How do I connect to my home network securley while traveling?
November 10, 2016 11:37 AM   Subscribe

I want to connect to my home network, video and voice chat with my family securely, and possibly even screenshare or remote control one of the the PCs. What do I need?

I will be starting a new job that takes me on the road most of the week in the near future. I will be staying in a place with "wi-fi", but I have enough sense not to trust that wifi to be secure. I want to be able to connect to my home network, video and voice chat with my family securely, and possibly even screenshare or remote control one of the the PCs on the network to help with homework. What do I need to so this safely, securely, and easily? I am willing to spend money and am reasonably technically minded.
posted by cosmicbandito to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
What features of skype don't tick your boxes ? The voice/video is encrypted, it has screen sharing.

For remote control do you want unattended remote control ? (ie no one is at the local console ? ) If so, there's host of go-to-my-pc type solutions out there that are encrypted and fairly safe.

If you're just worried about leaky wifi, then get a VPN account (previously) and immediately log into that when you turn your machine on. But in theory https on all your browsing etc should cover it.
posted by k5.user at 12:23 PM on November 10, 2016 [4 favorites]

I recommend SSH tunneling. To do this, you just need something on your home network that can be a SSH server, and you need to open a port on your router to allow just that one port (you can tunnel other ports/protocols through it).
posted by destructive cactus at 12:40 PM on November 10, 2016

If you're willing to get your hands dirty at the networking level, it's possible to set up your own VPN (which will keep all your traffic out of the clear on the LAN) and have it linked back to your home LAN. I have an Ubiquiti EdgeRouter on the home end and a VPS running VyOS (both EdgeOS and VyOS forked from the same project, and are still vaguely similar to each other), but as long as the software is capable anything will do (if you have a network-savvy friend, favor whatever they're comfortable with). I don't have a comprehensive write-up to link to, but the VPS runs OpenVPN for remote access and has an IPSec site-to-site back to my router at home, which generally lets me do anything as if I was physically on my home LAN. The VPS isn't strictly necessary but your Internet access speeds will be capped at a fraction of the VPN host's upstream, which is typically... modest on most home connections.

To reiterate, this isn't for the faint of heart. Not being up to speed on this area, my final setup took the better part of a few weekends to get perfectly right (not counting aborted attempts with different packages). The setup was the hard part though, it's been entirely stable once I got it working.
posted by ConstantineXVI at 12:53 PM on November 10, 2016

You can also pay for a VPN service, which checks most of your boxes.
posted by l_zzie at 1:20 PM on November 10, 2016

I use TeamViewer for remote access and have it installed on the POS machine at the family store, and on the machine of an older friend who often needs help. I don't use public WiFi enough that I have a VPN account, but that takes care of the leaky WiFi, as mentioned above.
posted by humboldt32 at 1:40 PM on November 10, 2016

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