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Multi-State Family Networking?

Cliff posted more than 8 years ago | from the would-that-then-make-it-a-FWAN dept.


Valley Redneck asks: "The last few members of my extended family just entered the 20th century and went to broadband. Now that we're all on-line with small home LANs in place, we'd like to start sharing stuff via a VPN. The only problem is I'm the only marginally tech savvy one in the bunch, and I'd rather not have to hop a plane to configure everyone's box. Any recommendations for a broadband router that supports VPN to use on the mother-ship network that will play nice with all versions of Windows XP SP 2 (Pro, Home and Media Center) and its VPN client?"

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Just get a router that supports OpenWRT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15441416)

Then setup OpenVPN. Clients for everything.

Do it in software (5, Informative)

Cyberglich (525256) | more than 8 years ago | (#15441425)

Hardware can be trickey use software Hamachi is a very easy to use very powerfull very secure and it supports windows mac and linux.

Re:Do it in software (1)

imboboage0 (876812) | more than 8 years ago | (#15441708)

I'm using Hamachi right now with a firend in Brazil, my brother and dad in Virginia, and some friends in the UK. Works great for making games think they are local or something like that. File transfer worked, but had the usual excess amounts of lag I saw using Windows file sharing over networks. Definitely easy to use and to setup.

Re:Do it in software (0)

complete loony (663508) | more than 8 years ago | (#15442451)

Hamachi allocates IP addresses in the range. I have to wonder about it's long term future when they either run out of addresses in this range, or these addresses are used for something else on the internet.

Re:Do it in software (1)

BridgeBum (11413) | more than 8 years ago | (#15443812)

They are part of the IANA reserved IP blocks. There are many of them. Currently they shouldn't be used anywhere, but no future guarantees.

Reference: []

Re:Do it in software (1)

joel48 (103238) | more than 8 years ago | (#15447253)

Reserved for IANA use is *not* the same as reserved for private use, as you mention. Why does it choose an arbitrary address instead of the RFC spec'd 10., 172.x, 192.168.x?

hamachi (4, Informative)

schwal (836247) | more than 8 years ago | (#15441437)

just install, and give em a password to your network. even has chat.

Re:hamachi (1)

tajgenie (932485) | more than 8 years ago | (#15443283)

Hamachi's Chat, while no doubt useful, uses UDP, which means you'll end up with a lot of dropped messages. Only in practice its more like LOTS and LOTS of dropped messages. You are best off using third party internet chat or using Hamachi and a TCP LAN chat client. On an unrelated note, Hamachi has allowed me to play Command & Conquer (yes the original) over the interweb!

Re:hamachi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15450674)

you must still be using 0.9, which in fact has unreliable IM delivery.
1.0 chat runs over tcp-like protocol over udp, so it is reliable.

Cool. But why? (3, Informative)

peacefinder (469349) | more than 8 years ago | (#15441444)

You may not need to bother with hardware VPN devices. There are some reasonable software solutions that can run right on the endpoint computers.

I've heard good things about Hamachi, but I haven't used it myself. I have used OpenVPN, and I love it. It's pretty simple to set up, even using certificate-based authentication and encryption. You can have everyone download and install it themselves, then you can send them configuration files.

Before you do all this, though, there's an important question to ask: Is a VPN worth the additional risks? If all the machines are in a pseudo-local network over the VPN and someone gets a worm, you could all go down together. Unless you're planning to do something which actually requires pseudo-local network access, you might be better off to make whatever you're planning to do be web-based.

Re:Cool. But why? (1)

Atzanteol (99067) | more than 8 years ago | (#15441456)

The nice thing about supporting it on the router though is that it would be a net-net VPN, rather than a host-net VPN.

Re:Cool. But why? (1)

Directrix1 (157787) | more than 8 years ago | (#15444878)

Bridge it.

Re:Cool. But why? (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 8 years ago | (#15445601)

That's why I use computers as routers when I can. Old computers are cheap, spare NICs are practically free.

Re:Cool. But why? (1)

Punboy (737239) | more than 8 years ago | (#15441523)

Hamachi is really nice and requires no "Mothership" network. It all operates off of Hamachi's (Ham's) server.

Use.. (3, Interesting)

hapoo (607664) | more than 8 years ago | (#15441499)

The Linksys 54g with sveasoft firmware. Its easy, fast and you can setup and ship the routers out to whomever you wish.

Re:Use.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15443404)

YES! 3rd party firmware on off-the-shelf routers would be a good solution. I bought my dad a Buffalo and loaded it up with the VPN package. Joins my OpenVPN network when turned on with no hassles.

Plus, dd-wrt is just plain nice.

Re:Use.. (3, Informative)

wolrahnaes (632574) | more than 8 years ago | (#15444725)

gah, no sveasoft!

We've been through this quite a few times here, but for the benefit of those who missed the great Sveasoft debates, here's a quick summary:

1. Linksys releases GPL code for WRT54G routers
2. People start modifying this code
3. Sveasoft forms a community around a particulat "distro"
4. Sveasoft starts charging
5. Sveasoft gets pissed that people are exercising their legal right to share the GPLed software for free
6. Sveasoft cuts back on source releases, bans anyone who even mentions the GPL on their forums
7. Sveasoft stops source releases entirely for "test" versions (a.k.a. current, release is the old outdated version)
8. DD-WRT project starts as fork of last Sveasoft source releases
9. Sveasoft threatens DD-WRT, calls it a ripoff of their product
10. DD-WRT developers and community collectively laugh, continue developing and releasing both binaries and source regularly
11. Sveasoft crawls back in to a hole

Basically, don't use Sveasoft, and definately don't pay for it. They are repeat GPL violators and do not in any way support the WRT community. Use HyperWRT for basic features, DD-WRT for a fully-featured mega-distro, and OpenWRT for a top-end complete custom build.

Personally, I run DD-WRT v23 SP1 VoIP edition, and it does an excellent job of both connecting my Xbox to XLink Kai and handling QoS for my IP phones, not to mention all the neat wireless tricks.

Re:Use.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15446468)

The word is "definitely" you fuck-tard! "Definately" is not a fucking word!

Citation, please. (1)

maggard (5579) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450131)

They are repeat GPL violators
Citation, please.

The Free Software Foundation doesn't seem to think they're violating GPL, and they're about as authoritative as one can get.

You can have whatever issues you like, but let's not going around crying "wolf" just because you don't like a model / person / business. GPL violation is a serious charge around here, with a VERY specific meaning, and unless you can back it up I think it would be appropriate if you were to retract that claim.

Re:Citation, please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15450419)

Citation, please. [] . (Of course, the OpenWRT team could be making this all up, but I don't think that Sveasoft has refuted their claims.)
The Free Software Foundation doesn't seem to think they're violating GPL, and they're about as authoritative as one can get.
The FSF's approval was about a controversy a couple of years ago, when Sveasoft allowed redistribution under the terms of the GPL but would revoke your subscription if you did so. Now, the OpenWRT team claims they're just ignoring the terms of the GPL altogether.

Re:Citation, please. (1)

wolrahnaes (632574) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450791)

As the AC mentioned, the FSF judgement was on a related but different issue where they were pulling subscriptions from people who shared their "beta" versions (a.k.a. current).

I've been banned from the Sveasoft forums, even with no posts at all, just for being a member at the DD-WRT forum, so I can't go do this myself, but if you're a member there just go ahead and ask for source, specifically mentionning their GPL obligations to provide it. See how fast the thread disappears and you get banned.

Re:Citation, please. (1)

maggard (5579) | more than 8 years ago | (#15487248)

The source for the released version is there.

The source for the in-development version is not.

While you may not like this it is acceptable under the GPL.

As to being banned from the Sveasoft forums, I'm guessing you repeatedly, either ignorantly or maliciously, publicly made your charge. It's a serious one, and one apparently without merit. I'd toss you off also.

I'm not saying Sveasoft/James is a lovely person, but if you really had a case of GPL violation I think the Free Software Foundation would be active on this. I'll be happy to pop in their office next week (my eyeglasses shop is in the same building) and inquire but I think you're just being a crank.

Again, provide a citation where Sveasoft is violating GPL, something that the FSF can act upon, or acknowledge you're wrong.

Re:Citation, please. (1)

wolrahnaes (632574) | more than 8 years ago | (#15488896)

If they give me a binary and do not make the corresponding source available, that is a GPL violation. Plain and simple.

This is exactly the case if someone acquires a paid membership to their site. You get all the binaries you want, but no source. If you ask for source, you get brushed off or banned.

and yes, I have repeatedly stated this FACT in public, but that is not why I was banned. I operate two mirrors of TheIndividual's Sveasoft firmware repository, which is completely legal (remember, GPL....they can charge for it but can't stop me from giving it away for free). My mirrors haven't been updated in nearly a year because DD-WRT surpassed Sveasoft, but I made it no secret on many non-Sveasoft WRT boards that I hosted those.

You seem to be implying however that I was a dick on the Sveasoft boards or something of that nature, which is not true. I never once posted there, and in fact only visited the boards 3-4 times in the year that my account was active.

Re:Citation, please. (1)

maggard (5579) | more than 8 years ago | (#15489090)

If you're so absolutely convinced that your interpretation of the GPL is correct then why isn't the FSF active on this? Is there any possibility that you are incorrect?

As to your behavior, if you keep accusing a GPL violation and you're wrong, and been corrected, then you are indeed a dick. Making the accusation wherever unsurprisingly leaves you unwelcome on your victim's forums.

I don't pretend a superior knowledge of the details of the GPL. However it is my understanding that distributing betas, even in binary, is acceptable without supplying the source code. If Sveasoft is exploiting a loophole then that is something to be addressed in GPL 3.

However, your just claiming a GPL violation, even if you do it over and over, does not make something fact. Provide something that I can walk into the FSF with or reconsider if you are indeed just a dick.

Re:Citation, please. (1)

wolrahnaes (632574) | more than 8 years ago | (#15491503)

When the FSF looked in to Sveasoft, they were still distributing source with their binaries, and the complaint was that they were terminating the paid accounts of users who exersized their right to distribute it. In that case, they were perfectly in the right. While going against the spirit of the GPL, legally they were spotless. Many kernel developers agreed with this.

Here is the exact wording of the FSF's reply, copied straight from the Sveasoft forums [] :

I see no problems with this model. If the software is licensed under the
GPL, and you distribute the source code with the binaries (as opposed to
making an offer for source code), you are under no obligation to supply
future releases to anyone.

Please be clear that the subscription is for the support and
distribution and not for a license.

Peter Brown
GPL Compliance Manager
Free Software Foundation

The problem now is that they've stopped regularly offering source for the development release. Alchemy source releases were spotty even for paid subscribers throughought the "beta" process, and Talisman has so far only had one source release out of at least 6 binary versions. When Talisman 1.05 came out with source, they claimed that source releases would be more predictable, but since then there has not been another.

The FSF won't take another look at Sveasoft, because they consider it a closed case. They don't seem to understand that the situation has changed since then.

I recommend you do a bit of reading to fill yourself in on what's going on in the WRT world: [] []

Re:Citation, please. (1)

maggard (5579) | more than 8 years ago | (#15492032)

The FSF won't take another look at Sveasoft, because they consider it a closed case. They don't seem to understand that the situation has changed since then.

The folks I've known as the FSF have been quite bright, quite aware folk,s so I expect if there truly is (now, today) an issue they'd be pursuing it. That they're not speaks far more to me then your asserting over & over that you're right/they're clueless.

Furthermore you've yet to make a case that the GPL requires distribution of code for limited release experimental binaries. You keep saying it's a GPL violation yet seem unable to produce an actionable complaint that I could ask the fine folks at the FSF to follow up on.

Frankly it's put-you-money-where-your-mouth-is and you're hemming & hawing. Either there is a GPL violation as you keep claiming or you're some 'net troll with an axe to grind and a fixation 'bout guvm'nt conspiracies, GPL violations, and wearing a colander on your head.

Which is it? A complaint I can walk into the FSF's offices with or more handwaving?

Re:Citation, please. (1)

wolrahnaes (632574) | more than 8 years ago | (#15492233)

You may copy and distribute the Program (or a work based on it, under Section 2) in object code or executable form under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above provided that you also do one of the following:

        a) Accompany it with the complete corresponding machine-readable source code, which must be distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange; or,
        b) Accompany it with a written offer, valid for at least three years, to give any third party, for a charge no more than your cost of physically performing source distribution, a complete machine-readable copy of the corresponding source code, to be distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange; or,
        c) Accompany it with the information you received as to the offer to distribute corresponding source code. (This alternative is allowed only for noncommercial distribution and only if you received the program in object code or executable form with such an offer, in accord with Subsection b above.)

Please tell me where this exception for "limited release experimental binaries" exists.

If they give me binaries, they're obligated under the terms of the license to give me source as well. No exceptions. If I go to Sveasoft, create a new account there, pay for a subscription, and download whatever the latest version of Talisman is, I will not recieve source, nor will I be offered it in any way.

I can get source for Talisman 1.05, and I can get source for Alchemy Final, but if I download Talisman 1.00 - 1.04 or 1.06 - current, they will not give me source, and thus are in violation.

Re:Citation, please. (1)

csoh (45909) | more than 8 years ago | (#15485487)

Please read []

"For now, at least. History suggests that Sveasoft will
continue to push the boundaries of the GPL. Recent history
also suggests, however, that Sveasoft may become less
relevant in this area; by many accounts, the fully-free
alternatives - beyond OpenWRT itself - go beyond the
Sveasoft offerings in a number of ways."

Maybe they are not violators technically, but I'd be
very irritated if I was a customer of their product.

Re:Use.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15444762)

I used the sveasoft-firmware on my wrt54gs till a view month. I have no problem to pay the 20Bucks, but the development of the sveasoft-firmware was really slow and after some(the most?) Developers leave the little Team i lost faith that the Bugs i encounter will ever be resolve.

Now i use dd-wrt and i must say that it rocks. I love the debian-like ipkg and the Webinterface is much better than the sveasoft one. The next 20Bucks donation are for dd-wrt.

Linksys WRT54GL / Sveasoft / multiple site VPN (1)

maggard (5579) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449601)

Another vote for the Sveasoft solution.

I've used Linksys WRT54GS models (now WRT54GL) reflashed with Sveasoft firmwares running PPTP between my home in Montreal & my home in Boston. They were stable for months on end, allowed me to see file shares, remotely control machines, indeed do everything as if it was a local network. Tech support to family members was trivial, the extra traffic overhead negligible, and using the traffic-shaping features I got better performance out of my broadband connections after installing the routers & adding the 24/7 VPN then I did before without the traffic-shaping. Indeed it made my Vonage service reliable even when I had huge packet-loss for a while (corroded cable connection on the outside of the Boston house.)

As soon as the next version of the Sveasoft firmware is stable I'll be joining into a larger VPN with a bunch of buddies sharing file space for common projects and reciprocal backups.

Oh, and in light of all of the Sveasoft-violates-GPL/I-hate-Sveasoft snarking I find it telling that the Free Software Foundation, holder of the GPL, gave Sveasoft a green light.

openvpn? (2, Informative)

dead.phoenix.616 (948836) | more than 8 years ago | (#15441607)


not sure exactly if you want to go the hardware way,
and not sure if what I mention meets your criteria,
but if you can set up a single linux box as a router
some place, that box can run openvpn (server) while
each client can hook up to it with the openvpn client
software (windoze client too ;)
trivial to set up: []



Re:openvpn? (2, Informative)

karnal (22275) | more than 8 years ago | (#15441908)

That should be [] .net, not .org....

Re:openvpn? (1)

dead.phoenix.616 (948836) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450930)

That should be [] , not .org....

oh crap!
apologies, and thanks for the correction!
dont know what the heck I was drinking...

Smoothwall, mayhaps? (2, Informative)

elwin_windleaf (643442) | more than 8 years ago | (#15441761)

I haven't used it in a while, but have you investigated Smoothwall linux [] ? It's a linux distribution converts old PCs into very network-capable routers. Not only that, but it's manageable through web and SSH (I believe).

One of the reasons it came to mind is that it supports VPN connections between routers (again, I believe; haven't worked with it in a while). If you've got some spare PCs lying around (usually a prerequisite to reading Slashdot), this might be a great way to get your family networked for free while cleaning out the basement.

Re:Smoothwall, mayhaps? (1)

base3 (539820) | more than 8 years ago | (#15443954)

Smoothwall's okay, so long as you trust it's nutcase project leader. IPCop is a better alternative for those who don't want to run software controlled by a sociopath.

Re:Smoothwall, mayhaps? (1)

the arbiter (696473) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449355)

the "nutcase" left a long time ago.

However, I also agree, IPCop is probably a better way to go.

Or M0n0wall (1)

Anml4ixoye (264762) | more than 8 years ago | (#15469499)

I use Monowall here at home, and it does a good job of managing the PPTP connections. Since you have a PPTP client built into the other Windows machines, just use something like DynDNS and point them to connecting to you.

I wrote a simple tutorial on getting PPTP running with Monowall [] . I run it on a small solid-state linux box, and it works just great.

VPN Routers (2, Interesting)

tji (74570) | more than 8 years ago | (#15442076)

Set them up with routers that also do IPSec. This gives them a firewall layer, and allows VPN among the sites (and, potentially client VPN remote access into the sites).

I put a Linksys WRV54G at my parents home for just this sort of thing. Although it took a pretty good amount of tweaking to get everything right, it works well now. It provides NAT firewall service for their network, wireless access for their home, and VPN remote access for me (so I can VNC into their system to provide tech support).

If you have a bigger budget, a cheap sonicwall, netscreen, or Check Point gateway might offer better usability and more features. The Check Point Safe@Office 500W looks like a good candidate.

Re:VPN Routers (1)

Clover_Kicker (20761) | more than 8 years ago | (#15443364)

How does your setup recover when someone's IP address randomly changes?

Re:VPN Routers (1)

tji (74570) | more than 8 years ago | (#15444264)

The WRV54G supports dynamic DNS, so it will automatically update the hostname when its IP address changes. I just use that hostname for VPN connections. Although, it really hasn't been an issue, as I don't think the IP address has ever changed.

The Check Point devices also support Dynamic DNS.

Just entered the 20th century?? (3, Funny)

imperious_rex (845595) | more than 8 years ago | (#15442081)

The last few members of my extended family just entered the 20th century and went to broadband.
I'm confused. Is this the 21st century, or are your kin time travelers?

Re:Just entered the 20th century?? (1)

thegrassyknowl (762218) | more than 8 years ago | (#15442539)

They probably signed up for 64k ISDN - that was sooooo 20th century broadband! ;)

Re:Just entered the 20th century?? (1)

Valley Redneck (978806) | more than 8 years ago | (#15456365)

My license plates don't read TARDIS for nothing...

What is the itch this scratches? (2, Insightful)

patio11 (857072) | more than 8 years ago | (#15442082)

If you're just sharing files, there is no reason to go with the hassle and expense of setting up a VPN, with its associated security risks. There are any number of options which will work just as well, from using AIM, a traditional file-transfer application, or any number of web services (available free or cheap at your option). Sure, "drag and drop directly in the Windows interface" is an awfully nice feature when you're talking about Mom's digital camera stuff, but there are a few services that even replicate this feature (I once used one which did it via ActiveX control, but don't remember the name -- there are probably a gazillion though).

Re:What is the itch this scratches? (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 8 years ago | (#15443531)

The problem is that it's nicer to browse shared folders than ask people to send stuff. Never tried VPN, but if it's all about sharing files, FTP (with FileZilla server) is my choice. I just make account for whatever I wanna share, give passwords, look at what they're looking at, and laugh at some retards who manually try to break in the inexisting "Administrator" account and scare them off with a mean welcome message.

Plus you can log to your account on some friend's FTP server from anywhere and nearly any kind of connected computer.

A Linux distro possible ... Clarkconnect (2, Informative)

douggmc (571729) | more than 8 years ago | (#15442112)

Check out [] if you are so inclined at all for a pretty darn good and robust solution in terms of a software approach. It does many things including VPN services.

Why VPN? (1)

coaxial (28297) | more than 8 years ago | (#15442120)

Fromt TFA:

we'd like to start sharing stuff via a VPN. The only problem is I'm the only marginally tech savvy one in the bunch,

In other words, you decided to share stuff via a VPN. I haveto ask what are you trying to share that can't be shared using simpilar approach (e.g. email)?

Re:Why VPN? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15442457)

Chances are that, if he's the only technical guy, there soon will be more than just file sharing.

"My box is acting up, can you take a look?"

Now it depends on his willingness to do it, since with VPN, the possibility would be there. If he just used e-mail he could always say "naah, remote administration without a VPN is dangerous, you know. Better wait until next time I'm around."

Froget VPN - Go Web (4, Insightful)

pjay_dml (710053) | more than 8 years ago | (#15442149)

If you're the only one with technical expertise, then forget VPN completely, and think about a web based solution. Just set up a site, that only family members have access to, and provide them with web apps that fulfill your "sharing needs" (e.g. Galleria [] for displaying and sharing photos).

Though, no matter what you will do, I can garentee you "support-headaches", I know from experience ...

Re:Froget VPN - Go Web (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15456085)

It's simultaneously a remote admin thing (I configured these things to be as spyware resistant as possible, but my family is very, very click happy) and file sharing. My parents have just discovered Mp3, and they like the fact that I've got about 20 gigs of decent stuff... plus, the "drag and drop" with a mapped drive is just SOOOO nice. Fewer clicks=fewer f-ups.

Linksys rv042 routers (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15442363)

I work for a small IT shop and we use linksys RV042 routers that support ipsec vpn's and dyndns. you can set them all do have dyndns accounts, and setup the vpn links on each, then ship them to your family, when the plug them in they register with dyndns, and viola! the vpn just sort of comes together. I've done this for small companies that need a vpn, but can't afford to fly me to some other state, it works great, just make sure each router has a different subnet, and upgrade the firmware before you do anything!

Snapgear (1)

bartle (447377) | more than 8 years ago | (#15442514)

I've been using the Snapgear SG300 for several years now and it handles VPN without difficulties. Private networks can easily be linked with IPSEC and independant computers can be configured to connect with PPTP.

The cheapest solution, with this or any other VPN server, is to simply setup your system to act as a hub and then set everyone else's computers to connect to it with PPTP. Linking together entire networks, while cool, is probably overkill.

Ubuntu server (1)

Peter Simpson (112887) | more than 8 years ago | (#15443085)

I'm running an Ubuntu server, with two disks in a RAID 1 configuration. FTP, Samba local network shares and remote ssh for management. Only problem was finding FTP clients for Windows...I'm using WFTP, but CuteFTP works as well.

Re:Ubuntu server (1)

Noxal (816780) | more than 8 years ago | (#15443625)

What does that have to do with anything, ever?

OT - Re:Ubuntu server (1)

Physics Dude (549061) | more than 8 years ago | (#15444117)

Only problem was finding FTP clients for Windows...

Try the FireFTP extension for Firefox.

Re:OT - Re:Ubuntu server (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449628)

Or Filezilla. Or maybe even better in this situation, Portable Filezilla [] so they don't even have to install it.

Re:Ubuntu server (1)

zorog (856212) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449682)

FileZilla is the best ftp program I've found for windows and its open source. []

PIX 501 (1)

mengu (452383) | more than 8 years ago | (#15443255)

Have you considered looking at a PIX 501?
Cisco gear is very stable and can easily be setup to do a fully meshed site-to-site vpn as what you are looking for.
The vpn client is solid and works very good on all versions of windows.
The drawback is the price, starting at ~$300 new, but you can probably find them cheaper elsewhere (Read: eBay)
The cisco box can me managed via ssl and ssh remotely, it can be managed with telnet too, but doing that over the internet would not be a very secure solution. Telnet is EVIL :-)

OpenVPN (2, Informative)

shish (588640) | more than 8 years ago | (#15443267)

I seem many people recommending hamachi; while OK, I prefer openvpn -- it works much nicer cross platform (the linux version seems half assed compared to the windows, whereas ovpn is exactly the same everywhere), it doesn't have an external company as a single point of failure, it's more configurable, and generally feels more solid.

Its main downside is that it's designed server-client with you being the server, so you become the single point of failure, as well as having to act as proxy for all network traffic -- AFAIK hamachi only uses the central server to start connections, and runs p2p from then on.

Private P2P Network (1)

vila (171062) | more than 8 years ago | (#15444056)

If all you want to do is share files then you could try using [] and OpenFT. You should be able to set up a private P2P network for sharing files and it could save you some bandwidth if everybody wants to grab the same file.

What about OpenWRT? (1)

.milfox (75510) | more than 8 years ago | (#15444097)

It's supported by lots of different routers, and I believe contains an openVPN implementation.

egroupware (1)

istvaan (66491) | more than 8 years ago | (#15444224)

I've been looking to do something kind of similiar, and have been eyeing up egroupware [] to do it. Any thoughts? (1)

iamelgringo000 (928665) | more than 8 years ago | (#15446486)

I have family in 3 different states and 3 different countries. I feel your pain. [] Okay, so it's not VPN, but it's a verynice little remote access program. It allows remote access via web browser. The basic version is free. If you want to pay $60 a year for the pro version, it allows you to transfer files.

I just installed it on my families computers, so when they need tech support, I can have them open logmein, and I can just fix their computers remotely instead of talking them through itstep by step. It also allows me to install anti-virus, anti-spy, firefox, etc... We also had a nice long chat about disabling the service unless I specifically call them.

For free file transfers, we use gmail for under 10 MB and you could use Gdrive for anything over that. It's a bit of a hack, but it works. It's not like we're transferring huge DIVX files to each other.

Clarkconnect (1)

pnutjam (523990) | more than 8 years ago | (#15447207)

You just need to set up a Clark Connect [] server as your router. It can also run behind your router. I've used the road warrior VPN with the windows XP client, it works fine.

Don't complicate things, just set this up on your end, enable the road warrior VPN, and pass out accounts to family memebers with instructions for setting up the XP PPTP client.

FolderShare (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15448583)

FolderShare ( works perfectly. I use it sync files between my three computers and exchange photos and home movies with my family. It's free, easy to set up and has no file amount restrictions anymore (after MS bought the company behind FS).

Check out SSL-Explorer (GPL) (1)

zorkmid (115464) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449511)

At []

All they'll need is an SSL capable browser. You can set up all the accounts and Tunnels for them.

Thanks (1)

Valley Redneck (978806) | more than 8 years ago | (#15456195)

All great suggestions. I've got some goof off time this weekend, so I'll take a look at all these, run them through the "can I afford it" and "can they figure out how to do this" filter and get to it.

BTW, I know connecting up all the LANs is a bit over the top, but really, if I can pull this off, how cool would that be? It's good for at least a semi-Ubergeek badge or something...

Hardware or Software VPNs (1)

Compunexus (711717) | more than 8 years ago | (#15467501)

Linksys makes a very nice firewall/router [] that allows 2 simultanious VPNs. If there are more than 3 sites you could go for a Smoothwall [] server using an old PC and 2 nics.

VPN is up and running (1)

Valley Redneck (978806) | more than 8 years ago | (#15475238)

FYI, I took several suggestions under advisement, and as of last night, the VPN was up and running, in most cases behind two NAT routers, firewalls, and various other impediments to easy networking. The file transfer speed ain't great, but it's way better than putting it on a zip disk and putting the zip disk in a car. Plus, all my lower-tech users can swap files easily with mapped drives, and I can safely tell them now not to open ANY file attatchments for ANY reason. If it's legit, it'll come over the VPN. Gracias!

Re:VPN is up and running (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15476974)

So what kind of VPN did you decide on?
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