In this chapter
In this chapter, we take a look at business on the runmobile computing. With increasing numbers of employees either working on the road or telecommuting from home (for at least a portion of the work week), the ability to connect these remote users to the corporate network has became an important aspect of managing network users and resources.
We have already taken a look at WAN technology in Chapter 12, "Expanding a LAN with WAN Technology." A number of different technologies were discussed, ranging from dial-up connections to leased lines, to packet-switching technology such as Frame Relay. For telecommuters and employees working on the road (such as the corporate sales force), connecting to the company's network usually revolves around using dial-up connections or accessing the corporate network through the Internet using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Both these connection types have their pros and cons, and both have different security issues to deal with.
Not only do "roaming" employees connect remotely to the network using PCs, but many now access email and even files using personal digital assistants (or PDAs). Let's start our discussion of computing on the run with a general look at the evolution of mobile computing devices. We can then concentrate on laptop computers, remote connectivity strategies, and the different types of PDAs.