can run 2000 pro/server or xp pro....no need for a fancy server os.
 

The_Urge

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mikesgroovin said:
Can you draw out a schematic of your logical network? it sounds like vpn is the way to go.....and you can just setup a server to handle the vpn traffic. this designated computer can be anywhere on the side of the lan that you want your users to connect to and it can run 2000 pro/server or xp pro....no need for a fancy server os.

It goes something like this.

Main office: Internet > Zyxel Prestiege 324 router > 3Com 3C16471 switch >Windows 2000 Server
>Windows 2003 SB Server
>Workstations
I need to be able to connect to both servers if possible.

Branch office: Internet > Zyxel Prestiege 324 router > Workstations

Is this what you wanted to know?

Thanks for your reply.
 

mikesgroovin

HONK if you route packets
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Yes, thats fine. so, somewhere in the Main office scheme you want to dedicate a machine as the VPN host machine. as before, you can have it running 2000/XP pro or 2000/2003 server. once you setup your computer for VPN hosting, your router may have a built-in "PPTP" and "L2TP" passthrough abilities....if so, use them. if not, then you will manually have to forward ports 1723 (TCP) and 500 (UDP) to the vpn hosting computer.
 
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