File sharing between networks

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wwbrick

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Apr 3, 2010
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I'm fairly new to setting up networks. I posted a similar question not too long ago but found no answers so I thought I'd try again with some better questions. I have two routers. R1 and R2. The first is connected to the internet (WAN) and grants wireless internet access to remote computers on it's LAN. An ethernet cable runs from an R1 LAN port to R2's WAN port. The second router then allows wired internet access to a main workstation. It was set up this way (with the one workstation on it's own separate network) for added security.
I need to allow one of the remote computers to file share with the main computer. Obviously, with the two computers on different networks, this poses a problem. The main computer can share downstream but the remote computer can't initiate a file share upstream to that main computer.
The options I have, at least as far as my searches have led me, are:
1) Simple port forwarding. I can forward a port from the first router to the external IP (WAN) of the second router, then from the second router to the IP address of the main computer. I've read that there a few reasons this setup trips up sometimes, but assuming I could resolve those my next question would be whether or not opening up a pathway straight to the main computer, through the second router's hardware firewall, negates the security advantage of having that computer on it's own network.
2)A VPN. This would, from what I can tell, keep the security pretty high. OpenVPN seems to be the users choice although these computers are on Windows XP and OpenVPN doesn't seem to like Windows that much.
3) Putting the second router on the same subnet as the first with a different range of IP addresses. This would work, but wouldn't it negate the security advantage of the second router?

So my main question is what is the optimal way to maintain the security advantage of having the main computer on it's own network while still allowing one computer on the less secure main network to share files.
And the follow-up question is what your thoughts on any of these three methods? I feel fairly confident I can figure out the setup, what I'd like to know is which one provides the best security?

Thanks in advance.
 

TerryNet

Terry
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Mar 23, 2005
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I think that both UltraVNC and Teamviewer would permit the Main computer to be accessed by only somebody who knows the password.

I don't know how to limit access to a particular computer except by a firewall that permits/blocks access by MAC Address. Even that is not totally secure as MAC Address can be "spoofed."
 
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