I was reading up on the VPN (virtual private network) situation as an alternative, or supplementary. There are a few things that confuse the semi-novice. Especially, VPN is used for two entirely different things, proxy and network, and the reviews don't always make the distinction clear.
And when used as a network, I wonder if there is a distinction between "all behind the same router" and "general". And I gather there are hardware-based router things like QuickVPN.
On the network level, LogMeIn's Hamichi seems to be the ease-of-use favorite. Comodo's Unite may be interesting, along with Gbridge (google), although I tend to avoid those companies on some things. OpenVPN and Remobo are two more that look interesting, and there are a few more goodies.
And what is the relationship between VNC and VPN. I remember once I connected to a mini-computer through a router using a special protocol program and, I think, both of the above. However, VNC may not apply to my discussion here.
Note: I am not concerned about remote access and remote control, TeamViewer and many others do that fine, the interest is network (back-door minicomputer). Such as using one master file as the direct source for bookmark and notes programs without going to Dropbox, etc.
Teamviewer does have a VPN option, which I have not researched, and since their program is very, very good, that should be in the mix. In that case you are using the same setup for both.
Here is the big question:
functionally and set-up-wise and stability and response and all .. how does your VPN compare to your local Windows network peer-to-peer attempt. Are they generally complementary or exclusive attempts ? And do people like having their work computer on VPN. Watching out, of course, for the security issues. (e.g. on how many password requests does Teamviewer time out ? Why isn't that easy to find.).
And 1 major big issue is whether you succeed in getting full, fairly easy, direct mapping of drives. With any alternative.