Questions and Answers about pcAnywhere Access Server

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Article ID: 178507

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Frequently Asked Questions about pcAnywhere Access Server

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Q: What is pcAnywhere Access Server?
A:  Access Server is a separate but related product to pcAnywhere.  It is an optional component which you can install in your DMZ. It allows pcAnywhere connections across firewalls and routers, and pcAnywhere Solution customers receive full licenses for Access Server.  pcAnywhere "host" computers (the computer hosting the remote control session) can "dock" to the centralized Access Server, and then remote users can find docked hosts by connecting first to the Access Server.

Q: Is VPN required in order to remotely control computers on the network with pcAnywhere?
A: If the "remote" computer is on separate network from the "host", such that they are not on a WAN and are separated by a firewall/router, then the there are two options.  Either the host computer must be connected to the corporate WAN by VPN, or the pcAnywhere host must be docked to an Access Server that is located within the corporate network.

Q: If a pcAnywhere Access Server is used, is VPN required?
A: No. Assuming that the Access Server is available from the internet such that the required external ports are forwarded to it (TCP 5631 and UDP 5632), the pcAnywhere hosts can be configured via policy in the Symantec Management Console to "dock" to the Access Server, and remote control sessions can be initiated to docked hosts by way of the Access Server.

Q: Does the Access Server require its own physical machine? Or can it be installed onto an Notification Server or Deployment Server or Symantec Management Platform (SMP) server without a performance hit?
A: Symantec performed a basic "sanity" test after installing Access Server on an SMP server and did not find any compatibility issues with it. However, Symantec recommends that the Access Server be installed on separate computer for performance reasons.  Also, because the Access Server ports must be exposed in order for the pcAnywhere host running on computers outside the company's network to dock to the Access Server, for security reasons it is better to install the Access Server on a separate computer than on the SMP server.

Q: Where can I find more information about Access Server?
A: See the following Knowledge Base articles...

Symantec pcAnywhere Access Server Implementation Guide
How to get Access Server for use with pcAnywhere Solution
pcAnywhere Solution Advanced Configuration Guide