Remote Access

Apr
12

4 Ways to Avoid Packet Sniffing and Data Theft

vpn_analysis.jpgLast week on the freeware review, I wrote about the simplicity of packet sniffing and analyzing with Ethereal. I revealed how easy it was for anyone to tap sensitive data like login information, credit card numbers, social security number, and mission-critical emails traveling on the network. As promised, I will reveal how to actually prevent packet-sniffing software from reading your sensitive data.

As I previously explained, packet analysis passively listens into a network and then extracts the important data, which is usually in plaintext. The key to hampering packet analysis is encrypting that data sent on the network so that it is not read in plain text. The encrypted data that packet analyzers gather is pretty useless without an encryption key. While it is possible for crackers to obtain the key, encryption makes the process a lot longer (and sometimes nearly impossible). There are a couple common ways to do this.

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Mar
08

Automatically Synchronize Volatile IP Addresses to Host Names with Dynamic DNS

In my last article about hosting multiple remote desktop sessions from one computer, I provided an example of a Remote Desktop Connection across the Internet from the other side of the world in Tokyo. In that illustration, the Remote Desktop client connected to a static IP address. Unfortunately, most home Internet connections do not work that way. Static IP addresses are usually reserved for business, not consumers. Home Internet users are typically assigned a multiple of dynamic IP addresses via DCHP each year. Sometimes these addresses are released every day, every week, every month, every year, every time the computer/router reboots, or every time the MAC address on the Internet node changes. If a home user wants a static IP address, he or she would have to make a special request to his or her ISP and pay extra. The last time I checked, that price ran around $50 per address! For me, that’s paying double for my broadband Internet connection!

Dynamic IP address licensing poses a problem when hosting VPN Connections, Remote Desktop Sessions, or just plain Apache HTTP Web Server Connections. Since you can’t anticipate when the ISP will assign a new IP address, you might be stuck in Tokyo trying to connect to your home network using an expired IP address. That’s not very pleasant at all! Does this inconvenience justify the static IP address fee? I’m a cheapie. So for me, it does not. Besides, there are just some broadband providers who do not offer static IP addresses, period! What’s there to do?

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Mar
08

Connect Multiple, Simultaneous, Concurrent Remote Desktop Sessions

I hate sharing computers. Like most families, we started with just one that everybody used. It was a pain to compete with everybody in the house for computer time. Thankfully, now I have my own computer AND laptop. Unfortunately, the other members of my household are still kinda sharing the same family computer even though they own their own laptops. It’s like the family server, hosting everybody’s files, settings, programs, and profiles. Fortunately, there is a way to come across this family time-sharing dilemma. The only requirement is Windows XP Professional.

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