VPN to VPN to hotspot
I’ve been looking for a way to secure my communications when using free wifi at various locations. The closest thing I have so far is to use my work’s VPN solution which should encrypt things on the laptop before transmitting to the hotspot. However, I remember reading something about a local VPN solution where you create a VPN network on your laptop and then connect to this VPN on the same machine. The encryption occurs on the machine and allows you to avoid sending all of your traffic through your work network. Unfortunately, I lost the link. But I did come upon Hamachi (again). I’m already a user of the LogMeIn free which is a very cool solution for getting at your home PC. Currently I use it to manage my finances (my Vista server at home also run office 2007 with a password protected xlsx file that has my budget, projections, etc) among other things. This allows me to login to my home PC, update my budget and do other quick things like make sure Miro is downloading torrents and that Mozy is running backups.
Unfortunately the free version of logmein does not allow file access. To get around this, I would log in to my home PC via logmein and copy what I needed to my ftp directory that sits on my ReadyNAS. Then I would use FireFTP and connect to the ReadyNAS and grab what I needed.
Apparently, Hamachi allows me to directly browse the files on my Vista server from just about anywhere. And it’s pretty secure to boot. I haven’t quite figured out how to get to my ReadyNAS directly through this method and not sure that it is solvable since it requires the hamachi client to make the handshake. At any rate, I can always drop back to my previous solution in the event I need to access to it.
I was able to run Remote Desktop directly to the PC without going to the logmein route. While that sounds awesome, it was rather slow even at a toned down color depth. Logmein still rocks for this purpose. At any rate, Hamachi can act as a nice backup in case the logmein plugin or java app barf (as I’ve experienced a few times in the past).
Now, if only I can figure out how to create that local, in-laptop VPN…