Dynamic DNS services, PPP dialup and remote support for a technologically un-savvy relative.
Remote access scenario:
I have a technologically unsavvy relative for whom I am setting up a new desktop PC. Pretty much all they care about exists within a web browser - Gmail, Facebook, misc web browsing, etc. We are setting them up with a new basic slimline system based on the AMD E350 APU and Xubuntu 11.10. They are fine with the Xubuntu user interface, and actually less confused by it than by Gnome3, Windows 7, or whatever. It's close enough to the 2000/XP UI they are accustomed to for everyday basic use.
Various things have been added to the basic Xubuntu desktop, like Adblock Plus for firefox, Thunderbird setup to automatically grab their gmail via IMAP/SSL, Pidgin set to remember their gmail/google talk account and automatically login, skype set up the same way for their skype account/chatting (did you know that skype voice calls actually do work on dialup, if you're not trying to transfer anything else across the network connection at the same time? It's about 34 kbps UDP each way).
Periodically I would like to be able to remotely access the system to verify that it is automatically updating itself correctly and has not become screwed up in some way. This is complicated by two things:
1) Their only possible method of net access is via v.92 PPP dialup. I believe their account is not "unlimited", it's dial on demand, they have a quota of something like 6 hours usage/day. They are accustomed to disconnecting when not using the PC.
2) The last time I checked, their dialup ISP assigns addresses which are behind a pretty restrictive NAT. Any software on the PC that makes an outgoing connection first works okay, but things like RDP and VNC which need ports forwarded are pretty much a non starter. We have verified that TeamViewer does function correctly (of course, slowly) from their dialup connection.
3) Finding their IP might be difficult to walk them through on the phone.
I've installed the No IP Dynamic DNS ubuntu client
on the system and set it up with a hostname.zapto.org assignment. The NoIP client is set to start when the system is booted. This appears to be working correctly with NoIP's back-end and resolving the system's hostname.zapto.org A record to whatever IP address the system is presently on.
Does anyone foresee issues with this setup? For remote support, all I need to do is have the person at the PC start the Teamviewer client and read me the current access numbers, and I theoretically should be able to start a (very slow) 8-bit colour Teamviewer session to the system. Any other ideas for dynamic DNS are also welcome!