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Telecommuting Conundrum: Dialup or Broadband?

Provisioning access for remote users (namely telecommuters) sometimes presents a challenge, and more notably, security risks. Dialup has been a mainstay of computing for decades although the race to create faster modems has essentially ceased. Broadband Internet connectivity has taken over as the most cost effective way to gain high-speed access to required services. It's fast and economical provided of course that your carrier doesn't charge exorbitant prices for the data you transfer back and forth.

On the other hand, broadband connectivity to the Internet can present considerable security risks. Obviously you need to expose your systems in some way to the Internet in order to allow users to connect from remote locations. Exposure of some types of services carries less risk than others. For example, you might have Web-based applications that can be reasonably secured for telecommuter access. On the other hand, providing telecommuter access over the Internet to sensitive services such as disk and printer shares located on your private intranet carries far more risk. Some people still opt for direct dialup connectivity to minimize the related risks. Others prefer to trust VPN technology and broadband connectivity over the Internet.

One consideration that might come up is how telecommuters connect. If they're using dialup Internet access from their remote locations then there isn't much difference in having them dial direct into your own modem pool instead of an ISP, which of course eliminates a lot of risk. That approach makes a lot of sense.

What's you approach to providing remote access to services for telecommuters?

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