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I'm about to buy a new Windows PC, and I'm wondering which edition of Windows 7 to get. The standard retail customer choices nowadays seem to be Home Premium, Professional or Ultimate.

I need to do the following:

  • Open a VPN connection from home to my employer's Windows domain, using my employer's Windows domain credentials.
  • While the VPN is connected, connect to file shares on the work network that I have access to.
  • While the VPN is connected, open Remote Desktop clients to work PCs that I have access to.

I don't envisage ever needing to connect in the opposite direction.

All the information I have been able to find on the internet concerning Windows 7 seems rather vague. Can anyone confirm, for example, whether Home Premium is sufficient for this, or should I shell out more money to get Professional or Ultimate?

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Which VPN technology are you planning on using? –  Goyuix Jan 11 '10 at 15:32
    
Just the standard Microsoft one built into Windows. –  Christian Hayter Jan 11 '10 at 16:26

4 Answers 4

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Windows 7 Home Premium should be fine, since I believe all versions of Windows 7 can connect to a VPN natively and Home Premium comes with RDP to make those connections. What you should do though, is check with your IT department and make sure that their VPN software works on Windows 7. If they use Server 2003/2008/2008 R2 Routing and Remote Access no software should need to be installed and everything should work without any problem. If they use something like the Cisco VPN Server they currently do not support the Cisco VPN Client on Windows 7 64-bit. (Cisco VPN Anyconnect supposedly does)

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Thanks Joshua, you've put my mind at rest! –  Christian Hayter Jan 11 '10 at 22:04

Wouldn't you run into troubles of not joining Domain through VPN using Home Premium only? AFAIK Home Premium has not ability to join Windows Domain networks.

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As Peter said, Home editions cannot join a domain. I do not know if that will be an issue, but it is something to discuss with IT. Most companies don't require a home PC to join the domain, but yours might.

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I am the IT admin at my comp. The end users here with Win 7 home premium edition are unable to use the VPN features on their computer to log into our domain. They are however able to RDP into our network. So if you need complete access on the network and access to all computers and file shares, you do not want a home edition of Windows. The RDP will only allow you access to the computer you log into, not the entire network or its resources such as printers, files, faxes, scanners and other computers. Of course that is the case on my network, check with your IT dept to be sure. Hope that helps.

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