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access home devices through mifi - extended

I use the MiFi 7030L at my lakehouse.  In my area it's so much better because there are no other options except satellite internet. I post this question after reading the entirety of this thread:access home devices remotely through mifi

The above thread pretty much points out that if one were to use Verizon's service there are two ways to access home devices remotely through mifi:

1.) Buy a static ip from Verizon for $500.

2.) Set up a VPN behind the mifi.

I want to utiliize option 2, but I can't find any information here about how to successfully do it.  Here is a sketch of my configuration:mifi.jpg

As stated many times throughout these threads, it is impossible to access this camera through the MiFi router because Verizon's NAT firewall prevents this. 

So tell me please, how do I use a VPN to access this camera from the internet?

Re: access home devices through mifi - extended
Verizon Employee

We always want to see you get the right information so you can work to obtain the right setup for your needs. I apologize as we are unable to support the setup of a VPN on the MiFi Hotspot.


Please follow us on Twitter @vzwsupport

If my response answered your question please click the _Correct Answer_ button under my response. This ensures others can benefit from our conversation. Thanks in advance for your help with this!!

Re: access home devices through mifi - extended
Community Leader
Community Leader

A VZW rep might not be able to assist, but there could other community members who may experience with VPN access and can offer assistance.

I'm most definitely NOT a VZW employee. If a post answered your question, please mark it as the answer.

Re: access home devices through mifi - extended
Community Leader
Community Leader

You wont be able to install a VPN on the camera or the MiFi.  That means you need to setup something else to host the VPN client for you.

There are two options:

1. Purchase a VPN Router that comes with a built in VPN client.  Configure the VPN router to wirelessly bridge into the MiFi and then automatically connect to a VPN Server.  Then connect the VPN router to your camera so that the camera is also forwarded to the VPN server.  Access the camera remotely by accessing the VPN server.

Here is a diagram:

VZW ))) MIFI ))) VPN Router === Camera

VPN routers will require a little research.  You need to find a VPN router that has a client that is supported by your desired VPN Server.  You can rent a VPN Server service for around $5/month which eliminates the need to host that piece of hardware yourself.  That VPN Server will have a list of supported clients or requirements to connect to it.

Then you need to figure out which VPN routers support a client that can connect to the VPN server.  This can be done either through a prebuilt VPN router product or via 3rd party firmware packages and a spare home router.  Most of them will provide a simple VPN client that can do the bare minimum to connect to most VPN Servers and services.

Total investment:

- $5/mo for VPN Server subscription

- $50 for a home router with wireless bridging hardware + 3rd party firmware with VPN client

- or $100 for a prebuilt VPN router

- $??? for research, configuration and troubleshooting time

2. Same as option 1, but use a spare desktop or laptop instead of a VPN router.  Configure your desktop to auto connect to your selected VPN Server.  Then connect the camera via USB or a direct network connection (via cross over cable and a 2nd network adapter) directly to the PC.  Once you connect to the VPN server you can then access the camera through the PC.

Total investment:

- $5/mo for a VPN Server subscription

- $??? for a spare PC

- $??? for research, configuration and troubleshooting time

3. Find a camera that offers a "Cloud" camera solution.  The camera with a Cloud service would punch through the NAT firewall configuration of VZW automatically.  You have to feel comfortable with hosting your camera footage on a cloud service, but if there isn't anything controversial or secure being captured then it shouldn't be a large concern.  This may or may not require an additional cloud service subscription from the camera vendor.  Expect to pay more if you want the cloud service to store the footage for any considerable amount of time.

Total investment:

- $???/mo for a video cloud service subscription

- $??? for a cloud camera

In comparison:

If you do not like cloud stuff then a VPN router is a more stable and lower maintenance solution.  The trade off is the initial cost and configuration time to get it going.  There will be less help available to assist you with that process.

The desktop route is going to be easier to setup and configure, but now you have a PC in a remote location that you have to worry about.  PCs require patches, updates, scheduled reboots and whatnot from time to time.  You will have to configure this PC to be independent and ideally rig it up to a light timer so that it reboots on a regular schedule for you.  There should be lots of material posted on the internet to help you troubleshoot the various configuration options in this area.

The cloud camera subscription option is attractive if you are comfortable with the idea that someone could snoop your camera footage with relative greater ease than a pure VPN Server solution.  No extra hardware other than a compatible camera.  No extra configuration of network components.  In theory you could get a camera that connects via wireless so that it can connect directly to the MiFi that can remain within WiFi Range and plugged into a wall outlet.  Pretty slick.

Let me know if you have questions.