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90 posts

Master Geek

  # 832384 7-Jun-2013 18:22
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When I want to do admin stuff, I propose to send an coded email (eg. specific words in subject) that will cause the webcam server to:
send and email acknowledge the coded email and
initiate a VPN to my home server.

Why not just keep a VPN up the whole time?   I'd recommend OpenVPN. If you need a box with a static IP to run the VPN server, you can get one extremely cheaply -- see the deals on, or for a box in NZ I'd recommend  You can set up a VPN server such that you can connect in from your PC at home to access the other VPN clients connected to it.

I don't want to use a VPN because:

If I make a mistake on routing and my home network traffic leaks onto the VPN, my monthly 750MB mobile data allowance will be burned up in a short period of time.

The additional traffic produced by a VPN will eat into my data allowance

I am running an old Optiplex GX50 as a webcam server.  It copes nicely now but doesn't need the extra processing overhead of a VPN.

The webcam server is fully automated and will only need admin access every few months.   I am not transferring images to my home network.

SSH will do exactly what I am aiming to achieve.  A VPN offers me no advantages.

90 posts

Master Geek

  # 832389 7-Jun-2013 18:38
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dazz1: Hi

Just an update.
I have successfully configured the webcam server to send daily status reports.

I have not been successful in setting up a reverse SSH remote admin connection.  It turns out that my Nokia M1122 modem won't allow port forwarding to my IPCop firewall.  I am buying a new modem that will allow pinholes to be opened.

Woah, that's an old modem. Get one of the Draytek's modems namely this: [Clicky] then setup a PPPoA to PPPoE bridge to your ipcop firewall. Personally I'd recommend using the direct APN and blocking everything except SSH over Port 22, just for your reference these are the rules you're needing:

iptables -F
iptables -P INPUT DROP
iptables -P FORWARD DROP
iptables -P OUTPUT DROP
iptables -A INPUT -i lo -j ACCEPT
iptables -A OUTPUT -o lo -j ACCEPT
iptables -A INPUT -p tcp -m tcp --dport 22 -m state --state NEW,ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT

Customise the rules to suit you, read "man iptables" to see what each means, also do this over local console if possible just in case if you get locked out.

You can from here put this into /etc/network/if.up/ as a script to execute when the network interface is restarted / PC restarted.

Also for a next step of security set up either key authentication or install Denyhosts.

Yes the Nokia is positively ancient but it just works.  Never missed a beat.

I have just purchased a Draytek.  It's smaller than I expected.  It would be more impressive if it was bigger and had blue flashing LEDs.

I need to install the latest version of IPCop onto a virgin Alix SBC before I can use it.
My current version  of IPCop 1.4.21 is running on a IBM 330 - P133.  The only reason I am changing to the Alix is to reduce the power consumption.

I do not have IPCop running at the remote webcam server.  I am relying on the Telecom XT network firewall to keep rouge traffic away.  I have had a Mk 1 version webcam server running for the last couple of years without problems.

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