DirectAccess Technical Overview for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2

Applies To: Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2

The Windows® 7 and Windows Server® 2008 R2 operating systems introduce DirectAccess, a new solution that provides users with the same experience working remotely as they would have when working in the office. With DirectAccess, remote users can access corporate file shares, Web sites, and applications without connecting to a virtual private network (VPN).

DirectAccess establishes bi-directional connectivity with the user’s enterprise network every time the user’s DirectAccess-enabled portable computer is connected to the Internet, even before the user logs on. With DirectAccess, users never have to think about whether they are connected to the corporate network. DirectAccess also benefits IT by allowing network administrators to manage remote computers outside of the office, even when the computers are not connected to a VPN. DirectAccess enables organizations with regulatory concerns to extend regulatory compliance to roaming computer assets.

DirectAccess server functionality is included in Windows Server 2008 R2. An enhanced version of DirectAccess is included with Microsoft® Forefront™ Unified Access Gateway (UAG). For more information, see Scaling, Extending, and Simplifying DirectAccess Deployments with Forefront UAG.

This document describes the benefits of DirectAccess, how it works, and what you will need to deploy it in your organization. The following topics are covered:


For a complete view of Windows 7 resources, articles, demos, and guidance, please visit the Springboard Series for Windows 7 on the Windows Client TechCenter.
For a downloadable version of this document, see the DirectAccess Technical Overview for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 ( in the Microsoft Download Center.