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View Full Version : Opening up Mac to internet - but safely?... john.b????


theMusicMan
14th May 2008, 06:04 PM
One for John here

I want to be able to access some files on my Mac when I am out and about on the road. Is there a way to accomplish this?

Obviously through the internet, and when I am in hotel rooms etc, it would be great to be able to access my USB HDD that's connected to my network and is always on. It's not connected to a Mac and sits on its own, accessible by every machine on my home network. Is it possible to be able to access this through the internet when I am out and about?

Chillimonster
14th May 2008, 06:29 PM
John,

I use (on PC, not mac, but it is Mac Compatible) Hamichi and logmein.

Both have free versions from www.logmein.com

I use Logmein as a support tool on the works machines and also the machines i build for friends and relatives as it save a visit to site 90% of the time.

Fluffy
14th May 2008, 06:31 PM
One for John here

I want to be able to access some files on my Mac when I am out and about on the road. Is there a way to accomplish this?

Obviously through the internet, and when I am in hotel rooms etc, it would be great to be able to access my USB HDD that's connected to my network and is always on. It's not connected to a Mac and sits on its own, accessible by every machine on my home network. Is it possible to be able to access this through the internet when I am out and about?

I'm a member of .Mac (sbrat@mac.com). When I travel I put the files I need when away on my iDisk (surprising large and you can buy bigger). Then just going mac.com lets me access the files. Using iSync makes set up easier and when you return, iSync will gather the changed files back. I'm not sure if you over there in the UK can join .Mac but if you can it's well worth looking into.

Chrs, Stv

Chillimonster
14th May 2008, 06:41 PM
You could also set up a 'G-Drive' - This uses a Google Mail account as a virtual drive - howeve you would have to have the things on there in the first place.

DTD
15th May 2008, 06:18 AM
Leopard allows you to set things up so you can completely control your mac from another. If you're using an earlier version, you could look at Remote Desktop but if IRC you make not be able to use this properly if you can't set up the internet connection i.e. if it's the hotel's.

Best bet would probably would be to have a G-drive or dot mac.

j.baker
15th May 2008, 06:39 AM
If you have a machine on, or a network storage appliance (NAS), then you could use network approach which would be to use a VPN connection. SSL VPN is the most compatable option and one of the cheapest.

Linksys (Cisco) make a small silent SSL VPN appliance. It costs about 115 delivered from Misco. Part number RVL-200.

I have one here if you want to try it some time John.

Another option would be the enterprise version of real vnc. This owuld need a windows machine to be left on as the server, and port forwarding from your router (10-15mins to do). RealVNC used encryption and you can use username/password. It is not that expensive for a licence, and you can try before you buy.

Jim Ford
15th May 2008, 08:47 AM
Off the top of my head, I'd investigate:

Setting up a 'Live Linux' system with vpn (Openswan?) on a CD. It's possible that one of the many Linux distros will already provide this feature.

This will have the following advantages:

1) You can post the CD into any PC with a CD drive and boot into the system.
2) It'll be hack-proof because it's on a RO medium.
3) There's often a helpful usergroup for support for the disto.
4) It'll be free!

Jim

emirpprime
15th May 2008, 02:13 PM
Another vote for LogMeIn. It is really a vnc app but it is mediated by their servers, so as long as it is allowed through the machines firewalls, there is no port forwarding/open ports to worry about. Another consideration in Leopard is the inbuilt Screen Sharing which works very well, but then you are back to opening ports on the router (presuming you are using one), and remembering to close them when you are at home again...

Hamachi works really well, but is a mess on the Mac. HamachiX is nearly there, but made my machine really unstable.

As people have suggested, it depends on what you want access to. If you know all you'll need is a few known documents then using GDrive or .Mac works really well. However if the file could be anything, then something like VNC/VPN/LogMeIn/ScreenSharing is the way to go. IMO of course.

Hope you find a good solution for you,
Phil

ndl0071
16th May 2008, 07:06 AM
I really don't know very much about IT at all in fact most of what I have read in this thread is 'double dutch' to me:rolleyes:, however I do know that our IT support people use logmein to dial in to our PCs/server at work when the need arises. I have recently set up my laptop with logmein so I can access my work PC from wherever I happen to be, it works well and I can do anything that I would be able to do as if I were sat in front of it, I believe that the account I use is free as well which really can't be bad:)

shenstone
16th May 2008, 09:46 PM
I'd be on the same page as John with a NAS sharing up the files that you want through a VPN rather than one of the various machine sharing programs out there.

This means that you are only opening up the files you want to open up to any form of risk and you don't need to leave your mac on all the time which is of course both ultimately safer (hacked access through it could open up more than you intended) and it's environmentally more friendly

Regards
Andy