Remote Access Protocols and Services

Today, there are many ways to establish remote access into networks. Some of these include such things as virtual private networks (VPNs) or plain old modem dial-up access. Regardless of the technique used for remote access or the speed at which access is achieved, certain technologies need to be in place in order for the magic to happen. These technologies include the protocols to allow the access to the server and to secure the data transfer after the connection is established. Also necessary are methods of access control that make sure only authorized users are using the remote access features.

All the major operating systems include built-in support for remote access. They provide both the access methods and security protocols necessary to secure the connection and data transfers.

Remote Access Service (RAS)

RAS is a remote access solution included with Windows Server products. RAS is a feature-rich, easy-to-configure, and easy-to-use method of configuring remote access.

Any system that supports the appropriate dial-in protocols, such as PPP, can connect to a RAS server. Most commonly, the clients are Windows systems that use the dial-up networking feature; but any operating system that supports dial-up client software will work. Connection to a RAS server can be made over a standard phone line, using a modem, over a network, or via an ISDN connection.

RAS supports remote connectivity from all the major client operating systems available today, including all newer Windows OSs:

  • Windows 2000 Professionalbased clients

  • Windows XP Homebased clients

  • Windows XP Professionalbased clients

  • UNIX-based\Linux clients

  • Macintosh-based clients

Although the system is called RAS, the underlying technologies that enable the RAS process are dial-up protocols such as Serial Line Internet Protocol (SLIP) and Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP).