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Is it possible to set up a VPN without a server?

Posted on 2006-07-14
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Last Modified: 2010-04-17
This client has no server, just a couple of workstations and a laptop all running XP Pro. They have a static public IP address. Can I set up a reliable VPN for them without a server? Thanks.
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Question by:WineGeek
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7 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:zephyr_hex (Megan)
ID: 17111773
yes.  you will need 2 VPN routers.  one at each location.  the VPN routers will be configured so that they see each other as a virtual network.
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Author Comment

by:WineGeek
ID: 17111790
No, I need a VPN that will be used by an employee to access their LAN remotely across the Internet using their laptop. Thanks.
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by:zephyr_hex (Megan)
ID: 17111792
this article explains the setup: http://www.homenethelp.com/vpn/router-config.asp
fyi :  the SSH sentinel is for the actual file transfer.  you may not need that part.

also, the article has the two locations on the same subnet.  you can have them on different subnets and it would still work.
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zephyr_hex (Megan) earned 100 total points
ID: 17111802
if the laptops are going to need to use VPN from the location with the static IP, then 2 VPN routers will work.

if the laptops are going to be travelling all over the place and could be anywhere and need to be on the VPN, then the 2 VPN routers will not work.  in that case, you will need to have something acting as a VPN server at the main location.  if it is meant to handle more than 1 VPN connection at a time, i am not sure how you can get around using a server.
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Expert Comment

by:calvinetter
ID: 17122089
If you just want to allow individual clients remote VPN access, you'd just need a VPN appliance at the main office.  I highly suggest a Cisco PIX firewall, or a SonicWall firewall - their VPN capabilities are solid & secure.  Depending on the size of the main office LAN & how many remote VPN users, you'd get an appropriate model of firewall:
  PIX 501 - up to 10 VPN users; main office LAN of ~35 or less internal hosts
  PIX 506E - up to 25 VPN users; main office LAN of ~100 or less internal hosts
  SonicWall TZ170 - up to 25 or 50 VPN users (depending on license); LAN size limits same as PIX 501
  SonicWall Pro 2040 - up to 100 VPN users (depending on license); LAN size limits same as PIX 506E

cheers
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Author Comment

by:WineGeek
ID: 17201953
calvinetter, with these VPN appliances you listed, would they remove the need for a Windows server? In other words, the brick wall I ran up against is that I cannot create the user account that will be used to log into the VPN connection without a server to create those accounts. Do these VPN appliances allow for the creation of user accounts and, if so, can the user accounts be used to secure resources on computers ono the LAN? Thanks.
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LVL 20

Assisted Solution

by:calvinetter
calvinetter earned 400 total points
ID: 17205872
>Do these VPN appliances allow for the creation of user accounts
  Yes.

>and, if so, can the user accounts be used to secure resources on computers ono the LAN?
  Not really.   A firewall will only give you general control over what IPs/range-of-IPs the VPN users can access.  If you want fine-grained control over what IPs & ports the VPN users are allowed to access (on a per-user basis), you're better off with a Cisco 3000 series VPN concentrator.  But if your goal is to control what shared files/folders your VPN users are able to access, you can use a Cisco or SonicWall firewall as a VPN endpoint, then setup a Windows 2003 domain w/ the server on the office LAN for allowing fine-grained control over which Windows shared folders & files the users can access.

  Cisco 3000 VPN concentrators general info:
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/hw/vpndevc/ps2284/index.html

cheers
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