Mini Computer For Access To IP Installations

Hello, hopefully I have not asked this in the past...

I am looking for some type of "mini pc" or computer that will allow me to remote into it so I can get local access to IP cameras at the client sites.

Any suggestions?

I see raspberry py but most of the camera and nvr interfaces require you to install an ACTIVEX control... which you cant do on raspberry / linux etc.

Why do you want a mini PC for this? You want this at your office / location? Or at the client's site?

Sorry I am not understanding the scenario yet.

Do you not have a local VMS server onsite?

One of the easiest, cheapest ways to do what you are asking is a cheap Windows laptop. I always come across older laptops, usually free, that would work in that scenario. They take up very little space when closed and use very little power. They also have the convenience of a screen, keyboard, and mouse built in, so you won't need to haul one there or need to allocate space.

Yep, I am looking for something to leave at the client site on the same LAN as the IP cameras.

Our NVR has remote management... but I can only access the cameras locally (unless of course I want to change the web port on EVERY camera and set up all that port forwarding).

If I had a pc at the client site I could remote into that pc... then open IE and login to each camera.

I was thinking cheaper than a laptop. :) hehehe

Rasperry Py is less than $100... but wont do the job.

Thanks all.

Used laptops are commonly around or just above $100. I'm not sure if refurb/used is kosher for you.

Not to be that guy, but have you gotten clearance from the client to do this? Sure, you can set it up but it increases the risk that the client is exposed to outside threats. I would think most IT departments would frown on this setup.

Two factor authentication on the remote access may help with that issue.

Small-ish PC, running windows 7.

Just set the BIOS to ignore errors, such as no keyboard/mouse/monitor.

Set BIOS to turn back on after power failure.

You can also set the auto turn on time for daily in case it is powered off.

Disable windows power saving functions, or use a service that supports wake on lan.

Then put on a remote desktop software, such as chrome remte desktop, with the clients permission, of course.

You could also get a $100 HP stream, which runs windows 8 > upgrade to 10, but the CPU is so low powered, than many plugins probably won't run. But it is tiny...

I think just about any used laptop would easily outperform that tablet...

Get a cheap VPN-capable router, it will be easier to setup and more reliable. You can VPN in to that router and then you are effectively "local" to the client-side LAN. You can do this even if you don't replace the customers actual router, just setup a port-fowarding rule the same way you would have for the PC but for the VPN ports.

The even better solution would be to have VPN termination on the customer router, but you might then end up owning that device in essence for support and other stuff.

The VPN router won't crash, won't want random updates and reboots and will be essentially silent and invisible.

team viewer 10 does what logmein did not as many bells and whistles but it works fine to provide remote support.

We searched and tested devices for two years for an appropriate solution to your problem. Many of the solutions worked in specific cases, but we wanted a "plug and play" solutions the would work. We wanted something that our average tech could just plug in.

I think we have a solution that may be of help for you. We install a small embedded VPN appliance on the client's network. The devise then "phones home" and connects to a secure server at our location. There is no port forwarding in the customers router required. If you can reach the Internet from the network it will connect out to our server. When we connect to our server, we can connect back to our router. We can connect to thousands of locations if required.

There is a lot more going on than this short explanation. In managed networks the device will also normally be blocked when the device appears on the client's network.

If this might help you with your solution please follow up with me.

Sounds a lot like: Startup Idea - Remote Recorder Access - Is There A Market For This?

Hal, one question, are you selling Cows or just Milk? ;)

I am not selling cows or milk. I probably will regret even getting involved with the discussion.

I was just trying to help Kenny if he would like the help.

Hal, no offense intended. I thought you were offering to provide a product or service, for sale, that you had developed. My question was whether it was a device a customer would own or one you would rent.

I can see now that this was probably an in-house solution which was used internally, which is quite gracious of you to offer Kenny.

Thank you.

We did not develop the product, we only vetted it after several other investigative failures. We pay for the cow and then pay for the milk - albeit nominal.

Are u talking about Bomgar's remote support solution ?

I was asking "Hal Lewis" about his comment:

"We install a small embedded VPN appliance on the client's network. "

Thanks to all for the great suggestions!

@HAL what is the name of the "embedded VPN appliance"?

Is that something I can just go buy?

I don't know what Hal used, but there are lots of VPN routers that can be configured to nail up a connection to a remote site.

You'd install a VPN server at your office and use something like this at the customer sites.

The client-side router is setup to connect to the VPN server at your office, and the connection should come up automatically without having to do any port forwarding on the customers main firewall.

Note that while this approach eliminates the need to do port-forwarding on the customer firewall, it can have its own challenges to manage. If you have lots of sites connected like this they sort of become one big virtual LAN. You'll need to plan customer IP configurations to make sure 2 sites aren't using the same IP's, and you'll have to make sure that there is no change for data leakage across the sites.

My personal preference is to have the VPN setup on the customer side, so that you can remotely dial in to a single site at a time for maintenance. Requires you to do some setup on their firewall, but eliminates a lot of the other hassles.

I saw this little thing popping up on my newsfeed yesterday.

Might be something to consider as well.


Here is a link to the embedded VPN device that we are using.

You can investigate their website and contact them to learn more.