Choosing Configurations for Portable Computers

Choosing Configurations for Portable Computers

If your mobile users travel frequently or work from remote sites and use slow or intermittent network connectivity, you might want to give them more control over their computers than you allow users who use their computers primarily on-site where administrators can provide full support. For example, you might allow traveling users to install or update device drivers and applications but restrict them from performing tasks that can damage or disable their computers.

Mobile users who work mostly off-site, whether or not they are connected to your network, have less access to support personnel. Therefore, when you install applications for users who are seldom connected to the network or do not have a reliable fast connection to it, make sure that all necessary components are also installed. You can use scripts to make sure that all files associated with the installed applications are installed locally. A sample Visual Basic script can be found in the Implementing Common Desktop Management Scenarios white paper, available on the Web Resources page at To allow portable computer users to install software, make them members of the Power Users Security group. For more information about security groups, see “Determining Security Strategies” later in this chapter.

Users who connect to your network remotely might need to configure virtual private network (VPN) connections. To allow them to make necessary configuration changes, enable the following settings:

  • Delete remote access connections belonging to the user.
  • Rename connections belonging to the current user.
  • Display and enable the New Connection Wizard.
  • Display the Dial-up Preferences item on the Advanced menu.
  • Allow status statistics for an active connection.
  • Allow access to the following:
    • Current user's remote access connection properties.
    • Properties of the components of a local area network (LAN) connection.
    • Properties of the components of a remote access connection.

If mobile users rarely connect to your network, you might not want to use features such as Roaming User Profiles and Folder Redirection. However, these features help maintain a seamless work environment from any computer for users who frequently connect to the network or roam between portable and desktop computers.