I would like to set up a VPN on a Windows 2003 sever. My problem is that we have a Cisco 2611xm router that our internet comes through. Is there a way to port forward through the router to the Server ? Being new at this I take any advise. Have looked over the internet and found stuff and even put VPN on one my computer at home and that works but when I do the same at the office it does not. I figure it must be the Cisco router. Any suggestions
I am using Hamachi right now to get to our system when I am at home, but I would rather use the VPN that would work with Windows 2003
The Cisco router can probably perform the VPN functions you are looking for. The router could act as the concentrator. You could then connect to that router and establish the VPN. You would have a local LAN IP and communicate with your network securely. However, most people would probably tell you to let the router be a router and leave the VPN to a true VPN device.
PPTP or IPSEC in Windows 2003 are both fine for your needs. However, I have always prefered and had better luck using a dedicated hardware VPN concentrator. This allows for a network topology that may be more secure and also give you more remote control over your equipment on the LAN. A Cisco ASA would do the trick. You may try to get that in the IT budget. The ASAs are now using an SSL VPN with a different licensing model, so prepare accordingly. Some SOHO equipment may also be fine. Sonic Wall, Linksys, and others all have various VPN firewall/routers. You can even flash the firmware on a pair of residential routers to create a point to point VPN from your home to the office. It all depends on budget and performance requirements.
What are you currently using as a firewall at your office? That may have some built-in VPN functionality. You may also be able to authenticate the VPN off of your Active Directory depending on the device. If you have no device acting as an office firewall, please see the previous paragraph.
However, all that said, your problem is probably due to pass-through not occurring on your router. By default, the IPSEC and/or PPTP traffic will get dropped by your router without first telling the router what to do with that type of traffic in its config. It is similar to using port forwards for HTTP servers or Mail servers, the traffic required for the VPN connection must be forwarded.
Thanks for your reply aldoenviro.
We are a small comapny about 35 employees so there is not alot of money for IT budget. We do not use Active Directory, will that make a great difference in how to setup VPN ?
I kinda got put into getting VPN up and running but we cannot use the Cisco router to do it. So I need another option. You day I can port forward through the cisco. How would I do that ? I have some knowlegde of the cisco, but we did not do the programing when it was install, it was done by the phone company that we get our T1 from. But they will not set up the VPN or tell me how to get through the router to do it. So I am at a great lost in trying to do it, without huring anything on the router. I need to do it without buying any more equipment. I do have an extra netgear wireless router would that help ?