Ok, so … ready for the link of the day ? http://www.hamachi.cc/.
You ask what is this. well… the details are on the website, but in a few words, it a simple to setup VPN solution for LAN to LAN. Coupled with some remote administration software (i.e. VNC, or Remote Admin), you can get access to your network without having to open specific ports and still stay within a safe secure tunnel.
It does involve a middleware hamachi server, but my understanding is that there is a version of the server available for Linux for download with the source. (I might be wrong about that… don’t take my word on it).
In any case, I have not tried it yet, but if anyone has personal experience with it, please post your comments here. I’m interested to know what kinds of problems you’ve seen with the products and how you’ve fixed it…
I just installed Hamachi on my computer, and all I have to say is WOW. I expected it to be simple, but not that simple. it works like magic. I’ve always been scared of setting up real VPN, because I never quite understood it. but Hamachi was a snap to setup, it setup a virtual network adapter with my unique IP, and I was on. all I had to do was know the name of the network I want to join, and know the password to that network, and voila! now, I can just do a \\ip.address\share .. or \\ip.address\c$ if I have the full admin access to the box, and I have full access to the files. I imagine, that the IP would work for any type of access. i.e connect to the network via Hamachi, then use this IP to connect via remote admin or whatnot. no need to open any ports or anything. now that sounds like a sweet deal. If you’re wanting to have access to your stuff from work or vice versa, this is a great way to go.
One of the downsides that I’ve seen with running the client on windows is that I can’t run the client as a service, so when I log off your machine, the client shuts down, and the VPN connection is broken. Still looking into this to see if there’s a way around it.