Home VPN help please

By Wobwill
Feb 7, 2009
  1. Hi All,

    I have a home network that consists of a Belkin F5D7632-4 wireless router, that is hard wired to an old Fujitsu laptop running XP pro sp3. (also hard wired is a new freesat box that doesn't use the connection to the internet yet - i've included it here to give a clear picture of my home network).

    Wireless connections to the router include my desktop, my girlfriends desktop, her work laptop, my new asus :), and our nintendo wii.

    I use a combination of DHCP and static IP's within the network (Both the desktops and the old laptop use static IP's, everything else is DHCP).

    Both desktops, the old laptop and my asus have zone alarm running. My girlfriends work laptop runs another security suite (not sure which one). All the computers run XP pro.

    I have now bought a USB mobile broadband dongle from t-mobile. I want to be able to use this out and about with my asus and be able to access, control and file share with my desktop.

    I understand that a VPN is the way to go about this, but have no real idea where to start or how to set one up. I want to do this for free, a) becasue I am cheap, b) I enjoy it , and c) I think it would be really cool.

    I have looked at hamachi, but didn't stick with it. I have also looked at OpenVPN, but got overwhelmed. I've got a couple of books from the library but have not made much headway with them either.

    Can someone advise me on the steps I need to go through to set up a VPN?

    1. Do I need a static IP between the router and the internet? If so, should I use a DDNS service?

    2. Will port forwarding from the router to my desktop be enough to get access to it from the internet?

    3. Which are good server and client apps to do this, should I stick with OpenVPN, realVNC and fillzilla, or is that overkill for someone that wanst to be able to tell my desktop to download something and then watch / copy over a file while out and about.

    4. Is the WinXP VPN server and client secure? how secure? is it reliant on the strength of the password I create?, can people access my info while it's in transit. Will people be able to access my desktop via a forwarded port?

    As you can see I have a lot of questions and not enough knowledge to put everything together.

    What I would really like is a nice clear guide to setting up a home VPN, if anyone knows of such a thing!

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  2. jdillman1502

    jdillman1502 TS Enthusiast Posts: 120

    Is there any specific reason you want it to be a VPN connection? To me, it sounds like you would be better off using a remote desktop connection to your home desktop. It will be a bit faster and you already have all the software you'll need.
  3. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,143   +595

    DDNS is sufficient
    shoot the user! the general issue is an unattended system leaves both the local (and with VPN connections the remote) system exposed to tampering! this is a no brainer :(
    ALL VPNs have multiple issues;
    • sending the access token encrypted or clear text
    • strength of the encryption
    that's the problem with ALL port forwarding.
    Your router is a primary firewall and port forwarding is 'poking holes in it'.
    Your system is then protected ONLY by the security of the service to which the port is connected. As most of these rely upon simple passwords, the strength of the PW is your only protection. Google for 'password guidelines'
  4. Wobwill

    Wobwill TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 47


    Thanks for getting back to me on this one. It sounds like I have lot to think about. I must be honest I thought a remote desktop connection could only be done via a VPN. I will look into this more.

    Many thanks for the advice

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