Connecting TimeClick® in remote locations a viable alternative to online subscriptions
To implement any online time tracking software solution for a dispersed work force, you will need an effective network and software. Data isn’t useful unless you can share, shape, and direct it, so choosing “the how” is essential. Many businesses have employees in remote locations and believe that an online web based solution is their only option. However, TimeClick® provides an alternative.
What is port forwarding?
For most small businesses, TimeClick® operates comfortably within their network, using the internal IP address of the server computer to connect to the database. But what do you do when you have a separate warehouse, additional offices, or remote individual employees?
Port forwarding is the answer. TimeClick® has many advantages over online time tracking and one of those is how it securely handles remote connections. Utilizing the common process of port forwarding, TimeClick® allows a computer outside your network to connect to a computer within it. By default, your router will not allow computers outside the network to access the information contained on your network. Port forwarding opens an access window on your router to allow a specific computer using a specified program to connect to your network. It then directs incoming connections (your off-site employees) to a computer inside your network (your TimeClick® server). By creating instructions for your router, you can allow employees on different networks to clock in and out or your administrators to run payroll reports.
How to get started with port forwarding:
Here is a general procedure. For technical specifics and examples on setting up port forwarding, you may refer to a more detailed version here.
- Determine the internal IP address of your TimeClick® server, which is the computer with the grey desktop icon. If you do not know the IP address of the server, open the Command Prompt and type “ipconfig” without the quotes and press enter The IP address is normally labeled as theIPv4 address.
- Log in to your router. Each router is different, but you can generally access your router by typing the default gateway into the address bar of a web browser.
- Configure your router settings to forward the port to the internal IP of the TimeClick® server.
- Navigate to the whatismyip.com and it will display the external IP of your router, which you will need to enter into the remote client computers.
- On the remote computers, go to Start>>All Programs>>TimeClick>>Client Config. You’ll want to set it, using the external IP at the main location. The port is always the default listed on your screen.
Why not let a third party host the data?
There are several drawbacks to an online subscription. The most obvious is their expensive nature. The accumulation of recurring fees can quickly get out of hand. Second, cloud solutions can be an attractive alternative for backing up gigabytes, or terabytes of data but time clock data is small and efficient, so even a laptop has more storage space than any small business will need. Why pay for something you already have? Many web based solutions require a signed contract. Think about all the times you’re asked or required to sign something—sometimes it’s benign, sometimes it’s just something you have to do, but is it ever to your advantage? Rarely, if ever, and committing to a hosting service will certainly be no exception. Save your company money by owning and hosting your own software instead of renting it.
What makes TimeClick® suitable for dispersed networks?
Decentralization is a reality of modern business and keeping your remote employees connected is paramount. The technique of port forwarding makes that process secure and efficient. With TimeClick®, no third parties have access to your data, whether employee information, company documents/trade secrets, or client medical records. Reliability and accessibility are key. Since 1993, TimeClick® has been improving its award-winning product and providing US-based, industry leading support that is available when you need it. Without allowing any third party access to your sensitive information, you can transmit your time and attendance data privately between trusted workstations, even from different networks.
Here’s what J. Dobbins of the Gadsden Public Library says about TimeClick’s remote networking feature:
“TimeClick is great! I researched and compared several time clock options before deciding to use TimeClick. We have 32 employees in four separate buildings, so we have some specific needs regarding time and attendance. TimeClick surpassed our needs and at a very cost effective price. A major deciding factor in choosing TimeClick was the customer service – they are fabulous! They are quick to respond and very easy to deal with – I highly recommend TimeClick.”
Information-age companies require electronic timesheets which are reliable, trustworthy, and cost effective. Port forwarding and online solutions have great benefits over LAN-limited options, but are not created equal. Choosing the port forwarded method will give the security and accessibility you require, with no commitment, and at a significantly lower cost than web hosted alternatives. See how well TimeClick® works for your dispersed work force.