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Secure Remote Access for Home Users

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April 3, 2008 11:10:31 AM

Go out and about... while your data stays at home. We show you how to safely access your data over the Internet using a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

http://www.tomshardware.com/2008/04/03/secure_remote_access_for_home_users/index.html
April 3, 2008 3:18:49 PM

I was wondering how well VPNs work for gaming connections. I know I tried to set one up a few years ago and couldn't get it to work.

The reason I'm asking about VPN rather then just using normal game internet clients is because I've had issues with them when trying to connect with outside players and players on a LAN at the same time.

It may have also changed since last time I tried to play in similiar situations (changed roommates a lot for a few years). The issue we tended to have is if we set up a game via the internet then people on the LAN couldn't connect, and if we created it on the LAN then no one outside could connect. What we usually ended up with was several people in a LAN and 1-2 people somewhere else that wanted to play.

So I was just wondering how well a VPN worked for allowing someone to play on a local LAN from a remote location.

I'll probably set one up sometime for file sharing as well, but that seemed to be covered pretty well in the article so I don't think I need to say much about it.
April 3, 2008 6:13:07 PM

Ssh works very nicely as well, is secure, and is much easier to set up than a VPN. All you have to do to set up ssh is to install it and start the background service (sshd.) If you have a NAT router, you need to forward the appropriate port (by default 22, I'd recommend something else less well-known.) Sure, it's text mode, but with the crappy upload on most home Internet connections, it's much more user-friendly than a full remote desktop setup, where refresh rates are measured in seconds per frame rather than frames per second. If you have a good upload, you can even do a full remote-login setup over ssh by tunneling VNC through it.
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April 3, 2008 7:25:44 PM

Winscp is nice if you don't want to do text based ssh/scp.
April 4, 2008 1:45:43 AM

I was seriously hoping they would talk about openvpn in this article because its cross-platform. Windows Vista----blah!! One user---blah! Come on Tom's, you can do better!!!
April 4, 2008 8:31:56 AM

I personally use PFSense / OpenVPN

a bit of a pain in the ### setting it up, but it works great.

you can also use the somewhat less secure but AMAZINGLY easier to set up PPTP vpn server w/ m0n0wall / pfsense.

as a additional bonus I have my wifi on a separate subnet w/ access to the wired LAN over VPN w/ OpenVPN.

I realize the more security minded will fall over DEAD when I say this but because of a limit of how many computers I can have on (heat generated in my office / power consumption) I set up my pfsense on my domain controller for my home network w/ VMware.

I'm not too worried about it, as I have unbound the network adapters vmware is using from all networking services besides VMware.

I was running m0n0wall for awhile before moving to pfsense, all in all i'm quite happy w/ my solution.


April 4, 2008 1:46:47 PM

I like the idea behind the article, even if it could be more accurate and also touch on more than just Windows VPNs.

ssh is probably much easier though, since you can tunnel all you want over it and also use a nice scp client for all the data transfer stuff. Winscp and tunneling Remote Desktop, should be all most users will ever need.
April 4, 2008 2:15:24 PM

atarione said:
I personally use PFSense / OpenVPN
I realize the more security minded will fall over DEAD when I say this but because of a limit of how many computers I can have on (heat generated in my office / power consumption) I set up my pfsense on my domain controller for my home network w/ VMware.


Fell over dead.

But I got better.

VPN's fairly easy to set up for me...but then I'm running a Netscreen25 (juniper), it's designed for that kind of stuff.
Adding a vote for OpenVPN. Also
!