Tiny router for a tiny lab.

I’m deep in a new build of lab systems right now (that’s going to have an awesome use soon), and I’ve implemented something I can’t help but share right away.    A good remote connection method to home is something I’ve struggled with forever.   It’s like taking vitamins.  You know you should do it right but you really don’t want to deal with it….

I used logmein (before they cut off the free service) which was handy, but a pain.   I’ve set up SSH tunnels to a VM, but that always seemed fragile.  After a recommendation via Facebook, enter my new tiny router!

microtik

MikroTIk RouterBOARD 750

 

This thing is awesome.   It’s about half the price of a DD-WRT like router (though no wireless in this model).  And supports way more functionality than I even know what (or how) to do much with.  Besides keeping the outside out, and the inside in, the most recent configuration I made that i’m excited about is the VPN.   It’s so darn easy!  They have a windows application, and a simple web UI for configuration.  Looks like you can do everything via the command line too.

There’s a ton of guides available showing how to set up the VPN on this little guy, even one inexplicably with metallica playing over the screen recording.  But I couldn’t seem to get mine working, in fact I couldn’t even get an entry in the log to show an attempt!

My firmware must have different firewall rules by default than others since that’s all I needed.  Simply add a firewall rule allowing tcp/1723 and gre – boom.  I can connect remotely!  Which is awesome because I’m traveling this week and need to connect back to the tiny mothership to finish up a project.

So what’s the advantage?

That I like about using a dedicated router for the lab is it keeps the home network entirely separate, and the lab portable.  I have a different private subnet in this lab than my home, but I can connect between the two as needed for various services.

Fun geeky stuff.  I highly suggest picking one up, especially if you are a mere mortal networking person.

 

 

Tagged ,

One thought on “Tiny router for a tiny lab.

  1. Chris Greene says:

    Nice Josh. I’m making some modifications to my home lab and will look into this. My ssh tunnel to home used to be flaky, but all of a sudden it has been rock solid for months. I’m not sure what changed.

    A cool solution that I used before my ssh connection became stable was VMware’s WSX: https://communities.vmware.com/community/vmtn/wsx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>