TS Gateway on Vista Server Rocks!

Back in this blog entry, I mused about the nice Audio over RDP feature. It is pretty sweet to have secure, remote access to one's audio collection.

Well, I recently started playing with RDP over the new TS Gateway on Vista Server, and I have to say that it just keeps getting better.

In the past, I would VPN from home into Microsoft, open RDP from my laptop at home into my work machine at Microsoft, then stream audio from the work machine through my laptop at home. Life was good.

With TS Gateway, I no longer need to VPN. I now directly open RDP from my laptop at home into my work machine at Microsoft and stream audio. Life is great.

While you may think "big deal... you are still tunneling and get no substantially new features", it is important to me for one reason:

I no longer need to run as local Administrator on any of my systems.

As I mentioned in this blog entry - I run as normal, unprivileged User to do everything; I turn on the Windows Firewall to block all but a few select ports; I do not bother with personal Security Products because they simply intrude on my computing freedom... because, umm... the idea of a computer software "chaperone" scares me. Remember HAL 9000?

Dave... what's wrong? What are you doing? Please don't do that...

Argh! :-P

Anyways, the one and only reason that I still use my local Administrator account is to VPN from home into Microsoft, and once I have VPN, I immediately RDP from my laptop to my machine at work using my non-priviledged account. I imagine that most everyone else in the world running Windows do something similar and run with Administrative priviliges with far greater amount of time.

Well, the TS Gateway works perfectly for me:

  • I still RDP from my laptop at home to my machine at work
  • I no longer need to VPN
  • I no longer need to use my local Administrator accounts anywhere

To boot, RDP already allows me to copy files between the Host and Remote computers. So I do not need to VPN anymore to do these common operations.

Yes, I know you *nix-heads are shaking your heads and saying "welcome to modern computing; *nix has had SSH tunneling and X11 port-forwarding for decades now" - but humor me for the moment. :-) How easy is it to work with and forward smart card so that you can double hop?

To me, the TS Gateway feature, like IIS7, make Vista Server compelling.