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We have a server setup on our private network for various things. I'd like to be able to access services on this machine whether I'm at home, or on the road. Our provider is Starlink, which does not provide any kind of reverse NAT port forwarding on the router. I'd rather use something more secure anyway, that doesn't require any special router configuration.

The question is, does any VPN allow this natively, and what options do I need to look for when picking a service? If all devices (the server at home being one of them) are connected to the VPN provider through the same account, can they see each other by default or do they all have their own tunnel? Does something special need to be configured through the VPN server to make the server behind my home router available once it is connected? Do all VPN providers have such a configuration? I was considering something mainstream like Nord or AWS/OpenVPN... but I'm open to ideas. I'll be setting this up for a friend as well so it needs to be somewhat mainstream as they'll need support besides me. Again, the main goal is to create a mechanism that one or several machines outside of my home network can securely access a host behind my Starlink router.

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  • One more point to add. My home server is linux based, so any clients ideally will have a linux option.
    – slambeth
    Commented Nov 6, 2022 at 0:18
  • In my opinion this question is not about security. The role of VPN in this question is only about connectivity, not about protecting the traffic. But in short: normal VPN usually don't provide this since they have a different use case. Mesh VPN (like tailscale) often do. Commented Nov 6, 2022 at 6:31
  • I don't think your question is properly phrased, it seems you're looking for a VPN service provider with a specific option. Commented Nov 6, 2022 at 7:03
  • Perhaps not properly phrased... and, also yes. There are so many VPN solutions out there, it is hard to know how they will all operate, so the question was phrased to some degree as "do they all do this". I'm considering AWS hosting OpenVPN, which seems to be a common solution. Specifically with that, if I connect my server to it, then connect a laptop to it from outside my network, will I be able to see my server in the VPN.
    – slambeth
    Commented Nov 6, 2022 at 15:39

1 Answer 1

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There are various ways to achieve what you seem to want. I don't know if there's any commercial offering around it.

Most ways I can think of, that aren't using a commercial offer dedicated to this, involve using another machine.

This machine is hosted somewhere with a public IP and at least one port accessible. From there, you could for instance just have your server SSH into that machine, and setup some port forwarding. You would then yourself SSH into that machine too.

You could do pretty much the same with a VPN like OpenVPN. Have your server connect to a VPN on that machine, connect yourself to that machine. Some configuration will be required for OpenVPN, like allowing client-to-client traffic, or setting up the machine to route traffic.

If you have the knowledge or time to learn and maintain your infrastructure, this can be cheaper than subscribing to a commercial VPN service.

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  • Yes I do believe I'd need a server somewhere, hosting a VPN service such as OpenVPN. It seems that that some do this with AWS/OpenVPN, but maybe NordVPN does this as well. NordVPN touts a "mesh" feature that may do this for me. The only thing with a public IP is my Starlink modem/router, which is really what I'm trying to resolve.
    – slambeth
    Commented Nov 6, 2022 at 15:37
  • Actually if your starlink router has a public IP, there's another route... I don't know much about it, but I know some people have managed to use it as a simple bridge. You might be able to achieve the same, then you can do what you want behind it. Commented Nov 8, 2022 at 6:31

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