View Full Version : VPN Server

22-05-2012, 12:04 PM
Can anyone tell / show me how to setup a VPN server so I can access my design work on the works computer and use it in the home / workshop.
I have a dedicated com'p running XP pro & Mach 3 & cnc machine nothing else, and a standalone XP pro computer with internet access & vetric software to produce the tool pathways at home, sometimes I need files, cad drawings, images held on another XP pro com'p that is 28 mile away and can't always take them home on a stick.

Can anyone help please.



22-05-2012, 01:19 PM
Have you considered using remote desktop? Lots of people in your position do this:
You can then easily transfer files betwen the two. By the sounds of it you will need to forward port 3389 - there's lots of info on google about how to open your router's ports.

22-05-2012, 02:25 PM
Thanks Johnathan,

But I think with remote desktop someone has to let me in don't they? works com'p is left on standby behind a password to keep rest of work force out, I would like to be able to access the files without anyone there to let me in.

Mad Professor
22-05-2012, 05:02 PM
Do you need to use VPN? can you not use something like DropBox, SkyDrive, etc?

22-05-2012, 05:23 PM
I could use whatever there is so long as nobody has to be there to sign me in, I'll go and have a look at the two you mentioned thanks.

22-05-2012, 09:23 PM
Remote desktop is the quick and easy option, from past experience VPNs can get messy.

In ether case your first hurdle will be bringing the remote PC out of standby, check your router for 'magic packet' or 'wake up' options, there are also some small apps you can run locally that will attempt to wake remote machines. As a start I strongly recommend you disable all hibernate, standby and power saving options on the remote (office) PC, screen saver + password settings can probably be kept as they are - under XP at least.

Option 1. Very quick and easy (or so I'm told!)
I've not used this myself but I know people who have. I'm not 100% certain it allows file transfers but it is free to try. This may also get around the problem of dynamic IP addresses assuming your account with your ISP uses them.

Option 2.
This is my 'go to' software which I've used for years with very few problems.

Install the 'server' as a 'service' on the remote PC, set a good(1) password.

Check the PC and router firewalls.

Check for and configure any 'port forwarding' options in your router. These allow your router to associate 'public' IP address with the private IP addresses of individual PCs on your network. Assuming a 'dynamic IP service' you need to match 'any IP address + external port (5900 for uVNC)' to 'local IP address of remote PC + local port (5900 for uVNC)'.

While sitting at the, soon to be, remote PC click this link http://www.whatismyip.com/ and write down the IP address. This is the 'public' IP address of your network, this is the address that may change periodically if you are signed up with a 'dynamic IP' service: See http://www.zdnet.com/blog/ou/free-dynamic-dns-account-for-anywhere-access-to-your-home/468 and http://dyn.com/dns/ for more information

Install the uVNC sw on your local PC, you do not need 'server as a service' and will only be running the 'viewer'.

Run the viewer on the local PC, enter the public IP address of the remote PC and off you go... Or not. The SW is fine, any problems are usually related to IP addresses, port forwarding and fire walls. One strange problem that can rear its ugly head is trying to test the remote connection using the public IP address when both local and remote PCs are connected to the same local network, an obvious first test but some routers just won't play ball. Always test the remote connection from a separate network. For testing on site I generally force my 'local' onto a separate network by tethering with my phone, it's an option to bear in mind.

(1) Good Password. Seriously.
When using remote desktop or VPN or any other remote access solution you are opening up your server/remote PC to the public side of the internet. There are people out there running software that continuously attempts to break in to connected devices, it was not unusual to see 20 or 30 attempts per minute last time I checked. Two things protect you:

You are probably not an interesting target, so no one is likely to spend too much time trying to break into your network.
Your password and other security.

All that said you should still be fully aware of the risks of having an open connection to a network that shares data with accounts, design, manufacturing, customer information etc, etc. It is up to you to balance the risks.

24-11-2013, 04:07 PM
You can also get NAS Boxes that allow secure offsite access to data, I use a My Ditto to give me 2GB of RAID1 storage (2 x 2Gb drives with hardware/firmware mirror) and remote data acess,

- Nick

24-11-2013, 05:08 PM
They use logmein at work. Dunno much about it though.

If it's just for file sharing, why not use cloud/remote storage? You can then access from any PC with an internet connection.