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Old Jun 16, 2011, 02:35 PM   #1
allejo
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VPN + File Sharing

Would it be possible to set up a VPN and turn on the built-in "File Sharing" option to essentially have FTP access to my computer over the internet? I know this can work with port forwarding, but I do not wish to open a port on my router. If this is possible, how would this be done? I'm on Mac OS X 10.6.7. Thank you for your help.
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Old Jun 17, 2011, 01:32 AM   #2
Peteman100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allejo View Post
Would it be possible to set up a VPN and turn on the built-in "File Sharing" option to essentially have FTP access to my computer over the internet? I know this can work with port forwarding, but I do not wish to open a port on my router. If this is possible, how would this be done? I'm on Mac OS X 10.6.7. Thank you for your help.
You can transfer files pretty easily using Teamviewer
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Old Jun 20, 2011, 06:51 PM   #3
allejo
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Will TeamView act like FTP? I do not need remote access to computers, I simply just need FTP.
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Old Jun 22, 2011, 12:41 PM   #4
mrbash
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Consider SCP instead

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Originally Posted by allejo View Post
Would it be possible to set up a VPN and turn on the built-in "File Sharing" option to essentially have FTP access to my computer over the internet? I know this can work with port forwarding, but I do not wish to open a port on my router. If this is possible, how would this be done? I'm on Mac OS X 10.6.7. Thank you for your help.
You will need to open up ports on your Router to enable VPN. You are better off simply opening up a SSH port and using scp to copy files.

SCP is command-line but it is secure.
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Old Jun 22, 2011, 01:22 PM   #5
jtara
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A VPN will create an encrypted tunnel from the router to your device. Normally (though this can be changed) ALL traffic will go through the VPN tunnel. For example, when you access the Internet, you'll be going over the tunnel and then egressing to the Internet through your home router. (This can be changed with routing.)

You would have full access to your local network, so no need really to use FTP or anything like that. Just browse using Finder.

So you will have secure access to any servers running on your home network, even those using insecure protocols (i.e. telnet, FTP). But, really, it's safer simply not the run insecure servers. I would never run a telnet or FTP server, period.

ssh can be used in a similar way, though it's a bit more of a hassle to set-up, since you will need to set-up a separate tunnel for each server/service you want to access on your home network. ssh will give you interactive login and (usually, depends on your server) sftp service to the machine you connect to. But you can also set-up tunnels for arbitrary ports/services.

Take your choice.
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Old Jun 27, 2011, 01:50 PM   #6
allejo
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So whatever method I choose, I would still have to open up a port on my router? Is there an alternative way to what I want to do without opening a port? I basically want remote access to certain folders and files on my computer.
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Old Jun 27, 2011, 03:17 PM   #7
CorporateFelon
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So whatever method I choose, I would still have to open up a port on my router? Is there an alternative way to what I want to do without opening a port? I basically want remote access to certain folders and files on my computer.

The only reason I can foresee some one asking if they can get around opening ports is if they don't have access to the router themselves.
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Old Jun 27, 2011, 05:25 PM   #8
jtara
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Originally Posted by allejo View Post
So whatever method I choose, I would still have to open up a port on my router? Is there an alternative way to what I want to do without opening a port? I basically want remote access to certain folders and files on my computer.
Unless you are accessing your network from a fixed remote location, yes, you will need to open up a port on your router.

If you are accessing from a fixed remote location, then, alternately, you could open up a port on IT'S router.

VPN protocols are pretty secure. I wouldn't be too concerned. The idea with a VPN is to "put all your eggs in one basket, and then watch the basket".

There are some things you can do to make it more secure, though.

- You can use a non-standard port. (Note, however, that one kind of VPN - IPSec - doesn't actually USE a port. It uses an entirely different protocol. That is, it doesn't use TCP.)

For example, if you were using SSH, you don't HAVE to use port 22. Pick any unused port you'd like. Makes the service much harder to find.

- Use "port rapping", if this is supported by your router. This uses a "secret knock" to open up the port. The remote has to attempt to connect to a sequence of ports using a specific timing sequence. If the right knock is given, the port is opened up for a fixed period of time.

- Most VPNs will only allow a limited number of attempts to connect before they shut the client out. This should prevent any brute-force attack.
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Old Jun 30, 2011, 06:00 AM   #9
jotade11
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I was about to start a new thread, but will AFP work over VPN? I would like to set up a Mac Pro at home, VPN to it, and mount all my disks remotely (and securely). If I set up VPN on my Macs/iPhone, will I be able to AFP to my Mac Pro's IP (via the router's IP and port forwarding)?

Thanks!
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Old Jun 30, 2011, 10:38 AM   #10
jtara
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Originally Posted by jotade11 View Post
I was about to start a new thread, but will AFP work over VPN? I would like to set up a Mac Pro at home, VPN to it, and mount all my disks remotely (and securely). If I set up VPN on my Macs/iPhone, will I be able to AFP to my Mac Pro's IP (via the router's IP and port forwarding)?
Yes, AFP - or any other TCP/IP protocol - will work over a VPN.

No port forwarding needed.

(Other than potentially for the VPN itself. Depends on where the VPN endpoint is. Best is to run the VPN on your router itself, assuming your router has VPN support. In that case, there's no port forwarding. If you run VPN software on your Mac Pro, then you would need to forward the VPN port to the Mac Pro.)

This really was what the OP was asking, except he muddied things up a bit by referring to using AFP as "essentially FTP" (which it isn't).
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Old Jun 30, 2011, 11:43 AM   #11
jotade11
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Thanks for this, and sorry to go offtopic!
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Old Jul 26, 2011, 01:51 AM   #12
mainstay
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Originally Posted by allejo View Post
So whatever method I choose, I would still have to open up a port on my router? Is there an alternative way to what I want to do without opening a port? I basically want remote access to certain folders and files on my computer.
Www.logmein.com

No ports. Free. Access from anywhere.
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Old Jul 26, 2011, 06:06 AM   #13
flyer05
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I'm planning on setting this up when my new Mac Mini Server gets here...

What do you use to access it from an iPhone/iPad?
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Old Jul 26, 2011, 09:56 AM   #14
mainstay
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well, you can use the LogMeIn App (not free but might be worth it to you).

I plan on setting up VPN and then using BananaGlue's Control! App.

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Old Jul 26, 2011, 11:34 AM   #15
Anelly
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you can select a vpn from here http://starvpnreviews.com/best-vpn-providers/
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