Remote access support can mean many things to many people. We break down popular remote access technologies. The break down varies depending on objectives and workflow. Click over to the Synology Photo Station post for remote access support, setup, and backup or skip down to LogMeIn section below if you know the basics and just want some tips on some remote support tools. Otherwise, stick around here for a high level discussion on file server remote access support and general sharing your computer screen remotely to another colleague or support individual.
Organizations use remote access for:
• IT support access.
-Your IT team needs accesss to your Windows computer , Mac, and or other servers. This is the most popular form of remote access support and we will discuss more below. The rest of this post includes many links or jump off points for you to read additional articles on other types of remote access support.
• Work at home solutions
-VPN or tunneling allows your computer to act like it’s at work but remote desktop sharing may be a less eye gouging experience. Alternatively, file sync solutions is increasingly is becoming the de facto standard. You will most need a router like Sonicwall for the most optimized VPN solution.
• Remote File Server Access
There are plenty of ways for an organization to have remove file server access. We created a post for port forwarding a Synology file server for you to have remote access to your Synology file server. This is one of our preferred for a very small business(under 20) to have access to their files remotely.
We will discuss these options in details and sometimes provide some nitty gritty details on setup depending on the ease of use factor.
Understanding Port Forwarding
Port Forwarding allows you to see services running on your LAN. Basically, remote access something from say like Europe if you securely port forward the service you has in mind. Here’s a generic list of items to port forward from our favorite device called a Synology NAS or file server.
- Port Forwarding
Below are the default ports for Synology services. Please note: It is always recommended to change the default ports. Also, the less ports you have to open on your firewall, the more secure your organization is.
Firewall Remote Access Ports
You can bypass port forwarding setup on your router if you proceed with Synology’s Quick Connect. We don’t recommend Quick Connect. Otherwise, consider what services you need open from the list above. We are steadily building a list of remotely accessible port forwarding setup instructions.
Ports can be test if you enabled the server service and poke the hole in the firewall by using the following website:
The following are the most common remote access support applications within a small business or home office network:
- Remote Desktop: VNC, ShowMyPC, Join.me, Logmein Central, Microsoft RDC
- File Sharing: Synology Diskstation, Box, Dropbox
- Photo Sharing: DiskStation Photo. This is great for photographers and job sites in the construction industry
LogMeIn Central is the portal used for accessing remote desktops, workstations, and servers. It does not require any firewall hole poking. In fact, it contains multiple to manage users and lock down security. The agents used to create remote accessibility for these computers can be downloaded at www.logmein.com/logmein.msi LogMeIn Central offer basic remote access or LogMeIn Pro. Be careful when purchasing as most organizations do not need the added functionality and expense of a Pro account. Anyway, this service is the bees knees for remote server support.
• 5 Pack is around $300
• Central Basic: Starts at $499.00 for 25 computers, per year.
• Central Plus: Starts at $999.00 for 25 computers, per year.
• Central Premium: Starts at $1,299.00 for 25 computers, per year.
ProTip! Using logmein.com/logmein.msi from your web browser for downloading and executing the logmein installation file. Also, make sure sleep mode is disabled as illustrated below if you are trying to work on computer after hours.
Join.me provides instant access for conducting meetings or remote presentations. It’s pretty intuitive for most novice users but it can be frustrating to use if you provide IT support.
This is great for introductory IT support while the help desk team preps the workstation and the organization they are supporting for a more long term solution. It also can be used on Macs and basic server support.
File Synchronization Software
File synchronization software makes more and more sense these days to reference a URL in your email rather than an attachment. The URL is a link to your box.net account and box.net can be synced to your workstation or even better a Synology Disk Station. This is great for presenting documents to a client in an articulate manor. Attachments get lost and it’s hard to decipher within multiple attachments in an email the difference in file content between one attached file from another.
An ideal workflow is to have your workstation as a sandbox for current projects that are backed up to the server using something like Disk Station Cloud Client if you have a Synology Disk Station. Then have the mapped drive locations for you to save the final version and or collaboration with your peers as seen on the right.
The H, W, Y, and Z are mapped drives to the server (diskstation) location.
Throw on Cloud Sync on the diskstation and connect to Box.net for creating URLs to the documents you are sharing with the pubic at work and on the go.
As you read here today, File Server remote access is all what you make of it. It varies from organization to organization and person to person. Figure out what best suits your need and contact us for all your file server needs.