Remote Access Solutions
Remote access is defined as the ability of a user to log onto a network from a distant location. This is accomplished with a remote computer connected to the distant network. Whereas remote control refers to taking control of another computer, remote access means that the remote computer becomes a work station on the network. Communication between the network facility equipment and the remote computer is accomplished through a data link. The only difference between a remote user and workstations connected directly to the network is slower data transfer speeds. Remote Access is also useful when you want to connect local office computers with corporate networks. This allows the business to share resources as if all computers are connected to the same LAN. Two common methods of providing this type of remote access are dial-up and Virtual Private Network (VPN).
Dial-up remote access is when a client uses the telecommunications infrastructure to create a physical connection with a remote access server, which is attached to a Local Area Network (LAN). The physical or logical connection between the remote access server and the remote access client is made possible through dial-up equipment. Dial-up remote access is considered a private communication portal. The nature of the dial-up equipment and WAN infrastructure varies, depending on the type of connection. There are several telecommunications technologies can make up the WAN infrastructure used in dial-up remote access. These technologies include Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS), T-carriers, Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN), Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM), and Digital Subscriber Line (DSL). The remote access software dials in directly to the network server. Dial-up access is still prevalent in many companies.
A virtual private network (VPN) is a communications network linked through another network. A VPN connection has a topology more complex than point-to-point. A VPN connection is an Internet connection that is made secure for the use of transmitting data across a WAN. The distinguishing characteristic of VPN is that they overlay other networks to provide connectivity that is useful to a user community. With virtual private network remote access, a VPN client uses an IP internetwork to create a virtual point-to-point connection with a remote access server acting as the VPN server. One common application for a VPN is secure communications through a public network. VPN access has increased in recent years because connection costs between remote workforces and global enterprise locations continue to increase. Companies have begun taking advantage of the Internet as a remote access infrastructure by implementing VPNs.
Remote Access Solution - IP-based VPN
An IP-based VPN has been selected for this network. When choosing between dial-up and VPN for a remote access solution the following factors were considered: