Networking: A Beginner's Guide
The ways that you can satisfy remote access needs are virtually limitless. However,
the key is to assess those needs carefully and to work creatively, given your available or
proposed remote access technology.
Learning Remote Access Technologies
A variety of different ways exist to accomplish remote access connections for users.
Sometimes these different technologies are appropriate for some users but not for
others. Sometimes the choices you have are restricted by how the remote user needs to
access the data. For example, a remote user at a single location can fairly easily set up a
high-speed link to the corporate LAN, while a traveling remote user might be limited
to using modems and dial-up telephone connections in some places in the world.
The following sections discuss different techniques and technologies, along with the
pros and cons of each. The ones you implement depend on the needs you've identified,
your budget, and the existing infrastructure of your network.
Remote Node Versus Remote Control
Remote users can connect to a network in two basic ways: remote node and remote
control. A remote node connection is one in which the remote computer becomes a node
on the network. Data flows between the remote node and the network much as it would
for a LAN-connected user, albeit usually at much slower rates. When you connect to
an Internet service provider (ISP) to access the Internet, you are using a remote node
A remote control connection is one in which a remote user takes control of another
computer directly connected to the LAN, with only the screen, keyboard, and mouse
information being transmitted through the connection. Because the remote control
computer is directly connected to the LAN, its network performance is just as fast
as that of any other LAN workstation. The information actually transmitted--the
screen information, keyboard data, and mouse data--usually doesn't require much
bandwidth. (One exception to this rule is a highly graphical application, such as a
computer-aided drafting drawing program.) Remote control connections also have
ways to transfer files back and forth from the remote computer to the controlled
computer, so files can still be downloaded from the LAN to the remote computer and
Remote control is accomplished using special applications designed for this purpose.
You run the remote control software on both the LAN-connected computer and the
remote computer. The connection is established over a dial-up line or through the
Two types of remote control applications are available. The first runs on a single
computer and supports a single remote computer at a time. pcAnywhere and GoToMyPC
are examples of this type. Another type allows multiple sessions to run on a single
computer, so you can allow more than one user making use of a single computer