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I'm a resident of Utah, USA. I own three houses, one for each of my three wives / families. Each house is connected to the Internet through a cable modem and a LinkSys router. I'm interested in creating an intranet site which will be shared across each of my three houses, but will not be accessible from the outside. Any suggestions on how to do this? I'm interested in using only free and open source software.

Also if I have a computer in one house sharing files, I would like for a computer in another house to be able to access those files through a local IP address. Thanks!

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2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

You should use Dynamic DNS and VPN.

DynDNS.com is a free service (for this, at least) that will allow you to assign a domain name to each of your houses even though the cable modem's IP address is distributed dynamically.

DD-WRT.com is a free and open source router firmware that you can install on many Linksys routers giving you the ability to use the router as a VPN server, literally connecting your three houses on a Virtual Private Network. DD-WRT offers loads of other features and flexibility, for example automatic updating of DynDNS.

The Linksys WRT54GL is a tried-and-true favorite of the router hacker community, and aftermarket firmware can let you use these routers to do much more than they can with the basic shipped firmware. (In fact, it's practically encouraged on that particular model: the L at the end of the model number stands for Linux.) Other Linksys routers can work as well, but make sure you know what you're doing and check compatibility information before diving in.

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I know this is an old question but, it has been accepted, so I think it should be pointed out that there are plenty of routers which include VPN out of the box. You don't need to hack your firmware for this feature (unless you want to). The routers made for this purpose usually also include a little extra RAM which will offset the overhead of this feature somewhat. Also, DynDNS will probably not update fast enough and you will, more than likely, be updating that IP manually most of the time. –  krowe Feb 24 at 5:38
    
@krowe Purpose-built routers will likely be more expensive, but you're right that there may be easier out-of-the-box options for this nowadays. The part of this answer that is outdated is DynDNS being free: the company is now called Dyn.com, and this service costs $30/year. But you are wrong about service reliability--unless you are power cycling your modems every 10 minutes, updates are only going to occur every few days, and will be triggered automatically by your router firmware. I've been using it at multiple locations for TEN YEARS and never had any issues. –  NReilingh Feb 24 at 13:18

Hamachi VPN: Hamachi software uses a mediation server to establish peer-to-peer connections over UDP. Hamachi is free for non-commercial use.

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There are lots of software based VPNs available. You might consider a more generalize wording for this answer. –  krowe Feb 24 at 5:46

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