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I've gotten an appartment in a city 25 000km from home as I'll be living there during the weeks, in this appartment I'll have one Mac Pro (10.7), one MacBook Pro (10.6) and maybe one Windows 7 Laptop. Now the thing is that I have my fileserver with most of my files at home and also two other servers (web and development servers) combined with all my other computers and network related stuff.

My main server at home which is always almost always running is using Ubuntu Server 10.04 LTS, however poweroutages do happen (even if they are rare), the server is setup to automatically start up again so as long the VPN service is autostarting I should be fine. My network at home is a 100/100Mbit/s Fibre Optics connection however I'm not sure what speed I'll be getting at the apartment but there's a risk that it'll only be 10/10Mbit/s or 100/10Mbit/s maybe even slower if I'm really unlucky.

So how should I set up this, I guess that I should be using VPNs in some way but how, should I put a router there that in some way connects to the VPN (does consumer routers even handle that), should I set up separate VPN tunnels to each machine locally? I've got a bunch extra laptops laying around, some with express slots and I've probably got some extra desktop to spare as well if absolutely necessary maybe I could setup a VPN to one of these computers and then bridge that connection to the other network port where I put a switch or AP (would that work?). I've never done anything like this before and I don't want to spend a fortune on enterprise equipment to set this up when I probably already have enough hardware to set it up using Open Source software.

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migrated from Aug 4 '11 at 19:45

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You have to install any of the VPN servers on your Ubuntu server in home (for example OpenVPN) and configure it. In that way it will give clients IPs from the same subnet that your home network uses.

You can then connect from your apartment to this VPN server and you will get an IP address from the same subnet that you have in home, so you can remotely access any computer in your home network as if you were there.

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Yeah that's kinda the idea all along, however I'm thinking if I should have some sort of VPN bridge where only one computer connects to the VPN in the apartment and then shares the connection to the rest of the apartment via a switch and if it gives better performance then two tunnels (I'll probably be transferering some files locally in the apartment and it's unnecessary for them to leave the apartment to my home only to come right back again if a switch could handle it locally). Just a though. – Hultner Aug 4 '11 at 20:02
If you have desktop-like pc in this apartment with 2 NICs you can build such a bridge. To 1st NIC you will have to connect WAN, and to 2nd NIC your local switch/AP/whatever. Than you have to connect your vpn connection on this pc to server in your home and bridge 2nd NIC to this vpn connection interface (f.e. tun0). It is not so hard to do on any linux distro, you can test it on virtualbox at home. @ChrisF Thank you for a tip, I'm new here. – b1czu Aug 4 '11 at 23:28
Yeah I was thinking that I could just put an extra nic into the PCI-Media express-slot one of the laptops and use that way, I'd prefer to use a laptop as they're much more quiet and less spacious, also they don't generate as much heat in the tiny apartment. I'll probably not have my Mac Pro running 24/7 (I sleep it when not in use) so using a laptop seem like a good option. I've got an old laptop just laying around with 4GB ram, 2.5GHz C2D, Gigabit Intel Nic and express slot laying around so I could probably just stick another network-card in there and have plenty of power for the purpose. – Hultner Aug 4 '11 at 23:40
Even P3 500 MHz, with 128 MB RAM would be too good for this purpose :) On debian/ubuntu you can install openvpn using aptitude, and to bridge interfaces there is tool called brctl. But there will be one problem if you bridge it... all your traffic to the internet will be routed to your home through vpn, and then through your gateway to the internet... but maybe it can be solved some way using iptables and route on this vpn-bridge box. – b1czu Aug 4 '11 at 23:56

If you want a constant VPN connection, the best is to get a second router at your house and have your company have a constant VPN tunnel from your router to theirs. That's how a lot of remote workers I know have done it in.

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This isn't related to my company but rather a connection between my apartment where a spend my weeks and my villa at home. But could I set up a VPN tunnel between two consumer routers? I've got a D-Link Dir-655 at home (var home = villa with my main network) and I don't have a router for my apartment yet as I haven't moved in there yet (get access the 13:th). I couldn't find any VPN function in the Dir-655. – Hultner Aug 4 '11 at 19:10
Probably wouldn't with a consumer router. DD-WRT firmware may let you, or using a linux box with OpenVPN should do the trick. – cole Aug 4 '11 at 19:31

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