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Old 09-15-2006, 09:01 AM   #1
hamish
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VPN Server: need help setting up a public server accessible by win xp clients


Hello

I have a server in a datacentre (with public IP). I work from home a lot, and we would like to set up the public server as a VPN server so that we can map the server shared folder as a network drive on the PCs/laptops (all Windows XP clients).

Basic topology is:

Server (w.x.y.z)
|
|
|
|
Adsl at House
|
Router
|
Laptop/PC

The shares on the server will be samba shares (unless someone else has a good suggestion).

Is it possible for the clients to connect directly with the server and map the drive? Or will there be a problem with there not being a network behind my public address? I have always seen VPN diagrams where the VPN is linking two networks together.

Thoughts much appreciated, (in the meantime I'll keep googleing)

H
 
Old 09-16-2006, 10:29 AM   #2
Micro420
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One choice would be to link your router togethers. Some routers, like Linksys routers, have the ability to create a hardware VPN connection.

I'm assuing this data center server is Linux? The other option is using OpenVPN.

Those would be my two choices, but maybe someone else would have a better idea.

Once you do VPN in, you should be able to map the drives.
 
Old 09-18-2006, 10:20 AM   #3
andrewdodsworth
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I use and would recommend OpenVPN. It uses a single UDP port which you can forward through firewalls at either end and there are Windows and linux versions available - the program can be client or server dependant on what's in the conf file. The installation was very straightforward - even the generation of the certificates - took about half an hour to set up.

I use routing rather than bridging, so Windows browsing can be an issue. However, because you can map drives I use a simple batch file to map remote drives once the tunnel is established. Once mapped you can use explorer on them as normal.

My installation has been rock solid. Only issue was in getting it so that non-privileged Windows users could start/stop the VPN client.
 
Old 09-19-2006, 01:03 PM   #4
hamish
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How would openVPN work if the client moved his laptop from location to location? Does the router at the client end need to forward the UDP port? Or can it work through the client's router?

Hamish
 
Old 09-19-2006, 01:09 PM   #5
ITintuition
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I'm considering installing Suse 10 on my laptop and trying this out, odds are i'll give openVPN a try.
 
Old 09-19-2006, 02:49 PM   #6
andrewdodsworth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hamish
How would openVPN work if the client moved his laptop from location to location? Does the router at the client end need to forward the UDP port? Or can it work through the client's router?

Hamish
The client connects to the public address of the router at the server end on port 1194. So the server router needs to forward that to the openvpn server and all you need to do at the client end is enable the openvpn client application to get out to the internet for that port. Therefore unless you're restricting any outgoing connections at the client end on its router it should be pretty straightforward.
 
Old 09-20-2006, 02:39 AM   #7
hamish
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Great. Excellent help. Thank you

H
 
  


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