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Using the Internet for HF Remote Operations
Operating you station remotely requires that you connect to your equipment from your remote computer using the Internet. To make this connection, your remote computer must first be able to find your home computer; meaning your remote computer must know your home computer’s IP (Internet Protocol) address. Usually, IP addresses provided by your internet provider are dynamic, which means they are subject to change. Since the software supporting HF remote operations must always know the IP address of your computer, you should provide your home computer with what is known as a static IP address — an IP address that never changes. There are several ways to do this and the way I chose was to use the free software LogMeIn Hamachi² on both my home computer and remote laptop to set up static IP addresses for each that never change and connect them over a Virtual Private Network. Using LogMeIn Hamachi², and the Virtual Private Network (VPN) between my home and remote computers, all of the software that I use for HR remote operation can always make the necessary internet connections.
The free version of LogMeIn Hamachi² can be downloaded from the Hamichi Website. The free LogMeIn Hamachi² client can be used in Client-only (unmanaged) mode as a stand-alone service with no relation to a LogMeIn account, or in web management (managed) mode as an attached member of a LogMeIn account. Because I wanted only to provide static IP addresses for my home and remote computers, I used the client-only mode; thus I have not set up a Logmein account. If you want to connect to your computer through the Logmein website, you must set up an account and install the free software in web management mode.
The following procedure is used to install the LogMeIn Hamachi² software on both your home computer and remote computer in client-only mode. For each computer:
· Go to the LogMeIn Hamachi² free download page, select Unmanaged to download the free version without having to set up a Logmein account,
· After the download, locate the installer on your hard drive (it should be called Hamachi.msi) and open it (right click, open) to complete the install.
· Follow all on-screen instructions. A unique static IP address will automatically be created for the computer during the install.
Configuration of a software firewall is usually done during the installation, as your firewall should automatically ask you what you want to do when LogMeIn Hamachi² attempts to connect for the first time. If this does not happen, the LogMeIn Hamachi² application needs to be allowed through your main Internet connection. Open your firewall application and enter its configuration section. Add the LogMeIn Hamachi2 application to the program permissions page with the "Allow All" permission (this location and permission name will differ depending on your firewall). If it is already listed in your program permissions page, edit the permissions to "Allow All".
To create the Virtual Private Network (VPN) between your two computers, LogMeIn Hamachi² must be running on both and both must be connected to the internet. On your home computer’s LogMeIn Hamachi² screen, click on “Network” and select “Create a new network”. In the dialog box, enter a network name of your choice and a network password; click on “Create”. The new network will now be displayed in the LogMeIn Hamachi² screen. Next, while your LogMeIn Hamachi² application is running on your home computer, go to your remote computer and start LogMeIn Hamachi². Click on “Network” and select “Join an existing network” Enter the name and password of the new network you just created and observe that the name of the LogMeIn Hamachi² you installed on your remote computer now is shown under your network name on the LogMeIn Hamachi² running on your home computer. The two computers now comprise a VPN over the internet which will be automatically established whenever both computers are running LogMeIn Hamachi² and connected to the internet.
LogMeIn Hamachi² should be kept running at all times on your home computer so you can connect to your static IP address from your laptop whenever you want to operate your HF station remotely. You will need to add LogMeIn Hamachi² to your home computer’s start menu so it starts automatically whenever your home computer restarts. LogMeIn Hamachi² does not need to be running on your remote computer until you want to operate your HF station remotely. Of course, you can set up LogMeIn Hamachi² to start automatically on you remote computer just as you have on your home computer if that is what you prefer. Whenever the two computers are connected to the internet and running the LogMeIn Hamachi² software, they will automatically connect using the VPN.