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In my work, I often need to connect to a remote database.

so I use a virtual private network(VPN) Client called "ShrewSoft VPN Client" , and that has some configuration. Then I use Windows "Remote Desktop Connection" to connect to the server.

But I frequently get errors, like here.., where I find myself restarting the machine to fix it.

This takes minutes, and is a big hassle...

How do I make this efficient? How do I learn all this networkin stuff!? Are there faster ways?

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Most databases support connecting to them remotely, rather than having to RDP into the actual machine. Install your SQL tools locally and try connecting directly to the machine the database is on. You will need to make sure that the database machine has Firewall exceptions for the necessary ports (different databases will use different ports when connecting).

Here's a blog post about SQL Server 2008 that covers the main points about connecting remotely to SQL Server:

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/walzenbach/archive/2010/04/14/how-to-enable-remote-connections-in-sql-server-2008.aspx

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