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Security How To

Introduction

NOTE: 3SP has been purchased by Barracuda Networks and there have been major changes to the program. Please see this Forum Thread.

SSL Explorer logo

At a Glance
Product 3SP Ltd. SSL Explorer "Community" Edition SSL VPN 0.2.4
Summary Multi-featured open source browser-based SSL VPN server
Pros - Easy to install and setup
- Java and Web browser based
- Requires only one port exposed to the Internet
- Extensive configuration options
- Free
Cons - Some advanced capabilities are reserved for the "Enterprise" ($) edition
- Limited support

Remote File Access

In Part 1, we got SSL Explorer installed and ready for action. In this last installment, we'll walk through how to set up access to a remote network's shares and show you how to use SSL Explorer for remote desktop access to even a Windows XP Home machine.

You can test everything that I'm about to describe on your LAN. But since the whole point of a VPN is secure remote access, you should take the time to open up port 443 on your router's firewall to the IP address of the computer that is running SSL Explorer.

Once you've set up the port forwarding, you'll access the SSL Explorer server by entering the IP address of our router's WAN port, i.e. the IP address assigned by your ISP, into your Web browser's address box. For most of us, this address changes occasionally, if not more often. So if you're going to be using remote access on a regular basis and don't have a static IP address from your ISP, it's a good idea to sign up for a dynamic DNS service.

One of the most basic tasks that remote users need to do is access remote shares. Let's tackle that first by setting up an application shortcut, which is a link to a service or application that is served up through the SSL Explorer encrypted tunnel.

For this example, we set up a shortcut to an internal SMB/CIFS file server on the local network called ANAKIN. In this case, the file server is a Linksys NSLU2 mini NAS with two USB hard drives attached to it. I have three shares on ANAKIN that I would like to make available to remote users via SSL Explorer. The first step is to click on the Network Places link under the Resource Management menu (Figure 1).

Figure 20: Network places screen

Figure 1: Network places screen (click image to enlarge)

Next, locate the Create Network Place link in the upper right hand corner of the screen and select it to start the process of defining our shares (Figure 2).

Figure 21: Create Network Place screen

Figure 2: Create Network Place screen (click image to enlarge)

Enter the name and description details and proceed to the next screen where we fill in the network path details (Figure 3).

Figure 22: Network Place Path details

Figure 3: Network Place Path details (click image to enlarge)
 

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