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Connect to a remote network

Updated: January 21, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

To connect to a remote network

  1. Open Network Connections.

  2. Double-click the connection you want to connect to the network.

  3. If you are prompted, in the Connectconnection type dialog box, type your user name, password, and logon domain.

    If Logon domain does not appear in this dialog box, and you want to log on to a domain, type your user name and the domain name in one of two ways:

    • Your user principal name prefix (your user name) and your user principal name suffix (your domain name), joined by the "at" sign (@). For example, user@sales.westcoast.microsoft.com.

    • Your domain name and your user name, separated by the backslash (\) character. For example, sales\user.

      Note that the suffix in the first example is a fully-qualified DNS domain name. Your administrator might have created an alternative suffix to simplify the logon process. For example, creating a user principal name suffix of "microsoft" allows the same user to log on by using the much simpler user@microsoft.com. For more information, see your system administrator.

    Instead of having to type your domain name, you can also enable Windows to include your logon domain to the Connectconnection type dialog box.

    1. Click Properties if the button is enabled.

    2. On the Options tab, select the Include Windows logon domain check box.

    Once you are connected to the network, you can minimize your connection window and use e-mail, Windows Explorer, and so on.


  • To open Network Connections, click Start, click Control Panel, and then double-click Network Connections.

  • To connect to a remote network you can also right-click the connection that you want to connect to the network and click Connect.

  • Authentication happens at two levels: logging on to the local computer domain and logging on as a valid user.

  • If you are on a local area network, your computer logs on to the local computer domain automatically even before you see the logon prompt. When you type your user credentials at the logon prompt, the computer checks your user credentials, opens a user context, and makes your personal data available to you. You are now logged on at both levels.

  • If you are not on a local area network, the attempt to log on to the local computer domain fails silently. In this case, user logon can proceed in two ways.

    • When you log on at the logon prompt, the computer checks your cached credentials from the last time you were actually online with the domain controller. If they match, a user context associated with your name is opened. You are now logged on to the computer as a valid user but you are not logged on to the network. To access your personal files you can now create a remote access connection by using your remote access credentials or by using your cached credentials if your computer is a member of the domain.

    • Select the Log on using dial-up networking check box if your computer is a member of the domain. In this case, the computer will attempt to make a remote access connection before processing your credentials. Once connected it uses the user logon credentials as though you were on a local area network.

  • The logon domain name you type should name the domain that the server is in. This is not the DNS domain name given by some PPP/SLIP providers.

  • If you are using IP connectivity on your local network connection and on your remote connection, you may not be able to see all computers on your local network. This is because after you connect, your remote connection becomes your default path for network routing. Consequently, you see computers on the remote network, and you see other computers on the same LAN segment to which your computer is connected. But you cannot communicate with computers on networks that were previously reached through a router on your local LAN.

Information about functional differences

  • Your server might function differently based on the version and edition of the operating system that is installed, your account permissions, and your menu settings. For more information, see Viewing Help on the Web.

See Also

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