I have a small office in a larger office building. We use a "shared" internet connection maintained by the building, behind several layers of LAN infrastructure that we do not control.

I want to expose my server to the outside world, and I'm seeking answers as to whether this is possible with the use of a 3rd party services.

I'm not sure the correct syntax/terminology to use. Are there any services that accept traffic at a public address (domain name, static IP), encapsulate and send it along to a software client installed on a system that sits behind a firewall on a private network?

I have a ton of services running on my little Mac server, and I want to expose them to the outside world but don't know how to go about it. In my dream world, I log on to a web service, configure a static IP with the ports I want, and then traffic is proxied through this service to my physical server inside my private network.

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    Your best best it to talk to the building admins and ask how to accomplish your goals on their infrastructure. – Zypher Jan 7 '14 at 21:48
  • Thanks @Zypher. Unfortunately the building "IT guy" is totally non-responsive. I'd like to avoid the $200/a month required to get our own connection in the building, but its looking like that may be the only way. – isaac Jan 7 '14 at 21:52
  • @isaac Can you bring in a 3rd party cable or DSL ISP? Should be considerably cheaper than $200/month. – jlehtinen Jan 7 '14 at 22:45
  • Yes. A VPN endpoint. it can be done. – Matt Jan 7 '14 at 23:47

3 options come to mind.

  1. Talk to the building management. I suspect this won't go far and still leaves you with little control.
  2. Get your own internet feed. May also be hard, but hopefully not.
  3. Set up a site to site VPN between your office internet and another external host or VPS.

The third option may actually be the easiest to accomplish. If you fire up a VPS server and configure it to also run a VPN server like LT2P/IPSEC then you hopefully should be able to run the client inside your LAN to connect to the VPS. Now, the VPS is public so you can use it like a firewall only it's external to your network.

With careful thought about firewall rules and setup it should work fairly well. But be careful as it'll allow all traffic from the VPS host ifself to pass to your network so you have to be careful about how you secure it. I'd probably add a secondary firewall at the client end to be sure. A little mikrotik router or similar + the VPS may work well.

  • I wish we had help from the building, and that a decent business internet plan (30 down/5 up, static ip) wasn't $200 a month here. However, as it stands, the third suggestion is exactly the kind of idea I was looking for! Simple, should work well, can't believe I didn't think of it. I should be able to connect either my router or my server's vpn client to a VPS and route/firewall traffic exactly as I need. Thanks! – isaac Jan 8 '14 at 1:28

The preferred way to accomplish that is to get the building to provide you with your own public IP address. There are other ways to do it, but they are fairly complicated and involve setting up an external host somewhere.

Now if you just wanted to expose these services just to certain individuals, there are options such as LogMeIn Hamachi that allow you to tunnel a private VPN through firewalls and routers.

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