setup two homes under one network.

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by iJny9956, Jul 18, 2016.

  1. iJny9956 macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2012
    I would like to connect two homes under one network at a router level so that each computer doesn't have to manually connect via VPN every single time. The connection just needs to be there at all times.

    Is there special hardware I need to invest in? is there a way I can have bonjour services be broadcasted over the connection?

    I'm open to investing in hardware and time to get this working. Please let me know. Thanks in advance.

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  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    I think a router-level VPN is what you need if the VPN connection is the issue here.
  3. iJny9956 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2012
    Thank you for the reply.

    Seems like a IPSec VPN site to site tunnel is the way to go. Guessing the Apple Airport Extreme doesn't support anything similar. I've looked at TL-R600VPN ~$70 fits my budget. My question now is that would this method actually broadcast services form one location to the other? would I be able to see the other macs / printers in the network via bonjour? I'd hate to have to remember and enter IP addresses everytime. I know apple has something called Wide Area Bonjour, but I have no idea what happened to it. I can't even find it in my Airport Utility, I recall seeing it in the past.

    I've not experiment with this before so I'm not very familiar with what works and what doesn't before I buy my gear. Most IT buffs are using windows and have no idea what to do with macs. Hoping someone would know here.

    Please let me know.
  4. DJLC macrumors 6502a


    Jul 17, 2005
    Mooresville, NC
    Check out the features of the router — many do have the ability to forward Bonjour (or in more neutral network terms, mDNS) traffic between VLANs / sites and should be able to handle that. Just keep in mind the overhead involved with this and ensure you have adequate bandwidth at each location.
  5. Beerstalker macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2011
    Peoria, IL
    How far apart are these homes? Next door, same town, different states?
  6. RedTomato macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    What do you actually need to do? Watch video files based at one house from another house? Access storage at one home from another home? Replicate backups? Are these homes or workplaces?

    You mentioned printers - do you want to be able to send to print at the other home? If you can tell us your tasks, we can advise on appropriate technology.
  7. iJny9956 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2012
    Sites are about 30min drive ~25miles. One location is private home the other is a mixed use building. I work form both home and onsite. Primary uses would be to access spreadsheets, text documents and photos (jpeg). Printing would be awesome! Traffic would mostly take place after business hours due to the workflow. We have total 7 people that would be using computers on and off. Idea is that I should be able to get on the wifi with my machine and have access to everything without configuring my computer and entering all sorts of credentials. I wont need to stream HD videos or anything like that. Security is important.

    Regarding bonjour, i cant seem to find any routers that list this as a feature.

    hope this is helpful.
  8. kd5jos macrumors 6502


    Oct 28, 2007
    Denver, CO
    You have several different options for this. I set up a VPN from home to any device I use. I did it by using OSX server to create a VPN connection with outside devices. mDNS won't traverse it, so I installed a Bonjour beacon on the OSX server. Then I was able to see iTunes libraries, printers, etc. You could set up a router to router VPN, but remember all your traffic will be traversing it (you'll go out to the internet from work). Some routers have a configuration that allow you to use your local exit for Internet service, and only route traffic destined for the remote network over the VPN, it's something to look for. Also remember you are going to have to have the connection established from a device inside the network, on the business side. I assume the business you work for is okay with the risk from opening another point of entry into the network. You may want to make sure you are not liable if something bad happens because of this.
  9. RedTomato macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    I'm a fan of keeping things simple.

    However I'm not clear if you want to be able to work from home and access the office network, access the same files as are shared by 7 other people, or want to be able to VPN to a home server from work, or want to access (from home) your private, non-shared work documents.

    Have you looked at Dropbox or one of the similar local / online sync services?

    VPN access:
    - Can only access files at the speed of the other end's upload speed which can be very slow.
    - Can't access files if internet at either end is down, so you have double the risk
    - Is not a backup service
    - You are responsible for setting it up right and maintaining it
    - Requires a server running at the other end, probably on 24/7 sucking electricity.
    (- If server is to be at home, partners often not keen on it.)
    - More suitable for running operations on remote computer

    Dropbox (every one knows it) or SpiderOak (less wellknown) or similar.
    - All files held locally at both ends as well as online
    - Still have access if internet goes down
    - Can function as an offsite backup
    - Good OS integration (mainly Dropbox)
    - Provider is responsible for security and keeping it working, not you.
    - No need for you to configure routers and run a server at the other end.

    One small company I advise uses a single 1 TB Dropbox account, and shares the login among staff. Another company uses a Dropbox business account with 5 or 6 team members, and uses that for off-site backup as well as remote access.
  10. Cineplex macrumors 6502a


    Jan 1, 2016
    Not to rain on the parade..... but a cloud solution would be a lot less of a headache and make more sense in this use case. Site to site VPN is great when it works...but when it doesn''s a mess. Be prepared to drive home and figure out why its not working (which wastes time). If it were me, I would not use consumer/prosumer routers at all. I would get a cisco router/VPN concentrator on both sides and configure it exactly as it needs to be. But that will cost $$$$ and time learning. I have built several site to site VPN networks on commercial grade well as point to point T1's. There are always issues. It won't be long before something isn't right or needs a reboot. Bonjour and AppleTalk can work over the VPN...but its complicated and prone to issues (you will need real commercial grade stuff for this..think $500+ per site). To share documents there isn't any real advantage to VPN in todays world. If it were 1999 maybe this would be worth it. The cloud is super slick today and more cost effective. Why risk all your data, time, and security for very little in return? Constant VPN means someone at the office can sneak around your private network at home if they know what they are doing. I wouldn't want that!

    Another thing to keep in mind is that most consumer internet companies do not allow for VPN use in the TOS. You might find someday that it isn't working anymore. I would find that out first. You will also need a dedicated IP on both sides for a constant connection...which is not available on consumer internet (your home).
  11. kiwipeso1 Suspended


    Sep 17, 2001
    Wellington, New Zealand
    This can be done on routers such as the ASUS AC68U . (Cost should be maybe US$200 now)
  12. iJny9956 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2012
    Thanks for all the suggestions. I like the router to router approach. It seems like lot of the non apple routers pack in much more features even wireless range!

    I've used bonjour beacon and really liked it setup was a bit tedious. On the other hand I've come across Slink very cool! No Vpn required and you can see all bonjour services. Now if the client computer could take those bonjour services and broadcast them to the rest of the local network for other computers to see that is something I'd pay for.

    Thanks for all the input.
  13. Sbarnesvta macrumors newbie

    Apr 4, 2013
    If you have the ability to change out the networking equipment which it sounds like you do. Check out Mikrotik EOIP I have done it with a couple sites using their cheap RB2011 Routers. You will need one of these routers are each location. There are a couple third party options to get Bonjour working with it over multiple sites.
  14. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland
    Based off of what you have stated, I think your best option is Back To My Mac, which is an iCloud feature. That will allow all the Macs to be working together in the Finder and will do exactly what you want with very little grief and setup.

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