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Thread: Accessing my work computer remotely

  1. #1
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    Question Accessing my work computer remotely

    Hi,

    Several of our office employees have their computers set up for remote access. This was set up by an outside contractor. My computer was left out (for whatever reason) and I am taking a go at configuring remote desktop for my computer.

    1. I assigned a static IP address and a dedicated port number ( ex. 3398 ) for my computer
    2. On my client computer, in the registry, I change the remote desktop access port to match the dedicated port number ( 3398 ) I assigned for my computer
    3. I enabled Remote Desktop inbound rules in Windows Firewall
    4. I created a new inbound rule for remote desktop and assigned the port number ( 3398 )
    5. Under the remote tab, in System Properties I have the following enabled (checked) — "Allow Remote Assistance connections to this computer" and "Allow connections from computers running any version of Remote Desktop (less secure)

    I tested the remote connection using a laptop internally ( static ip address:3398 ) and it works. I then used the same laptop outside the office using the external ip address:3398 and was unable to connect. I know I have the correct external ip address as I helped installed an employee remote desktop on her MacBook and it works from outside the office. Please note: that this employee's Remote Access Port was already configured by an outside contractor.

    I sense that I am almost there. It seems that I need to set an external setting on my desktop to connect from outside the office or something similar. If anyone knows a solution, I will be gladly appreciated.

    Cheers.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member southplatte's Avatar
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    It's very likely that your company firewall/external router has either some prot forwarding rules or VPN access setup. That is how most businesses are setup anyway - so that you connect via VPN to the public business IP and then you can remote to the internal computer. Some firewalls/routers have specific VPN clients that need to be used. Either way, without some form of routing/forwarding or VPN on the external firewall/router, you will not likely get remote to the internal computer system.

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  5. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by programmer_in_TO View Post
    I tested the remote connection using a laptop internally ( static ip address:3398 ) and it works. I then used the same laptop outside the office using the external ip address:3398 and was unable to connect. I know I have the correct external ip address as I helped installed an employee remote desktop on her MacBook and it works from outside the office.
    How did you go about testing the external IP address if it doesn't work? Most commonly, one would ping the address and see if there is a response. If you can ping the address locally, you should be able to ping it remotely offsite. If you can internally but not externally there is a second firewall in place. This is usually the ISPs router/firewall. That router/firewall must be configured to allow the remote connection as well.

    There are other methods as well but it doesn't sound like you are using those so I won't confuse matters.

    Check with your IT guy, router manufacturer and/or ISP to get your router/firewall set to allow the remote connection through.

    Also, as Southplatte says setting up and connecting via VPN is extremely common for businesses. Setting it up in the router is usually preferred over setting up the office PC to handle the VPN itself because the router method will allow you to be connected to your LAN as if you were connected internally. The PC VPN method can be tricky to setup and connects you directly to the PC essentially isolating the remote PC from other LAN devices.
    Last edited by subsystems; 05-04-2012 at 01:45 PM.

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  7. #4
    Junior Member rorimandi's Avatar
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    Maybe I'm being silly, but why not just install a copy of TeamViewer on both machines, a full working copy, give yourself a username and password... seems easier than all this. (I am not a hardware person, and I have an IT guy for this kind of thing, thankfully. So ignore me rather than flame me if I'm way off base. Just trying to be helpful.)
    Desi Matlock
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    I'm not from the "all your base belong..." age group, but "IDKFA" I get.

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  9. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by rorimandi View Post
    Maybe I'm being silly, but why not just install a copy of TeamViewer on both machines, a full working copy, give yourself a username and password... seems easier than all this. (I am not a hardware person, and I have an IT guy for this kind of thing, thankfully. So ignore me rather than flame me if I'm way off base. Just trying to be helpful.)
    Teamviewer could work, but I think RDC is faster. If you are in a large office environment, you are better off just talking to your network admin.. an office set up is usually a little more complex than a home network so without knowing exactly how it is set up you could be doing more harm than good.

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  11. #6
    Senior Member alphaomega's Avatar
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    First you must have permissions on your work server to connect remotely. The router could be set to accept only certain MAC addresses. You have to talk to your IT guy at work. Just to copy someones setup doesn't guarantee access.

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  13. #7
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    Thanks all for your feedback. I guess I will need to wait until our IT staff is next in. This has definitely been a learning experience. I guess that's why you should leave a programmer and a network administrator to do their respective jobs.

    Cheers

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  15. #8
    Senior Member alphaomega's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by programmer_in_TO View Post
    Thanks all for your feedback. I guess I will need to wait until our IT staff is next in. This has definitely been a learning experience. I guess that's why you should leave a programmer and a network administrator to do their respective jobs.

    Cheers
    Words of wisdom are spoken here.

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