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Certification and gateway remote access

I have two questions that are not really related. I am thinking about getting Network+ certification. Is this certification a good starting point for a career in network computing?

The second is a technical question. How do I define the gateway for remote access? I have set up RAS on Win 2000 server. I am able to dial in from home and connect to the network, but I cannot do anything. It simply lets me in, but I cannot connect to any programs or files. When I run WINIPCFG on my PC at home, it gives me the right IP on my PPP adapter, but the gateway is different than what it should be. What do I do? Thanks for the help.

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The A+ Certification has long been a standard for PC technicians, and CompTIA has worked hard to give the Network+ certification the same cachet. You'll need networking knowledge to proceed into any of the systems certifications such as MCSE, CNE, Linux SE of many colors, and so forth. Network+ is as good a place to start as any.

In my view, certifications at the CompTIA level have the benefit of setting you apart from others who might have comparable general skills and background but no certification. Managers and HR folks who sift through resumes don't have much time. If you have a certification at the top of the page, you stand a better chance of making it to the "take another look at this one" stack.

Okay, on to the technical question. When you make a dial-up connection using a Windows client, the system changes the local routing table to make gateway the same as the IP address of the virtual WAN connection. You can verify this by running ROUTE PRINT from a command console.

When you connect to your network from home, try using IP addresses rather than flat names. For instance, if you have a server named Joe with the IP address 192.168.0.10, then start by pinging that IP address. If the ping does not succeed, you have not configured the RAS server correctly to route incoming traffic.

If the ping succeeds, map a drive to the server using NET USE * \\server_ip_address\share_name. This may take a while to succeed because of authentication round-trips across the slow link, but eventually you'll see the folders in the share point.

This was first published in May 2001

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