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Is it possible to join my EC2 instance (running Windows Server 2012 R2) to my LAN?

I don't want to make it a domain controller, but I want to have it local enough that I can ping other devices in local network from the AWS instance.

I read about using VPS but I think I may have misinterpreted it, isn't that more for connecting FROM your personal computer TO AWS for more secure browsing, etc?

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Sounds like you are looking for a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

You can configure this to put your EC2 instance on the same logical network as your home network and traffic between them goes over a secure private connection.

Amazon provide VPN access with their Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) but there are also a number of open source implementations of VPNs you can try.

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AWS allow you to create your own private network 'in the cloud'. They call this VPC and it's fairly east to setup.

You can connect to your VPC in a number of ways, two examples:

VPN

You can connect to instances in your VPC via VPN (over an Internet Connection).

Direct Connect

You could also use Direct Connect to connect to instances in your VPC via a private network (ie NOT over the Internet).

  • Faster
  • Better ping/response times (more reliable)
  • More secure (as it bypasses any and all Internet traffic)
  • More costly (there are setup/ongoing charges with Direct Connect)

More Info

VPC & Peering

http://aws.amazon.com/vpc/

Also have a look at peering for communication between VPCs.

Connect privately to other VPCs- Peer VPCs together to share resources across multiple virtual networks owned by your or other AWS accounts.

Direct Connect

http://aws.amazon.com/directconnect/

Direct Connect & VPN

Setting Up AWS Direct Connect with VPN http://docs.aws.amazon.com/govcloud-us/latest/UserGuide/setting-up-direct-connect-with-vpn.html

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