I’ve talked about LogMeIn before, it is a web-based remote access application that works through firewalls; and is generally very easy to set up. It replaces programs like PC-Anyware, Windows Terminal Server and similar programs. LogMeIn is available in various flavors. There is a free version which just does the remote access, a “Pro” version for a monthly or yearly fee which inlcudes a file transfer function. There is the IT-Reach version, which combines the functions of Pro with some monitoring and computer management functions; indeed it does such a nice job on the latter that I use it when managaing my own server, (five feet away). The client piece can sit on your workstation with a memory consumption of about 9K of RAM.
Now, they have a new product LogMeIn Himachi which allows you to set up VPNs (virtual private networks) quickly over the web. At first I was thinking…Ok, this means I can map a data drive to my office server over the web, or even print to a printer on my office server when I’m sitting at home. But wait…there’s more!
Since the connections are encrypted, and they go through (most) firewalls this has the potential of being a component that can be used in situations where you would normally have to adjust a firewall manually. In particular, I’m thinking of a Voice over IP connection which requires ports 5060 or 4569 to be opened on the firewall. This means you could potentially have an encrypted phone conversation, that would traverse a local firewall between the home office and laptops in the field.
Himachi allows you to create a local peer-to-peer network over the Internet. You could use this for sharing ITunes (assuming your machines are all part of the registered ITunes 5-count for your installation), or use it for peer-to-peer gaming.
Unlike regular LogMeIn….
Himachi also works with Linux. There is a how-to for setting up the Linux version, and then running VNC to see the desktop.