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Remote Synch Across Network (Act Premium 2013)

Copper Contributor
Posts: 22
Country: USA

Remote Synch Across Network (Act Premium 2013)

Hi - long time user of Act, but just upgrading to Act Premium 2013. Problem is synch'g a remote database to the main server across the internet. Works fine when the remote database (on a laptop) is behind the same router as the server machine. But something seems to block the attempt when the laptop is connected to the internet via a different network. Spent 3 hours with Act Support today trying to troulble shoot a variety of issues related to synch, and this was the last one they couldn't solve. Any ideas?

 

Here are the basic facts:
* Server: Desktop Dell Optiplex running Win 7 Pro
* Remote: Laptop Lenovo Thinkpad running WIn 7 Pro
* Both machines running .NET 4.0 (this was the first synch problem solved by the tech; I'd had .NET v4.5.1 on there for some reason).  Act was completely reinstalled on both machines after .NET was changed.
* Act for Web access works just fine when the laptop is on a remote server; and mobile access also works great.
* CanYouSeeMe.org open port check tool successfully "sees" my IP address on Port 65100
* Pinging my IP address from the laptop, from outside the home office router, fails to connect. Pinging it from inside the router works fine.

* We disabled a rule in Norton 360 (on the server machine) that blocked ICMP traffic, but that made no difference.  And the inside-the-router synch success occured even when that rule was enabled.

* Disabling the Windows firewall on the server (it is Norton 360 managed) makes no difference in the pinging or synch'g results

* ISP is Comcast Cable (residential account) - so I know Port 80 is blocked, but we're not using Port 80 in the synch operation.

 

The Act tech said that I have to find a way to open ping access to my IP. Ok, but why does CanYouSeeMe.org tell us that it can "see" my IP address at Port 65100? Clearly the two machines can talk to each other over the internet. And there's complete success when the laptop tries to synch up from inside the router.

 

I'm stuck - any solutions or ideas? (synching the remote only when in the home office is not an answer as I'm on the road a lot and need to be able to synch at will via the internet)

 

Copper Contributor
Posts: 22
Country: USA

Re: Remote Synch Across Network (Act Premium 2013)

I'd always reccomend a split VPN connection for security. That being said, I hope this helps.

 

1. Router might never answer a ping from outside your network. Safety default on some routers.

 

2. It seems to me that your server would have an IP address like "192.168.1.10".  This is a LAN address.

 

   When you set up your a Remote copy of ACT on your laptop you either set it up to connect to the 192.168.1.10 or the Server's name.

 

   Since you are on the outside of the network the 192.168.... address will not work outside of your router's connection as it is a common local address networks. You would need to change the connection information in your Remote ACT to the WAN IP address of your router. Your router then needs to have the port forwarding set to forward your sync port to your server IP address. You could also just set it to DMZ to your server but that is not as secure.

 

As to a solution to syncing your laptop without changing the host address from local to wan everytime you come back into the office....look into getting a VPN setup.

Copper Contributor
Posts: 22
Country: USA

Re: Remote Synch Across Network (Act Premium 2013)

Thanks - this is helpful.  On the VPN idea, I've looked into it and am wondering if a VPN service is useable here (e.g. VPN Ghost, or Norton Hotspot Privacy); or is the native Windows VPN workable?

 

Bronze Elite Contributor
Posts: 2,548
Country: New_Zealand

Re: Remote Synch Across Network (Act Premium 2013)

[ Edited ]

jamac wrote:

 

As to a solution to syncing your laptop without changing the host address from local to wan everytime you come back into the office....look into getting a VPN setup.


A good solution is to run split DNS and avoid the VPN overhead - get your IT person to setup split DNS at the server or router whichever is appropriate. 

 

 

Graeme Leo
Xact Software - consultants and developers
Follow us on Twitter and check out our Blog


Copper Contributor
Posts: 22
Country: USA

Re: Remote Synch Across Network (Act Premium 2013)

I'm my own IT person at the moment, so any particular VPN service / product (s) you can suggest, I'll look into them.

Copper Contributor
Posts: 22
Country: USA

Re: Remote Synch Across Network (Act Premium 2013)

I've been very happy with my CISCO 5505 Series device. It works well. The software is easy to use. The hardware has never needed to be reset.

 

I'm sure some other VPNs would work fine, but I'm going to use this setup until it dies.

 

When a User connects via VPN it is setup that only ACT! web, act remote database syncs and traffic to our storage server crosses the VPN. All other internet traffic does not  use the VPN. The traffic is encrypted which is a security plus.