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In our office (and in our home too) we have some security equipment connected to the Internet, like ip cameras. However, we are not satisfied by their level of security: the only protection the DVR has is a 4-digit numeric password that is sent in plaintext.

I was thinking, thus, if it was possible to protect the connection in some way. We connect to those devices from all over the world, using different IPs and different kind of connections (cellular data, WiFi, etc), so a simple firewall accepting connections only from a specific range of IP addresses will not work. Additionally, we connect using different kind of devices: from laptop computers (all using Mac OSX) to mobile phones (iOS and Android).

Will a VPN solve this issue?

Also, if I am not wrong, VPNs not only protect against unauthorized accesses, but they also encrypt all the traffic (stopping sniffers) and authenticate connections (blocking DNS poisoning attacks etc).

If the VPN was the best option, then, how can I set it up? I would rather not use any software that runs on PC, as we do not have PCs running 24/7 and a software solution requires more maintenance and the PC uses (generally) more power. Is there any cheap hardware solution for that? Even entry-level devices...

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1 Answer 1

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Will a VPN solve this issue?

Yes

VPNs not only protect against unauthorized accesses, but they also encrypt all the traffic (stopping sniffers) and authenticate connections

VPNs create a secure tunnel between the client device and the VPN server, this tunnel is considered by most to be very secure.

If the VPN was the best option, then, how can I set it up?

This would depend on the VPN software/device you are using but basically you would have a internet facing device handle your VPN connection, such as a firewall that has VPN services, the device would accept incoming VPN connection and create a tunnel for that device to communicate on your internal network giving you access to all or some of the internal devices on your network.

-- Not all VPN software/devices have a VPN client for iOS/Android based devices so you should research the one that is in your price range and fits your needs the best.

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Thanks. I don't need a VPN solution that has a client for iOS/Android, because that wouldn't work with the IP cameras app! I need something that can work with the iOS/Android Operating System! So, L2PT or IPSec (or PPTP, but that's unsafe from what I've heard). Any recommendation? –  Qualcuno Nov 9 '12 at 23:48
    
I don't know much about iOS and VPNs but I do know that on newer Android devices they will allow for an L2PT or IPSec VPN connection. I personally use a Cisco ASA 5510 to handle VPNing, but my guess is its out of your price range. –  Sane Nov 9 '12 at 23:52
    
Reading your comment again, what do you mean that you don't need a client for iOS/Android but you do need something that will work with iOS/Android's OS? –  Sane Nov 9 '12 at 23:54
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It sounds like it would do what you need but the reviews on it are just ok, there is also a ZyXEL ZyWALL USG20. I don't know what level of techy you want to get but you could also look at getting a Cisco Linksys WRT54GL and then flashing it with the VPN build of DD-WRT. –  Sane Nov 10 '12 at 6:00
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Not that I couldn't flash custom firmwares... But I'd rather "take the easy way", the one which requires no maintenance and it's easier to setup (time is money :) ). Thanks –  Qualcuno Nov 10 '12 at 12:13

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