Accessing Raspberry Pi services via the Internet

Lead Image © mtkang ,

Common Thread

The virtual private network (VPN) from Weaved offers an elegant and secure solution for creating external access to services running on a Raspberry Pi inside a home network. Besides offering great functionality, Weaved is available with a free account.

Incorporating a Raspberry Pi into a home network is fairly straightforward, but once you want access to a device outside the network, things become more complicated. Port forwarding on the router would permit access from the outside to computers running on the home network; however, some service providers do not offer this feature. Additionally, it is necessary to integrate a DynDNS service to connect the dynamic IP address of the home router to a static domain name. After overcoming these obstacles, you should have access to other services (e.g., ownCloud), but they will complain they were not installed under the current domain, which means additional configuration work.

A good workaround is to use a service like Weaved [1]. This service promises to integrate local devices into the Internet of Things (Figure 1). In other words, you can easily establish remote access to services running on a local Raspberry Pi.

Figure 1: Weaved functions as a facilitator between devices, thereby allowing remote access to devices on the LAN without the need for modifications to the network.

Barrier free

One of the meanings of "to weave" is to meander, and meandering is exactly what the service does. It meanders through firewalls and reduces to just a few commands and mouse clicks the effort necessary to reach a Raspberry Pi and other devices remotely. Moreover, access is not conditional to a permanently open port. Weaved establishes the connection only when it is needed. The standard ports involved are used solely for internal communication. From the outside, it is not possible to determine which services are attached to a specific port, which significantly increases security.

Weaved is compatible with Raspberry Pi models 2, B, B+, A, A+, and the compute module. The service also works with the BeagleBone [2], Intel Edison [3], Linino One [4], Domino [5], and Samsung Artik [6]. Weaved also directly supports the Netcomm NWL 25 and NTC 6200 wireless routers. Additional devices can be integrated using a custom installer.

In testing, Weaved ran on a Raspberry Pi that was being used as network-attached storage (NAS). Weaved offers the ability to forward SSH, VNC, and HTTP services to the outside. Theoretically, Weaved functions with any service that understands the TCP/IP protocol. Neither the local firewall nor a VPN should prevent Weaved from making everything accessible with just one mouse click. However, it is necessary first to log in to Weaved, install the software, and specify which services should be forwarded.

The Business Model

Weaved has to earn money just like every other company, so individual subscription services are offered for either $2 or $8 per month [7]. The company also offers services adapted to the needs of corporations. Besides subscriptions, the company also offers a version free of charge that forwards up to 10 services.

Technically speaking, the forwarding of one service corresponds to a specific TCP port. The free offering permits only one session at a time, and the session ends automatically after 30 minutes. If you need more time, you can recreate the connection with a mouse click. No daily or monthly limits are imposed on the number of sessions that can be generated.

To take advantage of the free service, the first step is to register on the website for the project. Your username will be an email address, which is later be used for configuration.

Buy this article as PDF

Express-Checkout as PDF

Pages: 4

Price $2.95
(incl. VAT)

Buy Raspberry Pi Geek

Get it on Google Play

US / Canada

Get it on Google Play

UK / Australia

Related content

  • Welcome

    It is rumored that Thomas Edison tested thousands of filaments for an incandescent lamp before he produced the first commercially viable electric light bulb, and I imagine his is not a unique experience. Building mock-ups and working models exposes the weaknesses and strengths of a design, which prepares you to make a better version, then a better version, until you have found the right combination of materials, components, configuration, and cost.

  • Android Pi

    Your Android device can be a versatile companion for Raspberry Pi. We describe some useful apps to help you make this happen.

  • Installing FHEM on the Raspberry Pi

    The FHEM home automation software is not yet part of the Raspbian package sources. We show you how to install it manually on a fresh Raspbian system.

  • Testing a Pi UPS module

    When the Raspberry Pi is connected to a car ignition or the USB port on a TV, you run the risk of data loss with a hard shutdown. The Pi UPS bridges short lapses in the power supply and shuts down your Rasp Pi safely when the power remains off.

  • Converting the Raspberry Pi to a wireless print server

    Use a small and unobtrusive Raspberry Pi to convert your legacy USB printer to a new wireless network printer system.