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vpn networking

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Occasional Visitor

vpn networking

I have a company computer running on Win98 and a home computer running on WinME. We currently use Dial-up Networking and a modem to share a multi-user application (Quickbooks Pro). When we first began using this method, it was a little slow but tolerable. Now that we have a year's worth of history in the app, the delay has become unbearable. I am trying to figure out whether the virtual private networking is an option for us. Both computers have internet access. Do I have to have WinNT or W2k to be a server? Do I have to have a special service from my ISP to set up the PPTP? If not, how do I assign an IP address to my computer (the server)? And finally, will this method speed up my data transfer to internet speed? I have spent most of the day on the microsoft.com site trying to find answers to my questions, without luck. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Valued Contributor

Re: vpn networking

> Do I have to have WinNT or W2k to be a server?

Both NT and Win2k can be the server, and you don't have the use the server versions depending on how many connections that you want.

> Do I have to have a special service from my ISP > to set up the PPTP? If not, how do I assign an IP > address to my computer (the server)?

In order to make it work correctly the server would need to have a publically accessible IP address and any firewall would not be able to block the connection (starts on port 1723). Some modem ISP's also don't allocate public IP addresses anymore and these do not support using the PPTP (vpn) connection.

> And finally, will this method speed up my data
> transfer to internet speed?

It will only be faster if you can utilise better internet connections than a modem (eg ISDN or cable, or dsl).

Advisor

Re: vpn networking

The previous solution was DUN through Modem, right ? But how were you establishing a connection ? Was the Home system calling directly the Business one (2 modems), or were you going through the Internet ?

Anyway, the VPN methods will NOT speed up connections. VPN is interesting for Security purposes, not for speed. It's even slower usually, since you encrypt the data.

If I were you, I'd try first to use the following methods :
- Use a Remote Control Tool (e.g : PCAnywhere, VNC for a free tour, ...)
- Use Win2000 Terminal Servers (this one is usually very faster) + DUN. The Home PC will call a Win2000 RAS server and will open a Win2000 session.

Both methods have the advantage that the only information that are transfered are the Display ones and the Keyboards and Mouse events.

Hope thie helps .....
Preserve the best, Reinvent the Rest
Occasional Visitor

Re: vpn networking

I am currently using 2 modems. The business modem calls the home modem directly. When it first became necessary to network the two computers, I was running Win95 on both. Since Win95 did not offer Dial-up Server to allow me to give access to office, I tried PC Anywhere. It only allowed remote access, it would not allow us to both work in the computer program at the same time. I ended up upgrading to Win98 to get the Dial-up Server option. Both computers have the programs I share loaded on them (QBPRO required me to buy a second installation to use in multi-user mode)and the only other items I share are Office documents. The office computer is only transferring the individual files, then processing them on its hard drive. The problem with this is that by QBPro company file is already at 28.7MB.
Does Win2000 Terminal allow multi-users to work on data files at the same time? Do I have to buy Win2000, my WinME has Hyperterminal, is this the same thing?
I am basically trying to connect two computers like a business with two different locations would, not the work at home after hours scenario. There are all kinds of server options that I could use if I want to pay $250-$400 per month, but that is not feasible. I have also asked several DSL and Cable providers if I can setup a Direct Connect through there service directly to my office rather than the Internet. None of them will give me a definite answer on this. I could also condense by QBPro app, but the whole point of buying this product was to be able to keep data history accessible to both home and office. When QBPro was first installed, the office could work in it without any delay between screens. After a month, it bogged down a little as it searched through transactions. Now, a year later, it takes my office 25 minutes to pull up a transaction history report that takes me 5 seconds to pull up.
I was also wondering about if I change my fileshigh settings and/or buffers in the environment settings, if this would help.
My ISP provider told me that the only people who need VPN are big corporations and I would have to have a server ($250-$400/month)set me up to use VPN. If it does not speed up my connection from its current 28800(modem) to 50000(internet)then it's not an option anyway. I guess I'm stuck somewhere between big business and work at home after hours.
Advisor

Re: vpn networking

Hi again !

First of all, since this was your original question : just forget about VPN ! It would even drive things slower ! VPN is only intended to establish a Private Secured connection.

Then, Windows 2000 Terminal sounds to me like a good solution. In this case, all the things are performed on the Server, and only the 'display' travels through the Network. All files remains on the server (in your office), nothing is needed on your own system. No files to transfer -> very good speed. In this case, your home system does not do anything in fact (except establishing the connection, importing the display and exporting the mouse and keyboard information).

Only Windows 2000 SERVER can allow you to run Windows Terminal, and you will need 2 licences (1 for each session ran at the same time if it's the case, e.g Office + Home). This is for the Server side.
On the Client side, any Windows system can get connected to the server (even 3.1 I think !).

So, the investments are quite simple : just the Win2000 SERVER (NOT WORKSTATION !) licenses (2 if you run 2 sessions at the same time).


The other alternative is, as you say, to have a faster network connection (ISDN, ADSL or whatever), on both sides of course. It means you need to pay for the 2 (I suppose your Office does not have any fast Internet connection).

Personnaly, if your only intend is what you explained, I'd rather go for the Win2000 Server. Because even with a fast connection, big files will still take a while to be transfered (you do not remove the root cause). On another hand, if, for any reason, you need to have some files on your Home system, then, since you really need to tranfer them, prefer an improved network connection.
And the best is : going for the 2 ! (Just a matter of $$......)

Hope this helps ....

Preserve the best, Reinvent the Rest
Valued Contributor

Re: vpn networking

If you don't like the idea of paying for faster internet connections like DSL then you will not like the prices that microsoft charges for NT server and terminal server. I disagree with your ISP about vpn's being for big companies, you can get freeware VPN tools if you are on a budget.

windows 2000 server and Terminal server IS a product that is only for big business. Apart from the huge licence cost you will need some serious hardware to run 2000 server/terminal server.

Hyperterminal is a very simple terminal emulation program that has nothing to do with terminal server.

I think the only solution to this problem is more bandwidth on both ends.
Occasional Visitor

Re: vpn networking

After checking into Win2000 Server pricing. I agree that this method will be too costly. We do not currently have access to cable at our office, but I phoned the cable company and they feel we will get access within a few months. They will also begin offering static IP addresses for a monthly fee. I am planning on waiting until this service is available. I think this will be the most cost effective and quickest solution to my problem. Thank you to everyone who helped me work my way through this problem.
Honored Contributor

Re: vpn networking

The fundamental problem sounds like QBPro is a single user app - and you have two users trying to use it - the two locations part of the story may merely be a sideshow.

Your modem (or other connectivity) would probably be fast enough with software that was structured differently.

It sounds like you are tranferring 28mb in the form of one or several files. What you probably need to do is more transactional - process one order... 10kbytes tops...

An alternate solution. Clean up your existing database - you ahve a year or two worth of history - great. Make a copy and put it on a shelf. Empty out the daily use copy so that it is back down to a meg or two?

Either way, it may be time to find some new accounting software.

Good Luck
Omniback and NT problems? double check name resolution, DNS/HOSTS...
Occasional Visitor

Re: vpn networking

QBPRO IS DESIGNED FOR MULTI-USERS(YOU HAVE TO BUY TWO INSTALLATION DISCS), BUT, DUE TO SLOW TRANSMISSION SPEED, THEY DO NOT RECOMMEND SHARING FILES THROUGH A MODEM. I AGREE THAT THE WAY THE SOFTWARE IS SET UP HAMPERS THIS SPEED. INSTEAD OF SEVERAL DIFFERENT APPLICATION FILES (A/P, A/R, P/R, ETC.) IT LUMPS ALL OF MY HISTORY AND CURRENT INFO INTO ONE BIG FILE.
I HAD BEEN USING ANOTHER SOFTWARE PROGRAM, BUT NEEDED TO HAVE A JOB COSTING MODULE AND A PROGRAM THAT KEPT A BETTER HISTORY ON MY CUSTOMERS AND EMPLOYEES. I LOOKED INTO SEVERAL OTHER PROGRAMS BEFORE SELECTING QBPRO. IT HAS ALL OF THE BOOKKEEPING MODULES I NEED FOR MY BUSINESS. MY COMPANY DOES RESIDENTIAL REMODEL AND NEW CONSTRUCTION. SINCE WE DON'T SEE SOME OF OUR CUSTOMERS FOR SEVERAL YEARS AT A TIME, I NEED THE HISTORY TO PULL UP THEIR INFO. QBPRO LIMITS THE NUMBER OF RECORDS YOU CAN HAVE IN HISTORY, BUT THE NUMBER IS HIGH ENOUGH THAT I THINK I CAN GET THREE YEARS WORTH OF HISTORY IN BEFORE IT FORCES ME TO CONDENSE MY DATA. WHEN IT CONDENSES DATA, IT FORCES YOU TO REMOVE ALL CUSTOMERS AND THEIR HISTORY BEFORE A GIVEN DATE.
I DO NOT LIKE ALL OF THE LIMITATIONS QBPRO HAS, BUT AFTER RESEARCHING OTHER SOFTWARE, IT BEST FITS OUR COMPANY NEEDS. I REALIZE I COULD HAVE A SPECIAL PROGRAM DESIGNED FOR MY COMPANY, BUT THE COST FACTOR IS, ONCE AGAIN, TO0 HIGH TO JUSTIFY DOING THIS.
I HAVE SPOKEN WITH A ROADRUNNER REP THAT IS WORKING ON MAKING CABLE ACCESS AVAILABLE TO MY OFFICE. HE ASSURES ME THAT ONCE ACCESS IS AVAILABLE, WE CAN CONNECT ONLINE. THIS SHOULD BE THE MOST COST EFFECTIVE SOLUTION TO MY PROBLEM. THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP.

Re: vpn networking

Kenda-
Your problem isn't the softwarre or the OS. Simply put your answer came in the first reply you got, a modem, any modem is stuck at 56k duplex or not. If you look at the specs on the box most manufactures don't even promise that. If yoou want to run a VPN you have to have an ISDN or DSL connection. As in most cases you can have the baddest mother computer on the face of the Earth but a 56k modem is a 56k modem in a 286 or a P4.
I dunno! It worked fine yesterday!

Re: vpn networking

ever tried VNC or Remote Admin ?

good utilities if u wanna do remote GUI.

http://www.uk.research.att.com/vnc/
http://www.famatech.com
no promises, but i try my very best.
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