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Here is my current setup.

Internet -> Cable Modem -> Router -> PCs, Vera(Z-Wave Controller), IP Cameras

I have a PC running Blue Iris(ip camera software) that has a web server. I forward a port on my router to this web server so I can access it from outside my network via my android phone. I would like to also gain access to my vera controller from outside the network. This can easily be done forwarding another port on my router to the vera.

However I am thinking that this current method of just opening ports into my network is too unsecure.

I have read a bit about how I could put the computer/vera on a separate internal network but then I don't think it would be possible for it to communicate with the cameras? Plus I think this would protect my other computers/files but wouldn't protect from someone gaining access to my cameras/z-wave devices.

Another option I was curious about was VPN. VPN seems to encompass a lot of features beyond the scope of what I need so I am not sure what options would be best. Would something like a Zyxel USG20 accomplish what I want? Would it be overkill? Can I just use a software VPN solution of some sort?

Are the other options to accomplish this? Is it possible I am over thinking this and my current solution is fine?

  • I would agree. The Zyxel USG20 looks like it might be the best solution to address your concern about security, of course your concerns while valid, should not be a huge concern. Port forwarding is a valid solution to achieve your goal, with a long security password to access the devices configuration pages and content, there isn't a huge security concern by opening two ports. You have hundreds of open connection by simply using Windows ( or any operating system in this age ) a couple internet enabled devices decreases your overall security very little. – Ramhound Dec 5 '13 at 15:59
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Hamachi is a great simple VPN software solution depending on what device you're wanting to use to connect to your network.

Really need to know what the device on the other end is. Hamachi would be useful if he's using another PC but Hamachi does not support mobile devices. If VERA has a web interface (for example 192.168.X.X:8080) you can actually do port forwarding on Windows (stackoverflow.com/questions/11525703/port-forwarding-in-windows) in a similar way you would on a router. So then when go to your home PC's Hamachi ip you'll be able to access Vera.

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  • Need to know what the device on the other end is. Hamachi would be useful if he's using another PC but Hamachi does not support mobile devices. If VERA has a web interface (for example 192.168.X.X:8080) you can actually do port forwarding on Windows (stackoverflow.com/questions/11525703/port-forwarding-in-windows) in a similar way you would on a router. So then when go to your home PC's Hamachi ip you'll be able to access Vera. – Dailen Dec 6 '13 at 15:40
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You could try tunneling in with SSH instead of a VPN. A "tunnel" over SSH is a way to forward ports through the secure connection.

Here is a reference for Android.

http://tech.shantanugoel.com/2010/08/02/ssh-tunneling-android.html

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