The small business that I work at uses FileMaker as its heart and soul. We finally got a copy of FileMaker Server 11, and now our database is hosted on a proper server, rather than on the secretary's computer.

My boss wants to be able to work on the remotely-hosted FileMaker database from home. There is an IP address and port on our local network that I could forward through our router then configure with DynDNS, but I don't want to do that, because it would present a huge security risk. I've been trying to set up a VPN for the last few days, but I still can't get it to work with our network, and I'm considering trying a completely different approach.

Is there any way that I could set up an SSH tunnel from my boss's laptop to FileMaker Server's port, but without leaving the forwarded port sitting there open for anyone to access? Despite a lot of Googling, I've not found one word of anyone accessing a remotely-hosted FileMaker database from outside the local network and having any sort of security on the port.

I'm still extremely inexperienced as a sysadmin (if I could even be called that), so I apologize if this is a completely ridiculous question - but my job description is "guy that gets paid to figure all of this out because nobody else at the office can", so that's what I'm doing here now.


you could do that, but for usability's sake I recommend OpenVPN on your gateway host, and Tunnelblick on the connecting Mac(s). That is relatively painless to setup, there are tons of how-tos, and Tunnelblick offers a nice client for the user that "just turns on" VPN if they want.

  • Thank you so much - I'll look into this in the morning. For the record, though, only one computer in this equation is a Mac - our database is hosted on a Mac Mini Server, and my boss's laptop is running Windows 7; will OpenVPN GUI and Tunnelblick play nicely together?
    – eckza
    Mar 29 '11 at 1:06
  • Tunnelblick is the Mac OS OpenVPN software. It, and the Windows OpenVPN software, play nicely with OpenVPN on my Linux gateway. Mar 31 '11 at 9:48
  • oh, and feel free to ask about OpenVPN... it's pretty easy. Mar 31 '11 at 19:26
  • I will, when I get back to that... he pulled me off that project a few days ago and started me on something else. (Oh, the joys of working at a small business.)
    – eckza
    Apr 1 '11 at 11:45

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