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How do I get a piece of monitoring equipment available to the internet?

farrellthrasher
on
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I have a piece of industrial monitoring equipment I want to monitor over the internet.  I can set an IP address in the device and see it on a LAN.  The local network does not have internet access.  I need to use a cellular internet connection over a computer connected to the equipment.

I have an ATT cellular internet card that I would like to do a simple "proof of concept" with.  So my questions are:

What does ATT expose to the internet?  Is it a dynamic or static IP?
What is the easiest way to expose a device with an IP address attached to the host computer via ethernet to the internet.
What are the options on configuring the network and allowing me to see my attached device via the cellular connection?

I am sure I have left out some key points.  Feel free to ask questions, and offer suggestions.  I am open to almost any setup that I can translate into a field environment.

Thanks in advance everyone, I look forward to your ideas.

Farrell
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Commented:
I would assume the address is dynamic and use a service like dyndns.org to access the pc.  Then use a service such as gotomypc.com to access the pc and monitor it that way.  

Alternatively you could setup a pc with a vpn server, such as shown here http://forums.techarena.in/tips-tweaks/1143104.htm and then connect to the equipment directly.  As long as the pc is locked down for incomming connections it should be fine.
Sean MeyerIT Director

Commented:
Remember there is probably a reason the network does not have internet access.  By placing a simple device without good firewalls as your port of entry to your previously inaccessible network you will be opening your network to infiltration.

Author

Commented:
Most of the destops and laptops that will be possible hosts for this endeavor will be XP machines, if that makes any difference.

The link you gave is for a Windows 7 VPN setup.  Once set up, how do I initiate an incoming connection to the VPN server I set up?

Author

Commented:
This isn't something that will actually have computers on the network.  The network will only consist of the host computer and the device I am monitoring.  The monitor will be removed from the local network to connect it to the host computer.  The connection will most likely be a very short term connection to monitor a single piece of equipment for a short term to diagnose, train or demonstrate the device.

Security shouldn't be an issue.  In that vein, isn't a VPN a very secure option anyway?  Still in the ealy phases here, so I am just asking.

FT

Commented:
VPN is secure, but anytime you expose a network to the Internet there is risk, you just have to minimize it and monitor the rest.

Author

Commented:
I am pursuing a couple of VPN implementations, EasyVPN is what I am using at the moment.  This issue I see arising is I will have two network cards "live" at the same time.  The Cellular Internet card and the network card in the host computer.  I have to access the monitor via the ethernet port in the host.  How do I set things up so that both networks can co-exist?

Commented:
Not really an issue, the host computer will act as a router.  

Author

Commented:
ittogo,  I am hoping the host will act as a router.  Is that a standard implementation in all VP's?  I actually am running into an issue with EasyVPN on the XP machine.  My machine wants EITHER the cell connection or the hard wire connection.  

Thanks for sticking with me.

Commented:
The standard implementation would be to use either a firewall or an Windows server for the VPN endpoint.  In this case the XP machine should work, you might have to add some route statements though.  Have you considered using a linux box?  There are also cellular routers available such as http://www.proxicast.com/index.htm (which also includes vpn)

Author

Commented:
Both a linux box or proxicast would work here at my site, but ultimately I hope to use this at end user sites when they are troubleshooting.  I would like to be able to have them hook a local laptop up to our monitor with the end user's cellular internet, and allow me to see the monitor.  Sadly the bulk of users are on Windows of some sort, most on XP, so a solution with widows is really my only option.

So I am still working with XP.  Any preferences over EasyVPN?  Something else that might not be a challenge to use both for me and the end users?

FT

Commented:
I took a look at EasyVPN and it seems to be more aimed at desktop sharing.  This would work if you can use the remote machine to connect to the equipment.  If you want to connect to the remote equipment directly and just use the remote machine for a network access, you might want to look at OpenVPN (http://openvpn.net/index.php/open-source/overview.html)

Author

Commented:
ittogo, I should be allowed to give you more points for all of the effort.  I am still trying to get my wired network to co-exist with ANY VPN at this point.  I have only the Host computer, a switch and the monitor plugged into the computer.  Do I need a router?  How do I set the local IP address of the Host to see the monitor.  Finally, how do I keep the two adapters on at the same time?

Thanks again,

Farrell
Commented:
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Author

Commented:
OK, I am going to award the points to ittogo. Here is how it fleshed out.
1.  Set the onboard adapter with a fixed IP address in the range of the monitor.
2.  Installed AT&T GSM USB modem and software. (when initialized, I have to tell it to stay connected)
3.  EasyVNC did not work, but TeamViewer did.  I needed the remote desktop feature more than anything.

Thanks again everyone.  Things take so long in the real world.

Farrell
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