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I have a LAN with several computers behind a router on a dynamic IP address (Win and FreeBSD). I want to be able to reach several of them via VNC from outside the LAN.

I am thinking to get the CustomDNS service from DynDNS.com, and set one of my domain names to forward to my dynamic ip, using their update software to keep it current.

I think I can then connect to multiple computers via VNC by specifying the connection port on the forwarded domain.

Can anyone verify this? I am a bit of a novice with networking - I generally manage to keep mine running smoothly, but once you get into DNS and port manipulation, I am a bit out of my zone. I would like to be pretty sure this will work before starting to set it up.

I am also open to other ideas on how to do this. I need to be able to remote in (and make it really easy for my wife to do so) securely, and need one-click connections (like UltraVNC one click) to help other people with theirs, so I am thinking UltraVNC and DynDNS. However, definitely open to other ideas. Note that I won't be able to get Static IPs, so it will definitely have to be a solution that can handle my dynamic ip.

Thanks!

Edit:

Thanks for the great answers. Are the plugins for uvnc, like the RC4 or AES plugins fairly secure?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 4 down vote accepted

DynDNS will provide a name to IP resolution (something.homeip.net to 123.123.123.123). You don't need Custom DNS to do this unless you require your own domain. Your port forwarding will work regardless of which option you choose.

Your router will provide the port forwarding. You can configure your router to forward like this:

WAN IP, Port 5900 -> PC 1, Port 5900
WAN IP, Port 5901 -> PC 2, Port 5900
WAN IP, Port 5902 -> PC 3, Port 5900

and so on. Then if you want to connect to PC 2, you VNC to

something.homeip.net:5901

and the router will make sure that requests gets to PC 2. Also make sure that you open your firewall for those ports. Depending on your router, those may be separate configurations (port forwarding and firewall)

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Perfect - that's what I thought, but wanted to be sure I'm on the right track. Thanks! –  Eli Jun 23 '09 at 21:28

I can verify that this is possible and easy to do, as I have it set up on my home network. Here is a website that goes into the basics of it. As Kevin stated above, it all depends on the port forwarding of your home router/firewall.

Please remember, though, that this is not necessarily a secure connection. I would recommend tunneling into the home network over ssh. I currently use Cop SSH to set up an ssh server on a windows box, and then use putty to establish an ssh tunnel, then use mstsc to connect through the tunnel. There are other products out there that do the same thing, stunnel comes to mind. Hope that helps.

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Port forwarding will certainly work but it's not very secure for two reasons. VNC traffic isn't encrypted and a weak password could leave you vulnerable.

If you have a BSD box on your LAN I would forward a port, not 22, to port 22 on it. Then use ssh tunnels to connect to the different hosts on the LAN with VNC. I would also disable ssh password authentication and use private key authentication.

Your ssh connection would look like this (alternatively you can use putty) example is using port 222 ssh -p222 -L10000:host1:5900 user@yourdomainname.dyndns.org

Then you can connect to host 1 by pointing your vnc client to localhost:10000

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Something else you might want to look at is http://www.logmein.com (its from the guys who made Hamatchi). Basically, it's a service you install on the client machine that provides external access to the desktop. It also has the advantages of using a secure communication channel (https), is accessible from any browser, and cuts through routers and firewalls like butter.

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