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I am a software developer. I travel and sometimes have a need to access my files at home and tweak other family members computers. I would like to connect to my home network via VPN and then RDP into whatever machine i need to. Currently i have a Windows Server 08 machine, which is my file server, database server, web server (for development work), source control repository, etc. (and also somewhat of a workstation when i need it to be). I want to use this same machine to run my VPN through. I have a linksys WRTG54 router. My ISP is AT&T DSL, with a dynamic IP address - so i'm assuming I'll either need to request a static IP or sign up with one of those static ip services.. where it keeps your dynamic ip synced up with a static one.

While I do understand software engineering I am no expert in networking. What do i need to do to setup my VPN?

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closed as off topic by Sam Jan 19 '12 at 12:01

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As for the dynamic IP -- you just need a dynamic DNS. Effectively, a dynamic DNS entry is one which updates whenever your IP changes. Look up DynDNS or NoIP: they're two free services which provide exactly this. –  hark Jun 6 '09 at 20:55
    
Check out my blog iamsaif.com for instructions on setting up dynamic ip on the linksys WRT54G –  Saif Khan Jun 12 '09 at 15:24

7 Answers 7

up vote 10 down vote accepted

I would install openvpn. http://openvpn.net/index.php/open-source.html

Here is a tutorial for using windows as a server and client http://www.runpcrun.com/howtoopenvpn

You'll need dynamic DNS on your server and forward the openvpn port on your linksys to your server. Once openvpn is configured, you'll be able to connect to your dynamic DNS host name from where ever you are and get full access to your home network.

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awesome thanks i'll check it out. –  Tone Jun 6 '09 at 21:43
    
Another +1 for openvpn. I haven't used the server version on Windows, only linux, but i would imagine it's just as solid. –  palehorse Jun 7 '09 at 2:15
    
so is there an alternative to OpenVPN included in Server 2008? I'm not opposed to installing it, just want to understand my options before I begin. –  Tone Jun 7 '09 at 19:10
    
You should look for "openVPN GUI". And "Tail for windows" too, very good for loking at the log as it scrolls away. –  Arno Teigseth Jan 25 '11 at 18:32
    
@Tone: of course there is, just have a look at RRAS. –  Massimo Jul 15 '11 at 12:56

If you already have a Windows 2008 server you can just set up RRAS and forward PPTP/GRE traffic to it from your router. It's simple and should do the job.

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Keep it simply - use RRAS (Routing & Remote Access Service), which is built-in to Windows Server. It even runs through a wizard which has the option to set the server up for VPN/routing. It's simplest if you use the box as a NAT router, which means assigning it a public IP (behind your firewall, obviously).

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ah! I'll check this out and report back. –  Tone Jul 7 '09 at 11:48

LogMeIn Hamachi also offers a configuration free VPN.

Its free for non-commercial use, see https://secure.logmein.com/products/hamachi/list.asp

All you do is run it - and it works. I've been using it for a year now and its quite solid.

The only (very minor) problem I've run into is coexistence with VMware. This problem can be fixed in about 10 seconds by selecting the correct network adapter from VMware to make networking within VMware work properly.

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Have you considered using the free version of LogMeIn? Far easier than setting up a VPN and works from anywhere (no worries about networks that block VPN usage like hotels that use a home-grade router allowing only 1 VPN per network)

http://www.logmein.com

You don't even need dyndns or open any ports in your firewall

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I have used LogMeIn several times. And it is really neat and useful software. However, I do want to learn a bit more about setting up a VPN so this seems like a good opportunity to do so. And hotels are actually getting better about opening up their networks so you can connect back to a VPN. I have to do it all the time for the corporate VPN i use for my full time work. –  Tone Jun 6 '09 at 21:42

I`m doing it with pfSense [ http://pfsense.com ], pfsense comes with openvpn, ipsec and pptp. to manage dynamic ip just sing in into DynDNS or other and pfsense will update his public ip to it.

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I like keeping things simple. I prefer a router based VPN. Look at the Linksys routers with VPN capability.

I also looked at the LogMeIn Gravitas mentions. You can also try that.

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