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When away from the office, I would like my Windows 7 laptop to connect securely to a Windows 7 file share behind a basic home router.

By "securely" I mean:

  1. The network traffic is encrypted.
  2. Access is allowed ONLY to my laptop.

How can I best achieve this? (ie: VPN, port forwarding, very long password, etc)

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The machine on which the "Windows 7 file share" exists, I assume you have admin privileges to install software on this box? – dtmland Jun 24 '13 at 22:03

A VPN would more than likely be the best option. Depending on your router, you can set them up to either connect to the router as the end point, in which everything will be encrypted between your office network and your laptop, or set it up to directly connect with the other PC. An IPSEC VPN tunnel is usually faster than an SSL tunnel.

I deploy TheGreenBow as my chosen VPN client, and use Netgear business-grade laptops for the highest throughput/security combination, but Windows itself (depending on the version) can be configured for VPN connections as well. See here for a few more details.

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Do you mean you want to be secured as in so no one will be able to hack your password and access the files, or so that no one will be able to sniff out the data with WireShark, or a similar program?

If you don't want anyone to sniff you, use SSL. If you don't want anyone to "hack" your files, use a strong password, update your antivirus to the latest version, and run a couple of full. You are never secured enough.

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I actually never used Win File sharing, but I think it already has SSL enabled. Just take precautions, such as very strong passwords, and even multiple antiviruses, and scan your computer regularly. If you have Windows 7 Ultimate, use BitLocker Drive encryption. – Vlad Bondarenko Jun 23 '13 at 21:49

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