8 Replies Latest reply: Dec 17, 2010 3:36 AM by yaddle2go
yaddle2go Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
Hi all,
I was wondering if someone could provide me with some advice, I often work on the road and need to use public Wifi in all sorts of places in London and was considering the use of VPN to make things more secure,

can some one point me in the right direction of a " Basic How to Guide " in regards to VNP setups, using Virgin Media,

I understand that to use a VPN your require a Static ip address, which with virgin media does not use,
However there are online services which can provide one, I was wondering if anyone could help or recommend a existing service ?

thanks
y

Macbook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.5), MacBook (White) 2.2Ghz, iMac 24 Mac OS X (10.5.2) 32GB iPhone 4, iMac 1.8Ghz
  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (243,200 points)
    Actually VPN is a way of logging into your account on your employer's network to access files on those network servers. It isn't an alternative to using public WiFi for greater security.

    If you are concerned about security on a public WiFi network then be sure the admin password you use on your account is robust. Second, create a second user account that is either a Standard account or managed account with a secure password. In this way were someone to hack into your computer they would not have admin privileges. Third, enable the built-in firewall in Security preferences.

    Apropos VPN see: Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) Built-in VPN Setup » Information Technology » BUMC
    Mac OS X 10.5 VPN
  • k.panic Level 3 Level 3 (605 points)
    I disagree to a point; you can definitely connect a VPN over Wi-Fi, then route your traffic over the already encrypted VPN to protect your traffic.

    It's not only used to access your employer's network.

    I have VPN set up on a server at my house, and use it to connect to my home network for file access or if I'm using public Wi-Fi on occasion.

    You'd either need a server to provide VPN services and address assignments, or a router at home that's capable of creating the VPN tunnel and authenticating users. Cisco has some small business routers that are VPN capable. I'd imagine you could get a Linux VPN server running at home for a small amount of money.

    As far as the static IP goes, you don't need one, but it's nice to have. You can always use a service like dyndns.com (free!) to automatically keep your DNS records up-to-date, even as your ISP changes your IP at home. That's how I've got mine configured and it works wonderfully.

    Just keep in mind it will probably be slooooow.
  • yaddle2go Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
    Thank you both for the reply, I have read over both suggestions, and I understand that VPN was office related, in most cases, but like k.panic I have heard of it used over public/ home networks.

    At home I would, be using the lastest Apple airport extreme base station to setup up the VPN on an all Apple network,
    I had viewed Dyndns.com before but not setup anything without advice, I have done a lot of reading on the VPN subject and have heard a lot about speed issues,

    Have you seen compaines selling VPN access, the people I've spoken too seem to see the speed issues less of a problem using this method,

    Thanks for the advice,
    Y
  • k.panic Level 3 Level 3 (605 points)
    I've not heard of companies selling VPN access. I guess for me, if the point to using VPN is to make sure my traffic is secure, I'd not want to involve a 3rd party I know nothing about.

    Keep in mind that while an airport extreme base station will be happy to pass VPN traffic through your network, it will not actually allow you to set up the VPN. You typically need a more advanced router or a server.
  • etresoft Level 7 Level 7 (25,445 points)
    k.panic wrote:
    I've not heard of companies selling VPN access. I guess for me, if the point to using VPN is to make sure my traffic is secure, I'd not want to involve a 3rd party I know nothing about.


    It is pretty common. I use StrongVPN to connect to Pandora and other sites from Canada. That might not be appropriate for someone wanting to connect to the UK. I'm sure there are similar services in the UK.
  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (243,200 points)
    I stumbled across HotSpot Shield today. It may be what you want. Look for it at CNet Downloads or MacUpdate.
  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (243,200 points)
    I did not interpret the question to be about connecting through a WiFi hotspot back to your home VPN. It sounded like the OP wanted to create a VPN connection to the hotspot for security purposes. Unless the hot spot actually provided for it I really can't see how it would be done. Please enlighten me otherwise.

    I did find a program called HotSpot Shield that may be what the OP wants.
  • yaddle2go Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
    Thanks Kappy,

    From the OP i wanted to connect to my home network Via VPN as I know its more secure than the typical Public Wi-fi connection, there was also the reason for the VPN connection to learn and explore the possible use of VNP connections in the Mac Environment,

    In the suggestions I have found many answers to some other things I was Thinking about , Such as Changing my ip location so i could Play video connections such as CNBC and ABC online, and that security advantages of hiding my ip address,

    the VPN connection would mainly be used via iphone 4 and ipad connections ,

    thanks for the help ,