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Help on VPN

Posted on 2006-06-28
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Last Modified: 2010-04-12
I am working on a GPS/GPRS based vehicle tracking project wherein the vehicle unit transmits location co-ordinates, GMT and vehicle id through the GPRS network and it is received by the base station (PC with Win XP Pro SP2) connected to internet through a GPRS modem. We have a 2 way communication between the base station and vehicle units.

We would like to do away with the GPRS Modem at the base station and want that the base station be connected to the internet through a broadband connection and we be able to establish a 2 way communication between base station and  the vehicle units. We spoke to the manufacturer of the hardware and his reply was as follows:

If you plan to send data to the units from the PC/Server without a
local GPRS modem, then you need a VPN to be able to reach the
units - as the units have private IPs and it's a fact that you are not
able to route packets to private IPs.... unless you do tunnelling
through TCP/IP. We don't work with TCP/IP because of the speed
and cost - it will be 4x times more expensive than UDP.
 
Sending UDP requires a VPN and I have no more information or
detail than this. I learned it the hard way.

Can somebody help me as to how to achieve VPN and establish communication between base station and vehicle units without a GPRS modem at the base station?

Thanks

Shailendra Bansal


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Question by:embarc
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jm-johnmeyer-us earned 500 total points
ID: 17074937
What he is talking about is that since the system is on a private network, the traffic cannot be routed through the internet.  For example, IP addresses with 192.168, 10.10.3. will not route through the internet.

VPN usually involves a PC at one end or both ends running VPN software, that encapsulates the TCP/IP traffic and sends it out over connections using public addresses. (So your traffic to 192.168.0.1 is temporarily encapsulated and routed to a public address like 24.33.22.165, and then at the destination, decapsulated by the VPN device and sent to the correct machine.)  Unless you have computers at each end,  otherwise you'd need a hardware VPN device at each end.  Symantec makes a VPN gateway, Syamantec Gateway Security, that runs off of a little power transformer, so I assume it could be adapted for vehicular use, they run about $400.  You can also do it with software that runs on PC's.  I don't know what you have on your vans, etc. but I do know the hardware devices can be a very reliable solution.

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by:Rob Williams
Rob Williams earned 500 total points
ID: 17105213
Sounds like you are quite restricted as to what equipment you can use because of your environment. One solution you might want to try is a free VPN utility called Hamachi.  Where you have a private IP address you are likely behind a NAT router over which you have no control. This may make it difficult to configure many standard VPN's. Hamachi requires no router modifications as it actually makes only out going connections to a third party server. This server assists with the initial handshaking and then "steps back" from the established tunnel. It might work for you in this situation. Have a look:
http://www.hamachi.cc
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Expert Comment

by:jm-johnmeyer-us
ID: 17109754
FYI - Microsoft PPTP, Symantec, and Cisco VPN software clients all work from behind unmanaged NAT routers.
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