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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 3:51 pm 
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I'm trying to wrap my head around the different ways that Windows Server 2012 Essentials exposes access outside the network it is hosted on.


Anywhere Access
This is the name of the package that is included in the WS2012E Dashboard to simplify the configuration and management of the next two options.


Remote Web Access
You navigate directly to the Fully Qualified Domain Name of your server (e.g. http://name.remotewebaccess.com/) and are presented with a sign on screen. Entering a domain username and password will bring up a web page that gives access to the following functions:
1. Computers
Displays a list of computers and, if the device is online, allows the use of an ActiveX remote desktop plug in to connect (similar to the Live Mesh process and other tools). If you connect to the server a Remote App is fired up that contains the Dashboard - and you can still manage updated and reboot the server from here.
2. Shared Folders
Access to the "ServerFolders" - including the Users folder for the currently signed in user. You can access any file, downloading it to your local machine.
3. Media Library
Access any media folders / libraries shared through the Media Sharing function of WS2012E. Will stream content.
4. Links
...a set of links. Useful if you have an IP camera or uTorrent connection, perhaps - just add them to the Links.


Virtual Private Network
When installed this allows the server to be accessed over a VPN. The VPN is automatically created on any device connected to the domain - so your laptop has the VPN configured when you go on the road - but it is very simple to set up and configure. After getting Anywhere Access to configure VPN, I was able to add a VPN connection on my Surface RT. Now, every time I connect to a public WiFi I also connect to my VPN to ensure my session is secure.


My Server app
For each of my Windows 8 machines, including my Windows RT Surface device and my Windows Phone 8, I have installed the "My Server" application. It allows me to access my Shared Folders, my Private Share, view the server Status and see any Alerts, stream media, and access Devices and Users. It's a very nice little application.


Direct Access
This feature allows a user to access your network without using a VPN. It currently works for Windows 8 only, but there are plans to expand it to Windows 7. It involves more than just clicking a few options in the Dashboard, however.


Remote Access
This feature appears to be an updated version of Direct Access for Windows Server 2012.


Questions
1. Are there any more methods to access the server?
Is Remote Access the rebranded Direct Access? Are they basically the same thing? Are there any other ways of connecting to my WS2012E server supplied by MS, or even by a third party that is worth considering?

2. How do I acccess my server resources over VPN?
On my Windows RT machine after I have connected to the VPN I can go to Explorer and enter "\\servername\" but I do not see the server. From what I've read, once I'm connected to the VPN I should have full access to server resources.

3. How to I connect via RDC over VPN?
I should be able to access a Remote Desktop Connection to any other machine on the network once I have connected to the VPN, but on my Windows RT device this just doesn't seem to be possible.

_________________
Server: HP EX495 | E5200 CPU @ 2.5GHz | 4GB RAM | 4 x Seagate Barracuda 1.5TB 7200RPM
Backup: Mediasonic HF2-SU2S2 | 4 x Seagate Barracuda Green 2.0TB 5900RPM
Operating System: Windows Server 2012 Essentials | Media Server| Anywhere Access


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 7:08 pm 
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Question 2: VPN gives you access to your server resources through the Launchpad. It works outside your network as if you were inside with access to Dashboard, shares, and computer backup.

Question 3: It would be accessible if you had an add-in that gives access to the server desktop, that you access through the Dashboard, which is clumsy.

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HP-EX470 4GB Athlon-X2-BE-2350-(Stepping G1) Windows 8 (server build)


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 1:43 pm 
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Well, I found the answers to questions 2 and 3!

2. How do I acccess my server resources over VPN?
a. Open Explorer
b. Type \\{ip address of server}\ - in my case \\192.168.1.100\
c. Navigate through every directory available

I cannot seem to get it to recognise the servername on the domain, but this works fine, using my Windows RT machine.


3. How to I connect via RDC over VPN?
a. Open Remote Desktop Connection
b. Enter the ip address of the server - in my case 192.168.1.100
c. Use the standard credentials

Done! I can't beleive it was that simple.


I also found I was able to access my router at 192.168.1.1 so I can look up the DHCP table and identify what my other devices have been assigned. This way I was able to RDC into my client machines.


@VieuxJules, my Surface RT doesn't have Launchpad on it, but I managed to find a way. Very pleased with this.

_________________
Server: HP EX495 | E5200 CPU @ 2.5GHz | 4GB RAM | 4 x Seagate Barracuda 1.5TB 7200RPM
Backup: Mediasonic HF2-SU2S2 | 4 x Seagate Barracuda Green 2.0TB 5900RPM
Operating System: Windows Server 2012 Essentials | Media Server| Anywhere Access


Last edited by morpheus.dreaming on Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:49 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 2:43 pm 
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Well, all I can say is that is very good information
Thanks :cheers:

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HP-ProLiant N40L 8GB WHS2011
HP-EX470 4GB Athlon-X2-BE-2350-(Stepping G1) Windows 8 (server build)


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