February 17, 2007

Setup a Virtual Private Network [VPN]for your home/office

VPN (virtual private network) are private networks routed through public networks such as internet.

If for example, your company has a branch office then instead of using leased lines to connect to you can opt for a VPN. The main advantage is reduction in coast.

Many VPN solutions are available in the market. Here discussing a free (a premium version also there) and minimum configurable utility with NAT-to-NAT traversal capability- Hamachi - is a zero-configuration virtual private networking (VPN) application.

NAT to NAT capability means two computers on different domains can be connected for direct communication.

If you are on an ISP, say ISP1, and other office, or your friend is on another ISP, say ISP2, transferring files or sharing folders won’t be possible, since your domains are different. Hamachi however lets you achieve this.

The software is very small, just 895kb.After installing the software you need to setup an account.

Account creation

Switch the client by click on the power button shown under left side (see the image).The client will connect to some backward servers and then assign you a private Hamachi network address.

The assigned IP is unique to your machine and it will used to connecting various other computers on the Hamachi network. Before connecting to server the client will prompt for an account name, just select any name you wish.

When the client is offline, the IP is generally denoted as as soon as it connects to the backend server it will change to like 5.128.x.x.

Hosting a network

To create your own network, click on the little network button indicated by three dots and connecting lines (see the image). In the menu select create new net work .In the next box you need to enter a name for your network and a password, to prevent unauthorized connections, and click to create. The net work will be created and will be displayed on the client.

With this name and password any of your friends can be connect to you through the client.

Joining the network

To join the network you again click on the joint button. In the following dialogue box type the name and correct password of your friend’s or office’s, then click join. Once the connection is established you will seen all the computers connect to the same network.(see the image)

Business account creation

Once the connection is established, you can access shares on other connected machines and they can access yours. But before that you would need to make an administrative account on Windows XP for your office or friend. Go to control panel-User accounts and select ‘create a new account’ give an appropriate name to the account. In the next dialogue box select the type of account as ‘computer Administrator’ and then click create account. Once the account is created click on it and assign it a password so as to prevent unauthorized access.

Once you created a user account for your friend, you can browse his shares simply by right clicking on your friends name in the Hamachi client and selecting browse. Alternatively just type your friend hamachi network address followed by the shared folder name, for example .\\x.x.x.x.\music by going to Start-Run and hit OK. Make sure that the shared folder doesn’t have writ access-just to void network worm and virus infections.

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