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I have a computer behind a firewall I'd like to access via SSH and I'm looking for a service similar to "LogMeIn" which will allow me to access the computer anywhere.

Does anyone know if a service like this exists?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Apple's iCloud service can do this, under specific circumstances:

  • You have two Macs
  • Both have Lion
  • Both have iCloud's Back to My Mac service (free) enabled under the same Apple ID

If this is the case, iCloud will provide you with a private network you can use to communicate between your two computers, regardless of whether they're on the same or different networks. Officially this is for screen and file sharing, but it's widely documented that it works for SSH as well.

To set this up, on the target computer, run mDNS -E in the terminal, and note the domain it's part of. From the client computer, simply SSH to the target hostname followed by your iCloud domain, e.g.

I realize odds are slim you have two Macs running Lion, but I've searched as well for more general services and found none. This is the best I know of at the moment.

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Yes! I have two macs with Lion! That's awesome. Thanks! – Steve Jul 24 '12 at 17:08

If you're accessing a computer behind a firewall with a user at it, you can use the reverse connection option in VNC instead.

If you're connecting to a machine that nobody is working at, you'll want to do port forwarding on the router to allow your SSH tunnel through.

Example: add a virtual server listening to port 1122, forward it to the internal machine listening on SSH port 22, then connect to the external IP address using SSH with your existing port forwarded configuration.

If the router has a dynamic IP, look into the various dynamic IP address registration sites; DLink operates a free one for their devices, also allows one free address.

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The major advantage of "LogMeIn" (in my opinion) is that it maintains a connection to a remote service (outbound) which means I don't have to worry about changing firewall configurations and/or dynamic IPs. I was really hoping to find a similar service for SSH. – Steve Feb 14 '12 at 18:22
VNC reverse connections do exactly the same thing. That's why I suggested it. The VNC server on the PC you wish to view connects to the VNC client on the machine doing the viewing. You can establish the SSH connection in that direction as well and leave it open at all times. – mikebabcock Mar 27 '12 at 18:00

Possibly by tunelling the VNC client through the ssh link to connect to a VNC server on the machine? Be careful, as I do not think the free VNC has any encryption running. You do not want to expose the VNC server port to the internet.

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