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Dial Up a home network?

camb18b asked
Last Modified: 2013-12-14
I am somewhat new to Home Networking.
I have a Home Network using a Cable Modem and a Linksys Broadband Router, Model BEFW11S4.
I have three Computers using Windows XP Pro.
I have been using pcAnywhere but would like to set-up a Network.

How do I set up a Home Network where I can either Dial into my Network and or use an established Internet connection?

One of my computers can be set up as a Server using Windows Server 2003. (Do I need to do this?)

1.  What hardware do I need i.e. VPN hardware/ Routers/Hubs.
2.  What extra software do I need besides the the OS's mentioned above.
3.  What would be the ideal hardware and software set-up?

I have all the latest Symantec Software.  Firewalls/Antivirus/pcAnywhere.
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Systems Engineer
Top Expert 2005
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Fatal_ExceptionSystems Engineer
Top Expert 2005

Now to the tough questions...

What are you trying to accomplish here..??  In other words, do you want to serve a website to the public domain..??  Or do you just want to be able to establish a remote terminal connection (like VNC) to a specific system within your home network..??

There are several ways to go about this and a variety of technologies..   For terminal services, XP has a built in feature called Remote Desktop..  If you were going to use this, you would setup your PC's with static IP addresses.  Then enter your router configuration and use Port Forwarding to allow your external RDP request to be directed to the internal XP box..  The port you need to forward in this case would be port 3389....  You would also need to configure your internal XP system to allow a RDP session to take place...

Now that being said, it is not the most secure way to go about this...  You can also create a VPN which is a secure tunnel into your network...  This is a more complicated technology to setup though.  And the best way to do this is with a Server using RRAS...  but believe me, if you are not acquainted with this technology, you probably would want a professional to come in and do it for you...  We can cover the basics here, but from start to finish...  It would be a long process though...

Now, for your questions...  :)


Fatal_ExceptionSystems Engineer
Top Expert 2005

And to be a little more specific..

>1.  What hardware do I need i.e. VPN hardware/ Routers/Hubs.
Depending on your security concerns, probably something like a Linksys 4 port router would work fine in your situation.  It is easy to manage, with a browser interface.  The port forwarding is also easy to implement here.  If you want a VPN, purchase a router with that capability..  

Here is a tutorial on using a Linksys with a VPN running IPSec/L2TP..


2.  What extra software do I need besides the the OS's mentioned above.

With the Linksys, you will not need any additional software.  In fact, you will not even need the Software firewall, nor pcAnywhere..  The fact is that pcAnywhere is inherently insecure..  I would not even put it on any system I own...

3.  What would be the ideal hardware and software set-up?

The ideal setup would be to install W2K3 server and create a Domain.  Then use RRAS to create your VPN's, but like I mentioned above, I would recommend a consultant come in and help you with this...  I just would not think it an easy setup to be done through a forum like this..  


One thing I'd like to add, if your home broadband connection is residential - chances are your IP changes. One of your computers - ussualy the one that's left powered up all the time - would be able to run a dynamic dns client.

Sign up for a free account at www.dyndns.org and choose a domain name. Actually they're subdomains - yourname.gotdns.org or imrighthere.dyndns.com, they have many to choose from.

Then your client checks your public IP every 5 minutes - if it changes, it contacts the dyndns servers and updates them.

All you need to remember - from where ever you are in the world - is your domain name you signed up for.

I use dyndns to allow me to access my home network from work or on the road - using my laptop or iPaq 5550. I can jump on a wireless/wired network connection and access my network using remote access or VPN in. If my IP changed, I don't have to worry about it.

Trust me, your IP may not change for months... then the day you leave for a 2 week seminar three states away - your ISP decides to switch around some IP pools. You can call your ISP and find out what IP you have currently - but they may refuse or get really annoyed or be glad to help - depends on the tools the level 1 support team is provided.

Fatal_ExceptionSystems Engineer
Top Expert 2005

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Fatal_ExceptionSystems Engineer
Top Expert 2005

and again..  :)
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