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I am searching for a robust way to access my computers (on any port when possible) whether they are behind several NAT gateways or not. By robust I mean I want to access the computers whenever they are powered up, even in cases when I don't have configuration access to the router, or I am behind certain firewalls with blocked ports, etc. I would like to do this with a least amount of maintenance. ;) Ideal would be a tool I just have to configure one time and that's it. I know I will need at least one public computer for that kind of scenario where all my computers could connect to and sign themselves on/off. (Is there something like a P2P solution to that?) Operating systems involved so far: Ubuntu and Mac OS X. (Windows would be nice too.) The most used service would be ssh, so also ssh-tunnels came to mind. I don't consider them robust, as I cannot configure them when I am not at the same place as my computers, and I don't give away passwords. Also OTPs aren't a solution!

Is (Open)VPN the solution to my problem?

BTW: I consider DynDNS, ssh-tunnels and port forwarding as not robust enough, but correct me if I am wrong! Also I've read many similar questions only focusing on parts of my question. I want to solve this problem now and forever! ;)

share|improve this question
I can't think of any other way than port forwarding and sshing in. Your computers behind the NAT don't have their own public IP, so you'll have to forward ports. dynamic dns is easy so you don't have to remember your IP address, and ports being blocked shouldn't be an issue, as you can set it up to connect on nonstandard ports for ssh (like 443, normally used for https, or 8080 or 8000). – Rob Apr 26 '12 at 16:10
At least with SSH tunneling I think it is possible to circumvent port forwarding, I think the keyword was reverse-tunneling. – math Apr 26 '12 at 16:29
Just to clarify the use of "port forwarding": I meant those menus in router software mapping ports to machines behind the NAT. – math Apr 26 '12 at 16:33
If this was only for Windows, I'd recommend botnet software (that stuff's relentless at getting back in touch with the command & control system regardless of what kinds of NATs/firewalls it's behind). If this was only for Mac OS X Lion and later, I'd recommend Back to My Mac with a free iCloud account, which accomplishes all of this. You might want to look at the offerings from services like, which I believe is Windows, Mac, and Linux, and does more than just screen sharing. – Spiff Apr 26 '12 at 18:10

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