Buffalo Offers Affordable Remote Access
At a Glance
People who want secure remote access to PCs at their home or small business while on the road typically turn to services such as GoToMyPC and PCAnywhere, but those options can get expensive with multiple users and PCs. Buffalo Technology offers an economical alternative: a Wi-Fi router that accepts VPN (virtual private network) connections and provides file access and even remote PC control.
Like other 802.11g Wi-Fi routers, Buffalo's $190 AirStation 125 High-Speed Mode Wireless Secure Remote Gateway (WZR-RS-G54) lets networked PCs share broadband Internet access and community files and printers. You can also configure it as a Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol server that lets you log in remotely using most standard VPN clients (including Windows XP's).
Once remotely connected, you launch a standard browser to view available networked devices and to access files. In addition, if you have installed the supplied Virtual Network Computing software on a connected PC, you can view and control the desktop.
In my tests with a shipping version, the scheme worked well from most locations--once Buffalo's support technicians helped me change some obscure settings in the Windows Firewall of Windows XP Service Pack 2.
More seriously, I wasn't able to make the VPN connection to my home network from my workplace, apparently because of the PC World office's corporate security provisions. This sort of snafu wouldn't arise with the $20-per-month GoToMyPC service, which makes the secure connection to a single computer from its own servers.
Buffalo's router lets up to 100 users connect to multiple PCs, so if you can make the VPN connection when you need to, this AirStation can save you a bundle.
Buffalo Technology AirStation 125 High-Speed Mode Wireless Secure Remote Gateway (WZR-RS-G54)
Economical remote access if you can survive setup and corporate-security blocks.
Current Prices (if available)