Virtual Private Networking (VPN) technology allows users working at home, branch offices, remote clients, and other companies to connect to a corporate network over the Internet, while maintaining secure communications. Using VPNs is the most secure method for publishing data over the Internet. Users can use Windows Authentication as though they were on a Local Area Network (LAN).
VPNs include client software so that computers connect over the Internet (or in special cases, even an intranet) to software in a dedicated computer or a server. Optionally, encryption at both ends as well as user authentication methods keep data safe. The VPN connection over the Internet logically operates as a Wide Area Network (WAN) link between the sites.
A VPN connects the components of one network over another network. This is achieved by allowing the user to tunnel through the Internet or another public network (using a protocol such as Microsoft Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) available with the Microsoft® Windows NT® version 4.0 or Microsoft Windows® 2000 operating system, or Layer Two Tunneling Protocol (L2TP) available with Windows 2000). This process provides the same security and features previously available only in a private network.
For the user, the intermediate routing infrastructure of the Internet is not visible, and it appears as though the data is being sent over a dedicated private link. As far as users are concerned, the VPN is a point-to-point connection between the user computer and a corporate server.
After you have your remote client configured to connect using a VPN, and the client has Internet access and is logged in to the corporate LAN, you can configure replication as though the remote client is connected directly on the LAN. For security reasons, it is possible to have different network resources available to users connected over VPN and to those connected directly on the LAN.
For more information about setting up VPN, see Virtual Private Networks in the Windows 2000 documentation.