Do you want to browse your office files without actually having to be at the office? For example, access them from your home computer, or maybe your smartphone? Fortunately, it’s easy.
You can access files remotely in many ways. It’s free, it works on almost every platform, and all you have to do is to set up a workgroup using your system’s network file sharing options, or a LAN cable.
However, these methods have their own limitations. It means that both devices have to be at the same place or connected to the same network. If you want to avoid this, and at the same time stay protected, we suggest you use a Virtual Private Network. However, you will need the proper knowledge to set it up in order to be able to access your office files remotely.
Using a VPN will allow you to access and use the files just as you would do on your local network. If you know how to configure the network properly, the VPN will make your remote computer appear as if it were part of your local network, the one you use at your office, and will allow you to access the local file shares. This method will provide you with a cable-like connection between your device and the office’s server.
Many companies are now doing this, because it’s a very useful and efficient way to work outside the office, especially when you are on a business trip somewhere abroad. Using VPNs to access files will grant you with a secure web interface, leaving all of your privacy problems in the past.
However, setting up a VPN to remotely access your office files requires time and patience. Keep in mind that it’s not the easiest thing to do if you have no prior experience with this. There are a few basic steps that you need to follow, and now we’ll go over them.
But first of all, in order to establish a VPN connection, keep in mind that you will need to have a router that is VPN enabled. This means that your router needs to follow certain requirements. It needs to have both wired and wireless connectivity, to be VPN enabled, and to support up to 10 workstations.
Usually, these routers come with a set-up wizard guide. This is a great feature, especially for beginners, because it will take you through the whole process of setting up your router. From plugging the cables, to setting up the wireless network, and then connecting to a server. If you don’t have this, ask your vendor for a step-by-step manual.
High-level Of Security Is a Must
VPNs are mainly used because of the security features they offer. Therefore of the most important step is to ensure the highest level of protection when accessing your office files. Otherwise, if hackers try to break into your network, it will be very easy to get access to all of the company’s sensitive data.
Your wireless encryption can be configured in a few ways. One of the best options is the WPA Personal with TKIP/AES, which is slightly less strong, while a more secure option is the WPA2 Personal with AES. They are both good, but the second one is a better choice in terms of protection.
Both of them can be found in your manual. Through the software settings, you need to enable the VPN functionality. Also, in the router’s settings, you need to enable remote management.
In the next step, you need to now enable users. But before doing this, make sure that they all have user accounts. The VPN should be installed on their client computers. If you get a VPN-enabled router, the software for this should be easily found on their website for free.
Finalizing the Setup
If you followed the step-by-step manual, by know you have pretty much everything done. The only thing that’s left is to connect your home computer to the office. Depending on the operating system you use in the office, or at home, the steps are slightly different.
Presumably you want to connect through a Windows PC, in which case you have to do the following: open Network and Sharing in your Control Panel, and click on the “Create New Connection” option, choose VPN and enter your office IP address.
For Mac, you need to open the Apple menu on the device, click on System Preferences and then Network Click Add. After doing this you will be able to choose a VPN form the interface menu.
For this to work, your office needs to have a static IP address, instead of a dynamic one. A static address means that your IP address never changes, while a dynamic one is when you are assigned to a new one with every reset.
The easiest way to resolve this is by asking your Internet Service Provider to assign a static IP address to your office network. You might be charged for this, but it’s usually a small amount of money.
The advantage of being able to access your files remotely goes way beyond the price you need to pay for a static IP address, or even the right router. Both you and your company will benefit from this, because using a VPN is one of the best solutions for safely accessing your sensitive information no matter where you are.