Goodbye VPN: How Windows 7 is changing remote access for the better
With Microsoft’s release of Windows 7, users now have more flexibility than ever before to work remotely—and your IT staff can better manage security and compliance across desktops anywhere, anytime. This is exciting news since remote access technology hasn’t really evolved since Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) were introduced in the late 1990’s.
Sure, newer versions of VPNs have become more secure, but there have been no technological advances in remote access since—even though many companies require more users to work from anywhere in the world. VPNs have several limitations, too. It’s one more application for users to learn, initiate and break. And that requires more troubleshooting and support, time that could be better spent on strategic initiatives. VPNs also make it tough to troubleshoot PCs remotely, since both computers must be available when the VPN session is running.
This is where DirectAccess, a new feature available with Windows 7, changes the game. Now through Active Directory, users simply need Internet access to connect quickly and securely to your corporate network. A secure IPsec connection is created, giving the user access to your internal network just as if they are working from the corporate office.
Think about DirectAccess as a clientless VPN—there are no additional tools for your users to learn. And IT staff can work on any machine from anywhere in the world as long as users are connected to the Internet—they don’t even need to be logged in!
We have implemented Direct Access here at SWC and for many customers with great success. Direct Access is just one of the many new features of Windows 7 that allows users and IT professionals to be more productive and efficient everywhere.