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Help with networking for a VPN and Remote Desktop

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#1 kjm782


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Posted 29 January 2018 - 01:42 PM

I would like to buy a mini computer that I will keep running 24x7 to do a few things:

1) It will run a small software program that I use for my business.

2) I also would like to use the same computer for openHAB to power the automation devices for my house.

3) I want to use it as a NAS to store a few files


I can get all of that set up but the challenge is I would like to be able to access this computer remotely when I need to.  I don't really like the idea of opening any of the ports on my router's firewall so a direct remote desktop connection won't work.  I don't have any experience with VPNs but my understanding is this could be a way to get around that.  I could install openVPN on the computer and keep it connected to the VPN server.  Then I can connect the computer/tablet that I am connecting from remotely to the same VPN server and login via remote desktop that way. 


However, I've read that when you connect to a VPN it will change my IP address on my local network which will likely cause problems for openHAB and the NAS or any other connection on the LAN.  Is this true and if so what can I do about it?  Is there another solution?  Thanks

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#2 Orecomm


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Posted 09 February 2018 - 12:11 PM

This is the problem that TeamViewer and the like are meant to solve. If you really want to roll your own you can look at VPN - the simplest would be between your home router and your mobile device, and the type and setup would depend on the set of compatible VPN options between the two. In that mode your automation/NAS/app server has no knowledge of the VPN, and when the VPN is active your remote device has an IP address on your local network. The router becomes a single-user VPN server to your mobile device. Not all routers have this capability, but most do. A quick Google of <router model> VPN (and maybe <remote device type>) should get you pointed in the right direction. VNC may work better than Remote Desktop for remote access, it's a little more efficient with latency and bandwidth limits.

#3 Kilroy


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Posted 09 February 2018 - 12:37 PM

Any solution that allows access from the Internet will require ports be opened on your router, whether those ports are opened with UPnP or manually there is no other way.  As Orecomm said, that is why there are solutions like TeamViewer (which is free for personal use) were created.  You are much less likely to have issues using a solution that has already been created over trying to implement your own.

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