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    5 Replies Latest reply on Aug 24, 2009 10:31 AM by mgrandi

    remote access

    aloclosing Newbie

      I currently operate a real estate closing coordination business from my home. In short, I provide title and mortgage companies with qualified closers to present loan documents to borrowers nationally.

      I run this business out of my home with just a Dell PC and cable internet. I have an assistant who works once a week to take care of the daily grind (scheduling, document handling, email, etc) while I take care of customer relations, etc. She currently signs onto my computer using LogMeIn Pro. It gives her full access to my PC. Only problem with this is - I can no longer use my PC when she's on it! It's not the best system.

      I plan on bringing more people on board to work remotely, so a complete overhaul is needed I think.

      user will need access to my scheduling program (which writes to an Access database). More than one user will need to pull from and write to that database at once
      I will need access to QuickBooks Pro while someone is signed onto my main PC
      I need a real backup system. Currently have an external hard drive, but do not have an automatic way to backup to it. I need a way to be up and running immediately if there were to be a crash.

      Does anyone have experience with using "fill-in" assistants when you are away? Do you think a server with work stations is needed? Is there a better remote access system?
        • Re: remote access
          bigbearomaha Wayfarer
          if you are going to expand much beyond what you are already doing, I would suggest having your employees logging in over a VPN and accessing services that way. even so, you may want to consider setting up a database server that users can can log into over the VPN via SSH. That would be much more secure over the public internet.

          Big Bear
          • Re: remote access
            axcelx Newbie
            I would first centralize your access programs or anything needed by your assistant. This would mean purchasing another computer or server. Then i would purchase a cheap 1TB NAS or a Raided Nas (Network Attached Storage). Most NAS devices come with automatic backups or software to atleast schedule the backus from remote systems your dell. As far as outlook goes why not have her own email? This should be easy to do from your hosting provider unless you use a free email service.
            • Re: remote access
              dollsbags Adventurer
              I have used several assistants while traveling. It really depends on what you want to spend and the applications that need to be shared, etc.

              If you have a need for one or two people to access your PC (presuming there is sufficient memory, hard drive space, etc)

              Enable Fast USer Switching and RDP (remote desktop), from the Microsoft Site:

              "User Accounts with Fast User Switching and Remote Desktop: Windows
              XP user accounts enable multiple users to be logged on simultaneously,
              each with his or her own settings and each running his or her own
              applications. Because one user does not have to log off to allow access
              to another user, each user's desktop is easily accessed using the fast
              user switching feature. User accounts also include the Personal
              Terminal Server feature, or Remote Desktop, which enables users to
              access their desktop account from remote systems."

              Microsoft Access databases, if designed properly, can be accessed by more than one user at a time. The difficulty is in running MS database apps across a slow WAN link, terminal server and Citrix to the rescue in that case.

              Backup options:,2806,4798,00.asp

              If you are looking for a server based solution, there is a lot of work to do. But you could accomplish this with a Microsoft SBS Small Business Server.

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              • Re: remote access
                g2techgroup Wayfarer

                For starters a terminal server and some kind of domain so you can share files and setup good user accounts that are separated, something like windows small business server is a start.


                Also trying to use multiple people on Access which is most likely going to fail pretty quickly, the database needs to be centralized and be a real database system like MySQL or MS SQL Server. Access isn't really a good database system it's basically a glorified spreadsheet. For backup systems you could use something like Mozy to pay for offsite backups.