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Windows Server 2008 R2 Thread, VPN Options for a Charitable Organisation in Technical; Hi everyone I work with a non-educational Charitable Organisation of around 100 clients (Windows 7) and a Server 2008 R2 ...
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    VPN Options for a Charitable Organisation

    Hi everyone

    I work with a non-educational Charitable Organisation of around 100 clients (Windows 7) and a Server 2008 R2 domain behind 2 Draytek routers. My colleague (the IT Director) has asked me to investigate a VPN solution. Currently, we have a number of RDP connections set up with appropriate port forwarding in the routers so key personnel can access their desktops or other internal systems whilst working remotely. We used to make farily liberal use of LogMeIn until they tightened up and now we have a licence with 10 computers associated with it. We are considering upgrading to Server 2012 within the next 6 months.

    Several years ago, a colleague showed me CMAK and the creation of a VPN in a lab situation. That might have been Server 2000 or 2003 but, as I was new to the field, I didn't really take much in about the process or what it all meant. I don't know if this is a viable option for us. Obviously, I don't want a detailed walk through of what to do and how to configure the VPNs but I would value suggestions about which direction to aim so I can do some research. I suppose the main requirements are:

    1. Cheap(!).
    2. Secure (I suppose VPN is, by it's very nature, secure but we don't want to inadvertently expose the internal network to accidental or intentional threats).
    3. Easy to configure and maintain at both the server and client end.
    4. I suspect that we might roll this out to 20 users initially but, as it becomes established, we'll face the inevitable "me too" so it will have to be easily expandable.
    5. I have a little experience with Linux but we are, essentially, a "Windows shop".
    6. I guess someone might suggest Smoothwall and that could be a steep learning curve!

    Thanks in advance.

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    apur32's Avatar
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    This may be an option for you

    Microsoft Remote desktop services

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcuIb7hlBik&safe=active

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    dayzd's Avatar
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    If you're just looking for dial-in access to existing machines and services, chances are your Drayteks can offer you a connection. I know the 2820 I have offers 32 dial-in profiles for remote users, so it might be worth investigating, at least!

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    I have remote desktop gateway at all my primary schools. It's built into Windows servers but can be fiddly to initially set up, although once it's up it just keep working without any tinkering needed.

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    I'm very grateful for the suggestions. I'll start tinkering and see where I get. I'm sure I'll be back if I get into bother!

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    apur32's Avatar
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    What is the primary need for the VPN solution. Accessing network drive through web browser or accessing the whole machine remotely??

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    plexer's Avatar
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    Openvpn on a raspberrypi?

    Ben

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    Sorry about the delay in responding - I've had my head down doing something else!

    As far as the reason for the VPN is concerned, it's primarily to access network resources. I guess if users needed to access their own PC, they could do so by RDP once the VPN tunnel had been established. In addition to the variety of suggestions here, I've been looking into an SSTP VPN directly to Server 2008 R2 or, eventually, to Server 2012. I've seen several great detailed videos about setting it up in a lab with a self-signed certificate but this won't stop my investigating the other options proposed in this thread.

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    You might want to take a look at server 2012r2 and the essentials roll this basically gives you a couple of clicks to set up a remote access system they even give you the domain name and SSL cert for free forever it also has file sharing built in, all the people I have set it up for love it.
    Server 2012 Essentials.PNG

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    Open vpn or if its still available then Direct Access

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/DirectAccess



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