DirectAccess Replaces VPN for Windows 7

Microsoft has unveiled Direct Access for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008, remotely connecting users to their office as if they were right there. Establishing bi-directional connectivity with the user?s enterprise network, this solution keeps them connected to their office, forging a link each time the user?s computer ? provided it?s enabled by DirectAccess ? is connected to the internet.

As the workforce transforms, with the information age evolving at a rapid pace, the needs of an organization adapt accordingly. Increasingly, employees are working from remote locations, the advances in internet technology affording them the ability to work from an off-site location ? home, business meeting abroad, etc.

The mobility of our workforce has contributed to the success of those companies driving our economy, with new technologies facilitating the uninterrupted productivity of employees whose presence in the office is no longer a necessary component in the operations of an efficient and profitable enterprise. By 2011, the number of mobile employees is expected to have increased by 30.4 percent (IDC, ?Worldwide Mobile Worker Population 2007-2011 Forecast,? Doc #209813, Dec 2007).

While technology has contributed to an outgrowth of wireless communication, with the internet providing the backbone for those gains, corporate security ? namely, firewalls ? obstruct the accessibility of those resources which are native to an office. This poses a number of problems, not the least of which being access to the network from those IT professionals tasked with managing the corporation?s network.

In the past, VPN (Virtual Private Network) has been the solution employed for that purpose. However, as any IT professional will tell you, the use of a VPN can prove challenging. VPN requires users to wait for authentication, a process that can see the end user waiting for what has commonly amounted to several minutes. If internet connectivity is lost, the VPN connection will be severed, requiring the user to repeat the authentication process. With alternatives providing even less functionality and additional hurdles to overcome, VPN has become the de facto solution, its problems notwithstanding.

Surmounting the challenges inherent to VPN, DirectAccess immediately establishes a bi-directional connection between the user?s computer and office?s network. Using Windows 7, the DirectAccess client detects its connection to a network. The DirectAccess client will then connect to an intranet website designated during the initial configuration of DirectAccess. The process is seamless and automatic. Unlike VPN, which requires authentication with each use, DirectAccess authenticates the computer before the user even attempts to access the network.

Easier to use than VPN, the efficiency of DirectAccess is a boon to the productivity of an enterprise?s workforce. With a transparent connection to their corporate network, employees will no longer find themselves enduring the cumbersome process that has soured many? on the use of VPN. Using DirectAccess, the information on a company?s network ? intranet, applications, file-shares ? is accessible wherever the employee finds an internet connection for their portable computer.

Computer Geeks, a leader in on-site technical assistance, prides itself on educating the public about those advances that are relevant to the industry within which we continue to grow. If you have any questions about DirectAccess, never hesitate to call us.? Our technicians are here to assist you.

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