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Part of my new scientific project is data acquisition system from multiple remote stations. I have 15 remote stations powered with solar panels (low power consumption is necessary). At each station I need a single Ethernet connection for data logger. The goal is to create a virtual network: I need 15 stations and my computer to be in the same network.

My idea is to use:

  1. 15 ARM based Linux boards (Debian based) with 3G/EDGE modem attached to USB port. Each configured to act like a router with VPN client (the question here is what is the simplest way to do that?).
  2. 1 central server (Debian based) that will act as VPN server (probably hosted in some reliable place)
  3. My windows client computer that will download data and monitor all stations status.

Now my doubts:

  1. Is ARM linux + USB 3G the best solution (low cost, low power consumption)? ARM board costs ~100 USD, 3G costs ~50 USD.
  2. What software should I use on the ARM board (open VPN? SSH tunnel?)
  3. What software should I use on the central server?
  4. What software should I use on my windows to be able to connect to this private network.

The overall idea is that my data loggers (which all have built in Ethernet controller and are located in different places) have static IPs (let's say 192.168.1.100-114) and my computer (located in another place) has a static IP in the same network (let's say 192.168.1.50).

Unfortunately I'm not an expert in network planning.

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closed as not constructive by Indrek, Dennis, Canadian Luke, Dave M, Simon Sheehan Jan 1 '13 at 22:31

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
If you have sufficient public IPs then you do not need a VPN as a workaround. –  Hennes Jan 1 '13 at 11:50
    
I'am afraid IP I'll get form operator want be public nor static. –  Marcin Polkowski Jan 1 '13 at 11:55
1  
You probably want to engage someone to build this for you, the question is too broad for here imo. –  Paul Jan 1 '13 at 12:09
    
This is, unfortunately, one of those situations where one answer here will unlock 10 more questions. I will say that a wireless solution may be advantageous to Ethernet. Unless strict security is a key factor. –  Josh Campbell Jan 1 '13 at 12:29
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