Applies To: Windows Server 2008 R2

DirectAccess provides the following benefits:

  • Seamless connectivity. DirectAccess is on whenever the user has an Internet connection, giving users access to intranet resources whether they are traveling, at the local coffee shop, or at home.

  • Remote management. IT administrators can connect directly to DirectAccess client computers to monitor them, manage them, and deploy updates, even when the user is not logged on. This can reduce the cost of managing remote computers by keeping them up-to-date with critical updates and configuration changes.

  • Improved security. DirectAccess uses IPsec for authentication and encryption. Optionally, you can require smart cards for user authorization. DirectAccess integrates with NAP to require that DirectAccess clients must be compliant with system health requirements before allowing a connection to the DirectAccess server. IT administrators can configure the DirectAccess server to restrict the servers that users and individual applications can access.

DirectAccess also enables users to get more out of other Windows 7 networking improvements, such as:

  • Federated Search. With Federated Search, desktop searches can include files and Web pages on your intranet whenever the user is connected to your intranet. Because DirectAccess connects users to the intranet when then connect to the Internet, Federated Search works automatically any time the user has an Internet connection.

  • Folder Redirection. With Folder Redirection, folders can automatically synchronize between multiple computers across the network. If you enable DirectAccess, users with both mobile and desktop computers can stay synchronized automatically whenever they connect to the Internet.

  • Replaceable computer scenario. In this scenario, a user’s applications, documents, and settings are stored on the network and available from any computer. If a computer is lost or corrupted, the replacement computer does not require user-specific configuration.

With DirectAccess, client computers are always connected, better protected, and easier to manage.