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View Full Version : Using ARD across the ocean to control multiple macs - VPN software needed?




Coolio787
Dec 11, 2008, 09:31 AM
Here's the situation. I am in Washington DC and have several mac's located around the world in Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, and the Republic of Georgia.

Two of those locations have Apple Airport routers.
Two of those locations have decent quality Routers that the ISP provided me with.

I want to use ARD to control those computers from here in the states. If I assign a static IP to one of those computers overseas, and forward ports 3283 and 5900 to that computers internal static IP, then all I have to do is punch in the network's external IP (whether it's static or dynamic) into ARD's scanner and I can access the computer from overseas.

Two problems I need help with:

First problem: Some of those locations have half a dozen Mac's with Leopard that I'd like to access. Since I can only forward ports on the router to ONE internal static IP, I only have access to ONE computer at a time, unless I either
A. reroute the ports on the router to another computer's internal IP (annoying, and it requires a restart of the router) or
B. have the router mapped to ONE IP, and just change each Mac to that IP to access it (also annoying, because I'd have to ask someone in that location to do it for me so that I can access it).
Also, it has been suggested to me that I map port 5901 external to 5900 internal on one computer, map 5902 external to 5900 internal on another computer, etc. If I was using Safari or another software, I could then just go to vnc://externalIP:5901, vnc://externalIP:5902, etc. BUT, Apple Remote Desktop can not be used in conjunction with other ports! Your outbound traffic has to use ports 3283 and 5900. So it CAN'T be done with port mapping if I want to control several Mac's. Everyone suggests that I need a VPN, but don't want to spend $1000 on OSX Server because I will JUST be using the VPN software..... is there any good quality VPN Server software available for Leopard?

Second problem: Some of the locations only have ONE mac I need to control. So yes, I can forward ports on the router to that computer's internal static IP, but that's only if it's static! Some of the computers at these locations are laptops, and are often taken out of the office and used with other Internet connections. For that reason, I'd like to leave those laptops with DHCP assigned addresses from whatever router they are connecting to. How can I still control that one computer if it's a dynamically assigned internal address? Do I have to do something with the computer name? How can I forward ports on a router to a computer's HOSTNAME, and NOT it's IP address.

Thanks in advance if you have any tips for me.

Conrad