Remote Access

Applies To: Windows Server 2008

Overview of remote access

By configuring Routing and Remote Access to act as a remote access server, you can connect remote or mobile workers to your organization's networks. Remote users can work as if their computers are physically connected to the network.

All services typically available to a LAN-connected user (including file and print sharing, Web server access, and messaging) are enabled by means of the remote access connection. Because drive letters and universal naming convention (UNC) names are fully supported by remote access, most commercial and custom applications work without modification.

A server running Routing and Remote Access provides two different types of remote access connectivity:

Virtual private networking

Virtual private networking (VPN) is the creation of secured, point-to-point connections across a private network or a public network such as the Internet. A VPN client uses special TCP/IP-based protocols called tunneling protocols to make a virtual call to a virtual port on a VPN server. The best example of virtual private networking is that of a VPN client who makes a VPN connection to a remote access server that is connected to the Internet. The remote access server answers the virtual call, authenticates the caller, and transfers data between the VPN client and the corporate network.

In contrast to dial-up networking, virtual private networking is always a logical, indirect connection between the VPN client and the VPN server over a public network, such as the Internet. To ensure privacy, you must encrypt data sent over the connection.

Dial-up networking

In dial-up networking, a remote access client makes a nonpermanent, dial-up connection to a physical port on a remote access server by using the service of a telecommunications provider, such as analog phone or ISDN. The best example of dial-up networking is that of a dial-up networking client that dials the phone number of one of the ports of a remote access server.

Dial-up networking over an analog phone or ISDN is a direct physical connection between the dial-up networking client and the dial-up networking server. You can encrypt data sent over the connection, but it is not required.