Many of us are heading off on our summer holidays, but what happens if you do need to work and can't access your applications and files?  Here 2X CTO, Paul Gafa writes about the very different experiences he and his wife had with remote access during their recent holiday...

Recently my wife and I went on a short holiday with our young child. We agreed to work a couple of hours each day since we both manage teams of people and know if we don’t process our daily emails after a week our Inbox lists would be endless!

My wife works for a pharmaceutical company and is provided with a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection to access any documents they have at the office. I also use a VPN connection for the same reason but I can also connect to my office desktop from 2X Remote Application Server. This is my preferred way to work as my tools are already installed there and I can access all our testing labs.

The hotel we were staying in provided a Wi-Fi connection from anywhere so it was easy for me to use my Windows Netbook or Android tablet. My wife used a Windows laptop and a Blackberry mobile. Security is very important for both of us especially since we are connecting from a public network.

When we first connected neither of the VPNs were working as the networks we were using had some content filtering. I tried a few connections and noted that connections not using port 80 or 443 were being dropped.

Luckily I could connect to my office over the 2X Secure proxy gateway. The connection goes on port 443 and uses a Secure Sockets Layer with a 4096 bit RSA key. I did not experience any speed problems and I was deploying my development tools, testing our applications and connecting to our testing labs as if I was in my office. During my stay the connection dropped only once and I was reconnected in two seconds.

My wife was not so lucky, her IT department is not that flexible and to approve any changes would take weeks. The VPN was the only way of connecting to the office apart from the email server. She expected something like this might happen so she brought some documents she was working on with her. To add insult to injury the BlackBerry also had some problems with browsing sometimes working and sometimes not.

2X ApplicationServer is a better solution for two reasons. Your connection is very unlikely to be blocked and since you truly benefit from a real virtual office no data ever leaves your office so nothing is compromised if your devices are lost or stolen.

Thank God it’s 2X Remote Application Server!



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