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Windows 7: Setting up a server with VPN

15 Apr 2016   #1
kgcrafts

Windows XP / SP3 32-bit
 
 
Setting up a server with VPN

Hi all,

I want to set up a server to be used for my website, to include nearly 50,000 family pictures. These pictures are to be accessed by those family members. The server in house would connect 2 of 3 computers. Ideally, if possible, I'd like some type of security - like VPN. Is this possible?

I'd prefer not to buy a server, if possible, rather I could use a low-end ($500 range) desktop computer.

Thanks in advance.

Gilbert


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Apr 2016   #2
Alejandro85

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

What would be the typical usage of this website? Just to be accessed by family or available to the general public? Will it be used on your house only or over the internet?

What kind of "security" do you want exactly? What kind of restrictions do you have in mind?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Apr 2016   #3
LMiller7

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 

Check with your ISP before proceeding. Most do not permit operating an Internet accessible server with a standard account.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Apr 2016   #4
kgcrafts

Windows XP / SP3 32-bit
 
 

Alejandro85: The website's intent is for family and friends only. Therefore I don't need SEO. It'll be used over the Internet.
The security I was looking at was someone not hacking into the server (externally) and the third computer (not
on the server) not gaining access to the server or any computer connected to the server (internally).

LMiller7: Great point - never even thought about that one. I do have a premium account......but still?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Apr 2016   #5
Alejandro85

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Those requirements are covered pretty much by any webserver out there, you just need to configure it properly. I use Apache myself for a similar purpose and it serves me well, at least for such "toy" usage.

You don't need a VPN at all, in fact that would only complicate the setup, and is not needed at all for proper security. Just follow the normal security practices (which most people carefully ignore ) and you'll be fine.

To begin with, you need to forward port 80 on your router to the server IP (which must be fixed). Also configure your firewall to allow incoming connections on port 80 for the webserver process.
For the webserver itself, you most likely want to run it as a service so you don't need to login for it to run. Make sure to use a dedicated user account for it (do NOT run it as system). The account must have a strong random password, be used to start the service and nothing more, don't login to it. Of course it must not be an administrator.
For the site, if it's private I would at least configure it to require at least basic authentication, so only those with the password can see it. I would seriously consider HTTPS instead of plain HTTP, so no one can intercept the data in-transit, or sniff passwords. For personal usage, even a self-signed certificate will do, if you consider carefully the browser warnings you'll get.
You also might want to look into some dynamic DNS service if your ISP don't gives a fixed external IP.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Apr 2016   #6
kgcrafts

Windows XP / SP3 32-bit
 
 

Cool. It'll take me a little bit to decipher your words, but I'm sure I'll get it soon enough. Thanks for your help!

Gilbert
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Apr 2016   #7
Alejandro85

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 


Sorry, I go too technical sometimes!
To resume, begin selecting a web server and installing it. If you can view a page from it from your local network then it's a step forward. Then try deploying the real website into it.
BTW, do you have the pages ready or just the idea?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Apr 2016   #8
kgcrafts

Windows XP / SP3 32-bit
 
 

I have the web pages ready for it.

www.gilandkathy.com
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Apr 2016   #9
Alejandro85

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Looks great!
Is that already your house's server or still have to move it?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Setting up a server with VPN




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