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Better Choice: VPN or Remote Desktop

dookievizion
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I have a user who wants to access their work files (simple excel & word documents) while at home.  I've suggested saving them to a cloud service like drive, dropbox, etc but they just don't grasp the concept.  I next want to suggest a simple desktop remote access setup like Chrome Remote Desktop or Team Viewer.  This will allow them to not only work on the files, but access a few specific programs they use exclusively here at work.  

 

Would it be better to set up a VPN where they can work at home, but connect to shared files on the office pc.  Which one is better for simple access and minimal support from me, as they will more than likely using this solution while at home on the weekends.  

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VPN is better.

Teamviewer breaks more often than even something like Hamachi does, and performance in programs over the remote connection will be terrible to the point of unseable. Aside from that, teamviewer adds overhead to the file transfer speed so the VPN would probably be faster for transferring files too.

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Microsoft Remote Desktop works great even with low speeds, the connection is encrypted like a vpn. Especially with Windows 8 acting as server the remote connection has improved so much that I can watch a 1080p movie over my network without lag, but with color compression. For office and work staff it just works. ;)

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VPNing into a network and then remote desktop to the workstation is always a more secure option. Microsoft RDP has had pretty bad security vulnerabilities in the past. So doing it this way just gives an extra layer of protection.

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VPNing into a network and then remote desktop to the workstation is always a more secure option. Microsoft RDP has had pretty bad security vulnerabilities in the past. So doing it this way just gives an extra layer of protection.

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thanks yall, I'll look into setting up a VPN.  I just really want the easiest scenario for a non techie to use.  I'm just hoping thats not too many for her to have to go thru.  

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@dookievizion FYI my experience with Teamviewer seems to be a lot different compared to @SMURG. I've never had an issue at all. At my old job, we used it all the time (My boss used it to work from home). At my current job we have maybe 50-60 computers with Teamviewer installed and often use it for remote sessions with vendor technicians.

 

Teamvieer in my experience is extremely reliable, and honestly is going to be easier for a non-power user to understand. Especially if you create a free Teamvewier Account and log both his home and work computer into your account. Then he will see his "work" PC in a list, and he can just double click on it to log in. It even says (This PC) in the list beside the PC that he's actually on, to make it even harder to log into the wrong PC.

 

IMO, I'd check Teamviewer out, it's free to install and quick to setup and test. VPN's are good too, but it's honestly a more complicated setup for the user (in my opinion).

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@dookievizion FYI my experience with Teamviewer seems to be a lot different compared to @SMURG. I've never had an issue at all. At my old job, we used it all the time (My boss used it to work from home). At my current job we have maybe 50-60 computers with Teamviewer installed and often use it for remote sessions with vendor technicians.

 

Teamvieer in my experience is extremely reliable, and honestly is going to be easier for a non-power user to understand. Especially if you create a free Teamvewier Account and log both his home and work computer into your account. Then he will see his "work" PC in a list, and he can just double click on it to log in. It even says (This PC) in the list beside the PC that he's actually on, to make it even harder to log into the wrong PC.

 

IMO, I'd check Teamviewer out, it's free to install and quick to setup and test. VPN's are good too, but it's honestly a more complicated setup for the user (in my opinion).

Teamviewer is alright provided both computers are Windows and you don't close the connection and try to reconnect too quickly or try to run the target computer headlessly. There's just a lot of bugs with it which only come to the fore when doing specific things but can make it unuseable because it crashes the Teamviewer client without rebooting the client PC so someone then has to do that manually before you can connect again. Since Windows has its own remote desktop service which is just plain better, and a VPN allows faster file transfer, Teamviewer really has limited application in my eyes.

You can't tell me Hamachi is hard to install and setup, and that would do the trick.

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