Remote Access VPN: Give Your Employees the Access They Need
Let’s talk about remote access — and, more specifically, your remote access VPN.
Your office has a network. On this network, you can access printers, connect to IT resources, transfer data, and more. It’s secure and protects your team from sketchy websites.
But then you start hiring remote employees.
- cost the company less (that’s one less desk!)
- They’re often more productive.
- And they’re happier!
That’s a win for everyone — so offering remote work is a no-brainer.
The problem is, everyone on your team at the office uses the office network. It provides them with resources and the company with security. Remote workers aren’t there to log in — so you need a remote access VPN.
A remote access VPN means your remote employees can log on to your office network from anywhere — home, traveling, in transit — that has access to the internet. They then have access to all your company resources, and somehow your data is *still* secure, even if they’re using (gasp!) public Wifi.
How Remote Access VPN Software Works
How exactly does Access Server accomplish this?
How remote access VPN works is this: you start with an already existing connection. The most logical and popular method of transporting info is the public internet — so a VPN carries information there. But anything you send over the internet that isn’t protected can be seen by any other people along that path. Anyone on your wifi network could eavesdrop on what you’re doing. The only way to prevent that?
That’s what Access Server uses. Whatever you send out on your own Wifi, at your office, or somewhere in between, gets encrypted. That means only your device and the Access Server in your office know how to read it. To everyone else, it’s just a garbled mess.
Encryption is a pillar of VPNs. When connected to AS with your phone, any information you pull up becomes encrypted and unreadable — only then does it goes on it’s merry way across the internet
While it’s in transit there, no one can understand it — it’s simply garbled nonsense. Access Server, however, has keys to un-encrypt it, which is how it can read it. Any info then sent back to your device from Access Server is encrypted as well, so that anything that goes over that connection in either direction is unreadable to anyone else.
Let’s look at an example.
Closed Captioning Courtesy of OpenVPN Access Server: Remote Access to LAN
A nonprofit corporation provides closed captioning for broadcast, opening up television access to the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities. They have offices in two US states and a remote data center, and the majority of their staff work remotely — keeping their organization operating 24/7.
- The remote staff needs to connect reliably to any of the three facilities to access specialized software/services.
- Should a resource at any site give the Captioner concern, they need to be able to quickly redirect to a different facility to minimize caption loss (especially when captioning live events!)
- Employees use Windows operating system exclusively, so any solution needs to support Windows.
Our solution: OpenVPN Access Server.
Remote staff now have efficient access to all three facilities.
- Because of the OS options in Access Server, the IT staff is able to choose a distribution they’re already familiar with.
- Access Server can be configured to run in primary-secondary failover for LAN deployment to support the high availability needed for 24/7 operations.
- OpenVPN Connect Client for Windows supports configuration of multiple connection profiles — which means switching between different offices is quick and easy.
- OpenVPN Connect Client for Windows and Access Server support a special connection profile called 'auto-login'; this allows users to connect without needing to enter a username/password. Authentication is solely based on security certificates. This can speed up the connection setup when the Captioner needs to redirect to a different facility to minimize caption loss.
That’s the solution they need. That’s Access Server.
So how can you get started?
How To Set Up VPN For Remote Access
Just install Access Server on the network, and then connect your device with our Connect client.
Access Server will accept incoming connections from internet only if that device and user has the correct access code and certifications necessary. Once it’s set up correctly, you can connect your laptop, phone, tablet, or even remote desktop — directly to your office.
Your data is secure; outsiders can’t eavesdrop or spy. That’s a remote VPN connection, which stands for Virtual Private Network.
- It’s virtual — in the sense that it’s purely software solution. You won’t need modems or routers or cables to get started; its software-based and completely virtual.
- It’s private — so no one else can see your data.
- It’s your own network — which means you can transfer data, files, pics, and anything else you might need.
Using that VPN tunnel, you can access the files that are in the office, from home or from your phone or tablet — anywhere. That’s how it works. You can connect a device that’s on the other side of the world, and feel like you’re logging in directly to your office network.
Deploying Access Server
To establish remote access for your team, you need to deploy Access Server and at least one client, via our OpenVPN client or Connect client.
To deploy Access Server, you can:
- Deploy it yourself, using our Quick Start Guide.
- Deploy a ready-to-launch instance on Amazon Web Services
- Deploy a ready-to-launch instance on Microsoft Azure
- Deploy a ready-to-launch instance on Google Cloud
- Deploy a ready-to-launch instance on Digital Ocean
- Deploy a ready-to-launch instance on Oracle
- Explore some of our more detailed self-deployment options.
Once you have Access Server, you then simply connect a device via one of our clients. On mobile platforms, we have apps for Android and iOS, but you can also get started on Mac, Linux, or Windows.