IPS2222 remote switch and Dynamic DNS problem.

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A while back I suggested the use of the IPS2222 Ethernet IP controller from Bulgaria for turning on the Flex 6500 remotely. While helping a fellow ham get his unit working we ran into a major problem having nothing to do with either the controller or the Flex rig. In order to control this controller or any other networked device remotely it is necessary to know the WAN address and set up port forwarding through the host router. In addition, Dynamic DNS may be needed to report when the WAN address changes. After many hours of frustration we learned from the access provider that they do not provide a public WAN IP address, thus the host router can never be reached from the outside world. Access to the switch from the internal network was no problem. Other than the use of a program such as Teamviewer, I would be interested if someone knows a solution to this problem.
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W3EX -- Tom

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Posted 2 years ago

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Mark WS7M

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Hi Tom,

Who is the access provider?  I have heard of providers that do something similar but I've always been able to get a "semi public" IP... IE for it to work at all for a short period of time you have to have an IP so say web packets get back to his LAN.

Did you try setting up DDNS?  If so what did it show for the outside world IP when it was running?

I am with Comcast at home and they make a big point of talking about how my service is for routine mail, web browsing and limited streaming.  I'm not supposed to put up servers and all that crap.  But in the end if you get crafty you can do it.

Your friend might need a VPN to tunnel through everything the provider is setting up.
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Jim Gilliam

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A possible solution is to use VPN and just address the unit using the local I/P address. I am doing the same thing with the Antenna Genius. If you use OpenVPN, I highly recommend an Asus router.


Jim, K6QE

(Edited)
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Danny K5CG

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OpenVPN can work, but the tunnel would have to be initiated from the client behind the hidden NAT toward the other end. There would be no way to establish a link in the other direction since there is no forwarding. Use Teamviewer or Remote Utilities to access the remote site to initiate the tunnel if you don't want it online 24/7.
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W3EX -- Tom

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I was working with someone in Ohio and I don't recall the name of his provider. Sounds like an outfit that is trying to limit the number of IPs that they have to pay for. VPN is a possible solution but that gets messy. Teamviewer is probably the best solution and then just access the switch through the local network. Thanks for the feedback.


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W3EX -- Tom

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I think that unless FLEX comes up with some less complicated way to switch on their radios remotely, many users will become frustrated with this issue. VPN, DDNS, port forwarding are all neat techniques but are sometimes beyond the technical ability of some users and they can get expensive as well. The cost for a Dynamic DNS service from DynDns.org is about $40 per month. Routers with VPN capability are more expensive and require knowledge of the setup process. Software approaches to VPN are somewhat complicated to set up. So that's my two cents for what it's worth.
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spopiela

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Hi Harry,
I'm not too familiar with VNC but I assume that you need to remotely turn on your home computer  or leave it on to access the home computer screen . I leave everything off at home and turn on the radio power supply and radio with internet access switches and use my remote computer as if I were at home. Home computer stays off. VPN allows my IOS smartsdr to run on my IPAD as if I were at home. This is my preferred operating mode. If i have my laptop with me, I can run windows SmartSDR. Also, in the larger scheme of thing, I can access my browser, applications  and remote hard drives on my home LAN . The remote computer acts and operates as if it was at home. With VNC, you probably can do most of these things. I dont know about additional overhead issues with VPN.  VNC only passes screen data but VPN would be similar, since basically only screen, keyboard or mouse  data passes from radio to computer. I believe that you have a level of encryption with VNC . No skype need for audio, so I just connect bluetooth headphones to the remote computer audio for the radio. I haven't tried it, but I believe that my wife could simultaneously be using her remote computer with VPN into our home network. With remote operation , we are at the mercy of the remote router, internet and our router at home. The cost of maintaining  a good router at home should be in the radio budget for any FLEX radio user.  I assume V 2.0 smartsdr software will be VPN-like ?? 
Stan
N1THL
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Harry Williams

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Thanks Stan for the run down. I am still not completely in tune with the VPN concept but I will look into some more. With my setup I can remotely control power to computer and my router/dsl modem. If I suspect router/modem issues I can come in through the landline and power cycle them along with computer and other things in the shack. Yes using skype is a bit of a pain for audio but once its setup it works well and the quality is very good. Thanks for taking the time to explain how your setup works.

73's,
Harry
W0LS
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W3EX -- Tom

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Harry etal,

I think the primary need for VPN relates to the use of the Maestro unit when outside ones local network. Since you can't run any software such as VNC on the Maestro itself you would need the VPN to make the connection. For just remote in from a laptop to a host computer at home with VNC or Teamviewer that is fine. We are told that the version 2.0 of the Flex software will allow the Maestro to connect to the Flex radios over the wide area network in addition to one's local area network. I am anxiously awaiting the new version.

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Harry Williams

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Ok Tom...now I kind of get it. I was not making the correlation between "Maestro" access to the radio from the WAN. Like I had said earlier, I have been accessing my home station remotely for years without a VPN so I was confused why there was so much chatter about using a VPN. Maybe if I spent more time keeping up I would have understood....then again...maybe not!!

Thanks,
Harry
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W3EX -- Tom

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Harry,

I have used Teamviewer along with Skype for audio for many years. TV has audio capability but I have always found Skype audio to be better. I use a Digital Loggers Inc. Ethernet power controller to control the power to my rigs remotely and it has worked very well. However, for the Flex radios one needs some method of remote power control to switch the rig on and off. I am curious to see if Flex comes up with a simpler method to switch the radio on and off directly from the Maestro. Time will tell I guess.

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Harry Williams

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Tom...I have been using a FREE Dynamic DNS service from "NO-IP" for years and it has served me well. They also have a paid service that costs $25/year.

73,
Harry
W0LS
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W3EX -- Tom

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Thanks for the info. dyndns used to not charge for one host but that has changed. I will look into no-ip.
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W3EX -- Tom

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Yes, I misprinted $40 per month. That would be pretty high. I set up the no-ip yesterday and it seems to work fine. They require a monthly confirmation for the free one and the paid one is $30. Seems to work fine. I may switch over when my subscription runs out with dyn.
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W3EX -- Tom

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I set up no-ip yesterday and it seems fine. What is the part about a monthly confirmation? I will probably drop dyndns when my subscription runs out.


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Harry Williams

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With the free service they send you an email notice monthly to "confirm your hostname". All you do is click a link to confirm it. Its easy but its their way of asking you if you want to upgrade to the paid service.
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W3EX -- Tom

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Guess nothing is ever really free these days. Simple enough. Thanks.


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W3EX -- Tom

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Stan N1THL,

I agree with you on VPN. I use to have it set up at my QTH when I was in business. However, now I have a router from Verizon FIOS that does not have VPN capability. Also the router is needed to distribute the channel information to the TVs. I guess I could somehow set the FIOS router to bridge mode and use my own. Maybe I will into that.

Thanks for you comments.