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Author Topic: VPN info
John Walsh
Film God

Posts: 2490
From: Connecticut, USA, Earth, Milky Way
Registered: Oct 1999

 - posted 04-24-2005 05:48 PM      Profile for John Walsh   Email John Walsh   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Anyone know of a web site with general info about setting up a VPN (virtual private network). Will two different companies' VPN routers work with each other? Any suggestions (make of hardware or configurating) for a small business setup?

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Dave Macaulay
Film God

Posts: 2173
From: Toronto, Canada
Registered: Apr 2001

 - posted 04-24-2005 06:18 PM      Profile for Dave Macaulay   Email Dave Macaulay   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
VPN is usually provided by a high end (high $$$) router in an enterprise setting. You can do your own using VPN "server" software on a computer at your office and client software on your remote system. Your office router has to be able to pass the VPN packets to the server though, the router firewall may be configurable to do this but look for "VPN pass-through" capability in the router's feature list. Possibly some routers with true VPN capability can act as the server end of the tunnel, but the only time I used one was to link a remote network as the client. The "real" VPN routers cost a few $$$ more than the pass-through ones.
One article that describes this
And a pretty good forum for questions or the practically networked forums might be good too.

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Daryl C. W. O'Shea
Film God

Posts: 3977
From: Midland Ontario Canada (where Panavision & IMAX lenses come from)
Registered: Jun 2002

 - posted 06-27-2005 10:15 PM      Profile for Daryl C. W. O'Shea   Author's Homepage   Email Daryl C. W. O'Shea   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If you've got a server at each end running just about any operating system you could use OpenVPN. It's easy to setup and reliable.

Heck, you could probably find a low end Pentium 100 with two network interfaces to use as a VPN server for less than you could buy any VPN hardware for.

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Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 8004
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 06-28-2005 05:31 AM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Get a $500 Cisco PIX for each end. Once configured, it will Just Work (tm) (r) (c). I think that the cheaper ones are limited to something like 32 unique IP addresses behind them (would have to look this up), but that would be fine for a very small business.

Let me know if you need help with the configuration.

Edit: what you want is a PIX 501 (or higher model if you have more users). It talks nicely to a Cisco router or another PIX.

[ 06-28-2005, 10:10 AM: Message edited by: Scott Norwood ]

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Jason Burroughs
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 654
From: Allen, TX
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 06-28-2005 04:12 PM      Profile for Jason Burroughs   Email Jason Burroughs   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
In addition to doing a Site to Site VPN using Cisco 501's you can also use the Cisco VPN client for traveling users. IMHO its one of the best VPN clients out there.

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Jason M Miller
Master Film Handler

Posts: 284
From: Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA
Registered: Jul 2004

 - posted 06-28-2005 07:17 PM      Profile for Jason M Miller   Email Jason M Miller   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Linksys has a vpn router:

I do not believe you need two vpn routers you just need a server on your network and a client on each computer you use to connect outside your network. For the most part the VPN router is the exact same thing as a regular router except it runs a VPN server on the same box.

You might want to look into some of the free server software for Linux, just do a search on Google.

Some tutorial I found:

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Daryl C. W. O'Shea
Film God

Posts: 3977
From: Midland Ontario Canada (where Panavision & IMAX lenses come from)
Registered: Jun 2002

 - posted 06-28-2005 07:54 PM      Profile for Daryl C. W. O'Shea   Author's Homepage   Email Daryl C. W. O'Shea   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If you're joining two networks though, you might as well not have the pain in the ass of clients on all the machines on one end... which might not even be an option if you want to use non-PC based ethernet devices, such as printers, POS equipment, cameras, etc.

I've also had great results with the Cisco client, most recently in conjunction with the installation of a Cisco PIX 535. Glad I didn't pay the bill for that hardware.

If you've got the cash to spend on a PIX 501 or 506E by all means go for it. If you don't I'd choose OpenVPN over a Linksys or other cheap router... especially if you've got machines at both ends that could act as VPN end points (which can, but don't have to be a gateway server).

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