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Old 09-14-2012, 02:02 AM   #1
christiansacks
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Registered: Sep 2012
Location: Ramsgate, Kent. UK
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Smile Simple VPN to link my home network to my father's and fiancees home networks


Hi,

This is my first post on here (wooo).

I have been reading through lots of threads on here and to be truthful am getting more and more confused as I can't seem to find one that exactly tells me what I need, so sorry if I didn't see it - if it is there please direct me to it.

The subject explains what I want to do, to add to this - My home network consists of a BT Home Hub 3 (broadband router), 1 Linux PC in my kids room, a Raspberry Pi in the lounge acting as a media centre, an iPhone, an iPad, a Linux Ubuntu Studio netbook, and a Wi-Fi Epson Printer.

How can I create a Wide Area Network, joining my resources to my father's network at his home, and my fiancee's fathers network at his home, so each of the three networks can potentially use each other's resources, add to that a way of only using the resources that we want to be shared, access shares on the devices at various locations from other locations within the network etc etc.

i.e. If I am sat at home and wanted to print to my father's printer, it would be a matter of adding the printer as I would for my own networked printer, and then printing to it, or if I wanted to save a picture or document onto a share on my father's pc, just browse or connect to his share directly and save it straight there.

firstly, is this kind of thing actually doable? if so, how?

The other two networks consist of Windows clients and cabled and wi-fi printers.

How much of a job is this? I'm quite technically minded, and not affraid to get my hands dirty so to speak with configurations etc etc, I just want to know if this is possible and how to go about doing it if it is.

Obviously I would like to be able to stop anyone accessing the three networks, or have a way of adding a fourth or more networks to this WAN in the future if possible.

Suggestions, advice please guys.

Thank you in advance.
 
Old 09-14-2012, 01:31 PM   #2
psycroptic
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OpenVPN will be your friend here, or some sort of VPN. Don't be afraid if you hear/read that it's a bitch to set up; in reality, if you're comfortable editing config files and reading some docs on the openvpn site, it actually is rather straightforward to setup as far as making your PKI, configuring the server itself, etc. TBH routing was the biggest hurdle for me, but it's very doable. OpenVPN only requires 1 port to be forwarded to the server (by default UDP 1194), and if you enable AES encryption you have yourself a damn good secure VPN. And yes, it can be configured to allow you to see each other's networks. 1 tip, make sure each "site" has a different IP address subnet config, e.g. your house should be 192.168.1.x, the other should be 192.168.2.x, and so on. Otherwise you will have a routing conflict. I use openvpn daily in a client-server mode so that I can connect to my home network from work & access my fileserver. It's f'ing great.

1 thing to pay attention to regardless of whichever way you go is that your UPLOAD speed, at each site, will be your achilles heel. Most ISPs are only giving you at most 4-6 megabits per second up, which calculates to around 500 kilobytes per second. Fast enough for docs pictures music printing, etc. but if you plan on doing any heavy lifting file-size-wise things will slow down, due to the unavoidable and unnecessary restriction to such a slow speed. Also bandwidth caps can potentially bite you in the ass, depending on your area. I know since I've started doing VPN from my place, we (me + 1 roomate) used 327GB (!) of data last month (august). Comcast, at least in my area, is getting ready to start charging for this stupid arbitrary measurement. PITA.
 
Old 09-14-2012, 01:39 PM   #3
christiansacks
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Registered: Sep 2012
Location: Ramsgate, Kent. UK
Distribution: Ubuntu Studio
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Wow awesome... I'd hoped there was something like this available.

I'll be looking into it and may post what I do in a way like a step by step a) for my reference incase I need to do it again, and 2) it may help someone else out.

Thanks for the advice my friend.

All the best,

Christian.
 
Old 09-14-2012, 01:55 PM   #4
psycroptic
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yeah for sure. good luck to you. i've got a simple server-only connection setup now, routing for the rest of the network is my next project.

obviously you'll need a spare PC to act as a server endpoint, but if all you plan on doing is just VPN trafficking then you can get by with ancient hardware, provided your network cards are good. Pentium III's and the like. but it's super sweet to be able to take my laptop anywhere in the country and, as long as there's internet, I can connect to my home stuff. it's your own cloud, in essence

i really like what those guys at openvpn are doing, from all accounts i've read there aren't any known vulnerabilities if configured with AES. real good stuff.
 
  


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