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Old 04-15-2010, 09:52 AM   #1
Anomaly1965
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Linux Static IP Web Browsing


Okay, this is probably going to get at least some votes for one of the stupidest questions of all times ... and may not actually be a Linux "thing" though I would certainly like to find a Linux solution.

I began working in DOS when it was still in the low 2 versions but I only started actively using Linux for anything more than hosting servers (which I rented of course ... so did not do the maintenance) a couple of years ago.

I now have a small Linux network set up running PCLinuxOS as it seems to be among the most user-friendly for average computer "users". I got offered a job and had to break down and put the windows virus ... I mean OS ... back on one of my systems today and that was bad enough, but I find myself with what is likely an embarrassingly simple problem to solve. I need to be able to browse the web using a static IP. I do not actually have a server on my setup now and do not have the computer to spare to set one up ... though I have found information how I could set this up to run a single IP for all my systems while browsing the web. I need to know if there is some Linux solution or an online Proxy where I can browse from multiple computers from a static IP so my client can more easily track all of the work that is completed by my group.

Okay, I am hiding my head in shame now, ducking into the deepest, darkest recesses of the corner and silently awaiting an answer now.

With thanks,
 
Old 04-15-2010, 10:08 AM   #2
catkin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anomaly1965 View Post
I need to know if there is some Linux solution or an online Proxy where I can browse from multiple computers from a static IP so my client can more easily track all of the work that is completed by my group.
I'm not sure I understand the requirement; are the multiple computers on a single LAN? How will the client track the completed work -- what sort of access do they need and to how many computers?

If all the computers are on a single LAN and your client simply needs to be able to download files from a single computer then how about using a NATting router with port forwarding to a secure FTP server?
 
Old 04-15-2010, 10:11 AM   #3
Anomaly1965
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Nothing that complex really. I just need to be able to browse literally thousands of sites with my network of computers under one single IP. I will be checking websites of this company in order to make sure that they are in compliance with the terms of service. I have everything set up on routers and switches right now but I need for all of my computers to appear from a static, single IP.

Thanks
 
Old 04-15-2010, 10:23 AM   #4
strick1226
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What you're looking for, effectively, is a gateway utilizing NAT (Network Address Translation). That allows multiple computers, all on separate, individual LAN-class IP's to access the Internet utilizing a single WAN-class IP address.

A gateway is found in any kind of router device, basically: a wired or wireless router from Linksys or DLink, etc. would probably work fine for your situation--provided there aren't any problems re-addressing the local set of computers or anything (very easy).

So long as there's no requirement for external sites to be able to reach an individual machine by an actual IP address, that's the way to go.

An alternative to an inexpensive commercial home/small office router as mentioned above would be to use a computer with two network interfaces. There are several "firewall distributions" based on linux or *BSD freely available, such as IPCop or pfSense, which work very well.

Does this sound like what you're trying to do?
 
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Old 04-15-2010, 10:28 AM   #5
Anomaly1965
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Yes, actually that is much closer to what I am looking to do. The only problem with this is that I am on a DSL connection here but still get a new IP all the time ... after the electrical current goes out, when I shut down a router or anything else that disconnects me from and reconnects me to my ISP. What I need is some sort of proxy (I am pretty sure) where I can route all the computers through the proxy to maintain the appearance of the same IP for months on end.

Thanks,
 
Old 04-15-2010, 10:36 AM   #6
strick1226
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For clarification: are you attempting to have each of the individual computers at the site accessible by their own static IP (incoming traffic)? Or is your primary concern outgoing traffic?

Many DSL and cable modem connections are assigned their WAN IP addresses via DHCP leases, and often change IP addresses on a regular basis. This should not have much, if any effect, on your computers' outgoing traffic...

Is your ultimate goal here to have a static WAN IP for this site? The only 100% fix for that is going to be through the ISP--request a static address, which I imagine they'd be happy to provide the company for an additional cost.

A somewhat less-than-perfect remedy: try one of the free dynamic hostname services, such as no-ip.com, which let you always be able to connect via a domain name, regardless of the IP address changes.
 
Old 04-15-2010, 11:49 AM   #7
Anomaly1965
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My computers from my company will be going through a Corporate headquarter network for a much larger company. I need to have a Static IP for my computers so work from my computers (my very small company) can be tracked. Unfortunately, living in the provinces in a third world country with less than adequate coverage, even DSL gets me connections anywhere from 20 to 75 Kbps. Yes, if I had the money to get the extended contract, I could (probably) get a static IP (though there are no guarantees it will not change unless I invest in Corporate T1 which is way out of my range right now) but I need to get this contract underway before I can afford that luxury. Mind you, when I can, I will just pay the cable company to run cables to my offices at a much more reasonable rate. It looks like the free proxy servers are about the best I can muster online for right now ... is that what you are saying?
 
Old 04-15-2010, 12:05 PM   #8
Anomaly1965
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What I was hoping for was some type of Linux program that would serve as a "proxy" of sorts to mask my IP and allow me to enter one manually or select one based on different criteria ... I do not know if my systems will have to show up as coming from any particular location, but somehow their corporate systems are setup so that if my IP address is changed, I will be denied access to their system. It could just be security measures for all I know at this stage.

Thanks
 
Old 04-15-2010, 12:07 PM   #9
strick1226
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I'm not completely sure I understand your needs here. IF the tracking application requires the computers or the traffic originating at this location to come from a single, unchanging IP address then you're pretty much out of luck until you acquire an actual static WAN IP address for the facility in question.

A dynamic DNS service such as no-ip.com makes it possible for others to enter a domain name and always go to the correct site--it doesn't provide an actual static IP, so a changing IP address would still change in any traffic logs maintained by your company's main application thing.

A proxy server provides a single point of web browsing/access, usually cached, but does not necessarily allow 2-way communications. If a particular request isn't initiated by one of the individual computers using the proxy, it's very unlikely to make it to the computer in question. So I don't think a proxy server will work for you--perhaps you meant a dynamic DNS service such as referenced above?

In any case, I hope some of this helps.

If nothing else: if the electrical outages are fairly brief, I would purchase a basic Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) and install a basic, low-power router device on that. That way, electrical outages would not force a WAN IP address change anymore--you would only have to worry about the IP address changing when the DHCP lease changes via the ISP.
 
Old 04-15-2010, 12:17 PM   #10
strick1226
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I think a Virtual Private Network (VPN) would be ideal for you, then.

Setting up a VPN tunnel over a non-static IP connection in a "road warrior" configuration would allow for you to securely connect into the main office, regardless of your actual WAN IP. The biggest hurdle to that would be to get the main company IT staff involved in setting one up for you.

It certainly sounds like a justifiable argument, as it's 100% business-based. Even better, the company doesn't necessarily have to purchase an expensive Cisco or other high-end device for the capability; completely free firewall distro's like IPcop and pfSense support IPSec and OpenVPN tunnels quite well.

Check with your company's IT staff to look into getting this sort of thing set up for you--should do the trick fine.
 
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Old 04-15-2010, 12:26 PM   #11
Anomaly1965
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You know, I knew I was overlooking something silly. I used to set up four networks on a secure VPN so we could access or takeover another center during an emergency. That would be ideal if they would go for it. Unfortunately, I am my IT staff for now and as I said, I have only been using Linux for a couple of years and never networked with it ... which may be why I was missing something so obvious. Though I must admit, after having been with Linux, kinda hard to justify going back to Windows for anyone other than gamers ... and unfortunately, I do not have the computing power or the time to do that at work.

Thanks!
 
Old 04-15-2010, 12:32 PM   #12
strick1226
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Well, then. If *you* are the IT department then you can make it happen!!

Try doing some googling for OpenVPN and road-warrior ideas. I happen to prefer pfSense, myself, but it's really up to you. You just need a PC with two network cards at each site to act as the firewall+vpn box and a bit of time to configure it.

I think there's even an animated howto at the m0n0wall or pfSense sites on how to do it...

Good luck!!
 
Old 04-15-2010, 12:43 PM   #13
Anomaly1965
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Well it was a nice idea, but unfortunately they are not going to set up a vpn.
 
Old 04-15-2010, 08:00 PM   #14
chrism01
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There's basically 2 options here:

1. go to your ISP and get a static IP

2. persuade the target company to accept any IP as long as you have the correct credentials eg ssh + RSA SecureID keyfob http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SecurID.
Advantage to customer is you can then support from anywhere.

Talk to their IT group about option 2. Otherwise, charge them for the static IP from your ISP.

Lateral thinking:
3. Find a friend or business who has a static IP and borrow or pay to tunnel through there...
effectively option 1. but possibly free (at least cheaper) if its a mate
 
Old 04-16-2010, 04:39 AM   #15
catkin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anomaly1965 View Post
I do not know if my systems will have to show up as coming from any particular location, but somehow their corporate systems are setup so that if my IP address is changed, I will be denied access to their system. It could just be security measures for all I know at this stage.
Then I suggest you find out from them exactly what their requirements are.
 
  


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