More and more people are using notebook computers or working from home. The need to allow people who are at home or on the road access to your private network has never been greater. p

When selecting a system to allow remote access to your system there are a number of considerations:

  • Security - If people can remotely access your system there is a risk of unauthorised access.
  • Type of access - you may wish merely to send Email between main site and the remote user. At the other end of the scale is the updating of databases between the main site and remote user and printing out documents on the system printers.
  • Type of connection - this may be using analogue lines for sales people on the road. ISDN connects people working at home and branch offices and leased lines for large branch offices


If only Email is required the use of an ISP can be a good solution as it keeps the capital required to a minimum. The running of the remote access servers is left to the professionals. This is particularly economic if less than five people are involved and people move around the country.

For 10 or more you can use your own remote access server. There are a number of variations. The simplest is using NT or Novell Netware Connect with a Multi- serial board. Alternatively you could opt for a full remote access server.

For remote office connections it may be worth considering using a router. Between a single office and a remote office a product such as 3COM Access Builder will be ideal. For larger branch networks the use of more sophisticated router may be considered. The advantage of these systems is that they only make the connection when access to the main office is required thus controlling phone connection charges.

It is important to think about future growth when looking for remote access systems. Between branch offices this may mean that the router should be capable of being upgraded to a leased Line.

NT is a trade mark of Microsoft Inc, Netware Connect is a trademark of Novell Inc, 3COM and Access Builder of 3COM INC. All other trade marks are acknowledged.

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