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I'm using a Netgear WGT624 Router for my firm's intranet. At home I'm using a router called NSW-R2 by Gembird..

What I want to do is connecting my PC at home (Windows XP) to my firm's intranet so I can print on my LAN Printer or edit files on my NAS.

I've heard about VPN tunnels, but I don't want to keep my firm PC on 24 hours a day. So is it somehow possible, to build a VPN or something similar by only using the Netgear WGT624 Router?

Edit/More Information: I've steup a DDNS. My Router supports Port-Forwarding. I'm currently using Remote Desktop. Both PC run Windows XP Professional.

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What version of XP, home or professional, do you have at home? –  KCotreau Jun 6 '11 at 20:04

2 Answers 2

You don't have to keep your work PC on 24/7, but you do need some PC on 24/7 to run a vpn service, and you'll need to poke appropriate holes (forward the right ports) through your router so that you can communicate with the service from outside.

As for the software itself, I recommend OpenVPN. It's free, but does take some work to setup. Some routers even support an OpenVPN connection directly in the firmware (not yours :(, but any that supports dd-wrt will do this).

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Some routers support hardware VPNs so you don't always need 'some' PC on 24/7 - I have a Draytek router at home that provides the VPN link to my office - no PC involved. –  Linker3000 Jun 6 '11 at 20:38

The first two steps are not critical if you have a static IP. I will also assume that you have a PC at work (the PC at work also requires XP pro not home), and you will access it from home using your home PC. The solution I will give you is probably better than a VPN for most uses.

  1. If you do not have a static IP at work, set up a DDNS account at www.dyndns.com. It is free.
  2. If your work router supports it (Netgear WGT624 probably does), use it to update your IP address with DDDS automatically (check the manual on how to do this), or you will need to run a stub program (can be downloaded at www.dyndns.com) on a PC at the office. These first two steps give you a sold way of finding your work PC, even if the DHCP address changes since you will have a hostname. In the alternative, you can use the static IP.
  3. Next on your work computer go to My Computer>Properties>Remote turn on "Allow connections..." (you can decide the level of security, but the higher one will work if both PCs are patched)
  4. Set your work PC with a static IP address (assuming you don't have an IT staff, who you should ask...I got the sense you are a small show).
  5. Set your Netgear router to port forward port 3389 to that internal IP address you used for your work PC.
  6. Now you should be able to use remote desktop (Start>Programs>Accessories>Remote Desktop Connection) to get from your home PC to your work PC. You will use RDP to connect to that hostname or static IP address. You will use your normal logon credentials for your work PC.
  7. Once in, the next step is printing. You will be seeing your work computer, so you can use the printer you always use to print to the printer at work. If you wish to print a remote document to your home printer, install the home printer drivers on the work computer (you can just pick LPT1 as the port...does not matter), and make sure they both are named exactly the same. When you log in using RDP, you will see your local printer as listed in the remote printers folder. Pick it, and it will print at home.
  8. Lastly, if you want, you can open RDP, click on options>Local Resources>More>Drives and check your local C drive. When you log into the work computer, in My Computer, your local drive will appear, making it easy to transfer files.
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Forwarding RDP port 3389 from a public IP address is asking for a buttload of hacking attempts. At least if the router supports it use port remapping so external port <pick a number> maps internally to 3389 –  Linker3000 Jun 6 '11 at 20:44
    
Certainly theoretically true, but the reality is that any port you open on a firewall makes you a target. Ideally, I would setup a VPN, use that to connect to the local network, and then use RDP. –  KCotreau Jun 6 '11 at 21:49

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