Currently Being ModeratedJan 29, 2013 5:31 AM (in response to FstEddie)
Now to my original question. I want to set up a VPN so I can connect my iOS decvices and my MBP to my home network from work or anywhere there is an interent connection. As I said before, there are a million articles on this but none on how to set it up. Most of them are about solving issues that I am not experiancing. I did follow one article which has me set up my VPN as such
To be able to VPN from outside your Local Area Network (LAN) you need to use a domain name and map the VPN ports to your Server's IP address. If you are using an Apple Airport Extreme router during the setup of Server.app you allow the Server.app to access the router. When you turn on the VPN service, the ports will automatically be setup in the router to your Server (see screen print below). My Server IP is 10.0.1.2. So, the VPN ports are mapped to that server IP address. When using the VPN service, you cannot use iCloud's Back to My Mac as it uses the same ports and visa versa. If you're not using an Airport Extreme, you need to add these ports in your 3rd party router.
From your LAN you can see your Server in the Finder Sidebar. But to see it and access it from the Internet when you're not on your LAN, you need to use a domain name. I use a free domain name I've had for years from DynDNS.com. I don't think they provide free names anymore. I point my client computer (Retina MBP) to the domain name in the Server Address: field when I setup its VPN connection (System Preferences/Network). You also need to use the domain name in the Server.app VPN service's VPN Host Name: field.This now allows me to VPN into my home server from anywhere that I can find an Internet connection because I'm using an external (domain name) address that's tied to my home Server. Once I VPN in, I can now access all the shared resources for my user account and screen share to the Server (Screen Sharing enabled on Server) to administer it.
The above doesn't give you all the details of setting up VPN on the Server.app (home server) and a client computer (MBP), but hopefully it helps direct you to what you need to do. For my home Server (Mac Mini late-2012) I have only setup the File Sharing, VPN and Time Machine services. I setup iTunes for Home Sharing to share my music library on the LAN from my Server.
I also have an iPhone5 and I have the VPN connection in it setup to VPN into my home Server. This is useful if I want a secured connection for email, Web browsing etc. I rarely use it, but it's there. I think some folks use a VPN connection from their phone to access their work email server. I don't. For me, the point of having a VPN connection is so I can securely access my home Server's resources from outside my LAN. There are times when I travel for business that I need to access some files on my home Server for personal use.
Here's a link to Apple's OS X Server documentation that might help you.
Currently Being ModeratedJan 29, 2013 1:30 PM (in response to keg55)
So let me get this straight, I'm new to server and am trying to understand this. Networking is not my strong point. I need a .com to access my server from the net and let server.app take care of the setup on my AE? Open up a port on my AE to access my server from the Internet? I can access my server via VPN on my LAN so I'm all set tip so all I have to do is get and configure the .com?
Currently Being ModeratedJan 29, 2013 1:40 PM (in response to FstEddie)
I can access my server via VPN on my LAN so I'm all set tip so all I have to do is get and configure the .com?
Sounds like you have the hard part done and working locally. So, yes, now you have to have a domain name (.com, .net, etc.) so you can access your server from outside of your LAN. For example, I have something like abc.dyndns-server.com as my domain name. I use that in the Server Address: on my client VPN connection. And I also use it on my Mac Mini running server under the VPN Service for VPN Host Name:. Each client that you want to VPN into your server needs to point their Server Address to the VPN Host Name on the server.
Currently Being ModeratedJan 29, 2013 1:59 PM (in response to keg55)
So forgive me, I can register a server.something.com or does it come with the .com registration? I want to host a website from my mini server eventually so I will be getting a .me address but can I use that for my server or do I need to create something else? What about security? Should I get a .com and a .me. Not sure exactly how all this works.
Currently Being ModeratedJan 29, 2013 2:10 PM (in response to FstEddie)
Any domain name will do. Do an Internet search on 'domain names'. Most companies like GoDaddy register and sell domain names. Once you have one you can use it for your Web hosting, VPN and anything else. Mine is registered with DynDNS. GoDaddy's site shows .me as a domain name extension you can use. DynDNS shows .me.uk as a domain extension you can use. When you register a domain name, you will use what ever you want in front of the .XXX extension. Depending on the host of the domain names determines how you can set it up.
Check out any of the sites you find from your search that host domains and you should get a good idea what you can configure, how and for how much.
Currently Being ModeratedJan 31, 2013 2:01 AM (in response to keg55)
So I got a .me domain from name.com. I am stuck with the DNS. There is a sidebar in name.com control panel that allows me to add a DNS record. I can add the server.whatever.whatever but then it asks for the response. And is asks what type. I guess I should ask name.com for help.
So once I get the DNS firgured out I can imput that in server.app and it will configure the AE for me? And to access my server from teh Internet I put in server.whatever.whatever? Once Im in I will be able to see my shared folders in the finder?
Currently Being ModeratedJan 31, 2013 4:01 AM (in response to FstEddie)
I don't use DNS on my home server so I can't help you there. But I do know when you turn on DNS in the Server.app it will update your Airport Extreme with an entry.
Currently Being ModeratedJan 31, 2013 6:37 AM (in response to keg55)
If your prior post was referring to VPN, then once you turn ON the VPN service and enter your XXXX.me domain name as the VPN Host Address, your AEBS will be updated with an VPN entry to map the ports to your server's IP address. Then, you can use the VPN Host Address (your XXXX.me name) when you configure your VPN clients (iPhone, Macs) to VPN to your server. Setup a Mac first if you can and test it using the XXXX.me domain name instead of the Server's local name or IP address. It may take a few tries to connect but if you have the client side configuration setup correctly you'll be able to connect. When your test is successful, then you can use that Mac anywhere you have an Internet connection and VPN into your server.