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Author Topic: ad hoc network setup, Microsoft home, Teamview, dedicated VPN ?  (Read 1788 times)

Steven Avery

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Hi,

Hope this does not make your head spin.

My goal is to have reasonable network capability by about four puters behind a Verizon FIOS router (right now I am chaining through a second router but the master can do four if it is better to unchain).  Mostly Windows 7, maybe one is Windows XP, and Linux is being dual-booted in one or two, per the plans. I actually have finally seen a Linux download-and-install work, with Mint 16, next is OpenSuse! (One puter is a master hot dell puter that might play with virtual stuff, picked it up from a failed day-trader for not too much, at about $400.)  Ok, there is a puter at work that would be nice to be included, if it were VPN.

File sharing is of course a major goal.  Plus I would not mind doing that through mapping the drive, something that has always seemed problematic with Windows networking. Similarly, Windows home network facilites and such always seems problematic to me .. am I missing something? It's supposed to be sooo easy.  (Putting aside the Linux wildcard.) Seems like drives drop, names change, things get confused.

If some files can be accessed live as if it were a real network/mini, that would be nice (understanding that programs not multi-user don't want concurrent updates from two sources holding data in memory and updating. Talking especially Eudora and Linkman here. Eudora also has the problem that the mailboxes are biggggg.).  

Maybe I would use a real multi-user program like Filemaker, one PC being a server, if I was really trying to emulate a true network.  Then you are thinking more server architecture than peer-to-peer.

Teamviewer has been my remote control program of choice. I use it to help friends far away, and for calling in from/to work. And is VPN-capable. File sharing is good.  Drive mapping .. think they have their own file commander.

So, first question.  What options should I consider?  And I don't even mind paying a little for a better long-term solution.

Should I do two things, a Microsoft built-in thing plus more?  

Anyway, your general thoughts will be very helpful.

==============================

INTERNAL

3 Windows 7   - one potentially
1 Windows XP

(dual booting to Linux on 1 or 2)

=====

EXTERNAL - minor

1 Windows XP at work

occasional call home from outside when traveling or if I buy a laptop or smartphone

==============================

My gut feeling is to run with Teamviewer, expanding usage, maybe going paid. Haven't checked how
that works.   However, I really would like to hear your thoughts.  And if I use some such software,
I wonder if I should simultaneously do anything with the Windows home network, or if that is simply
a toy albatross.

Steven
« Last Edit: March 11, 2014, 03:34:51 PM by Steven Avery »

dr_andus

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Re: ad hoc network setup, Microsoft home, Teamview, dedicated VPN ?
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2014, 04:57:35 PM »

My gut feeling is to run with Teamviewer, expanding usage, maybe going paid.

Have you tried Chrome Remote Desktop? It's been a year that I'd last used the free Teamviewer, so I don't know how it has evolved since then, but I found CRD a lot better (higher quality transmission, easier to start a session, complete control over remote computer etc.).

40hz

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Re: ad hoc network setup, Microsoft home, Teamview, dedicated VPN ?
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2014, 06:20:45 PM »
I'd suggest (if at all possible) you set up some sort of file server to act as a central store for your data rather than mapping drives all over the place. In a workgroup setting that tends to be a prescription for instability and aggravation.

Although Samba comes most readily to mind, it is a non-Windows hosted server. And although it's not hard to set up or work with, it does require an investment in time plus a move outside the familiar Microsoft "comfort zone."

So scratch doing a bare Samba installation for the moment and consider some easier alternatives... :)

Here's two possible approaches to consider:

1) Set up an OwnCloud server

2) Set up an Amahi Home server

--------------------------------------------

For OwnCloud, the easiest way to get your feet wet is to avail yourself of something called AMPPS with Softaculous. AMMPS is an easy to install "stack" that allows you to run over 300  FOSS server-type apps on Windows with minimal fuss or bother. Softaculous is the companion installer that makes loading up all those apps a simple one-click affair. Perfect for testing something you may have always wanted to try, or for use in your own home network. Find out more and get the downloads here.

Quote

What is AMPPS?

AMPPS is a software stack from Softaculous enabling Apache, Mysql, MongoDB, PHP, Perl, Python and Softaculous auto-installer on a desktop. This includes everything you need for website development. Start developing your website from open source web applications or just start writing code yourself.

Easy to get. Free to use:

You can perform Complex functions like backing up Database or Backing up your entire Website for that matter with just a click of a button. You can also Upgrade your Installations with a Click. Save the hassle while Importing your Scripts or Backing up your Website. Softaculous makes it as easy as it can get. The same workflow enables tasks to be completed rapidly and without navigating through multiple steps or pages.


AMPPS with Softaculous

Softaculous is ready for your desktops and office servers with AMPPS to boost your development. Like servers, now auto-install on your desktop too. AMPPS with Softaculous enables you to install 320 scripts on just the click of a button, no need of manual installation.

320 Apps and increasing


Softaculous AMPPS helps you deploy Apps on your office servers and your desktops. We have covered a wide array of Categories so that everyone could find the required application one would need to power their business. AMPPS enables you to focus more on using applications rather than maintaining them. AMPPS is perfect for Web Developers and for use in an Office Environment.

-------------------------------------

The mostly free Amahi server (which closely resembles the now deprecated Microsoft Windows Home Server in function and feature set) is a little simpler to roll out:

Quote
Is Amahi Right for You?

Amahi is software that runs on a dedicated PC as a central computer for your home. It handles your entertainment, storage, and computing needs. You can store, organize and deliver your recorded TV shows, videos and music to media devices in your network. Share them locally or safely around the world. And it's expandable with a multitude of one-click install apps.

Feature Overview


The Amahi Home Server makes your home networking simple. We like to call the Amahi servers HDAs, for "Home Digital Assistants." Each HDA delivers all the functionality you would want in a home server, while being as easy to use as a web browser.

The core functionality available in the base Amahi HDA install includes:

    
  • Protect Your Computers Back-up all your networked PCs simply and easily on your home network. If one of your PCs "dies" you can easily restore it!
  • Organize Your Files Access, share and search your files from any machine on your network, making it easy to share and find your photos, music and videos.
  • Internet Wide Access Automatically setup your own VPN so you can access your network from anywhere: safely and securely.
  • Private Internet Applications Shared applications like calendaring, private wiki and more to come, will help you manage your home and your family!

For a more detailed look at the functionality take a look at our feature gallery or take the tour

Advantages of Amahi


An Amahi-based home network lets you do more with all the networked devices (computers, laptops, game consoles, media players, etc.) around your home.

    
  • Have you ever wanted to store your photos so everyone in the house can easily access them?
  • Are you scared what will happen if any of your computers "dies" for some reason?
  • Would you like to keep a calendar that tracks everyone in the house?

This is only the start of what an Amahi HDA will do for you!

What Amahi can do for you

    
  • Share your photos (or any files) with any device in your network
  • Centrally store all your music and videos
  • Quickly back-up your computers
  • Run applications to co-ordinate your household (eg. shared calendars)
  • Securely access all your 'stuff' when you are out, whether at work, a friend's place, or out of town!

Amahi is mostly free, with a few components requiring a small convenience fee ($1-$5) to install. This small revenue stream goes to support Amahi and is shared with the developers of the software.

Amahi homepage here.

Lifehacker had a decent intro article on Amahi here.

-----------------------------------

Of the two suggestions above I think you'd probably be happiest with Amahi. It does more "home networky" things - and it's extremely easy to use.

But since it doesn't cost anything other than a download and some time to try them out, why not give both a shot and see for yourself?

Luck! :Thmbsup:

« Last Edit: March 12, 2014, 09:58:26 PM by 40hz »

Steven Avery

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Re: ad hoc network setup, Microsoft home, Teamview, dedicated VPN ?
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2014, 04:20:51 PM »
Hi,

Great suggestions.  And if Samba will work nicely under my OpenSuse (or Mint, OpenSuse is supposed to be more server friendly) I am not adverse to trying that.

I'll play around, I have the two Dells now with 8GB and more, one designed as a server, graphics, virtual architecture (i.e heavier stuff) so one of them I can dedicate in the way you suggest. (This is on top of my regular two systems.)

The Chrome is interesting, but rather light, more for remote control, and one of my Windows 7 puters does not even want to give a good Chrome install, it goes gray.  A known glitch. I wanted to try out their CloudPrint, which works through Chrome.

Steven

sharonvolt09

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Re: ad hoc network setup, Microsoft home, Teamview, dedicated VPN ?
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2014, 09:13:51 PM »
Glad to read some great suggestions here. One suggestion here: PrimoVPN.net. Very easy to use and easy to talk if you encounter problems.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2014, 10:47:24 PM by sharonvolt09 »