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Hopping across the country with WireGuard
Feb 21, 2021
2 minutes read

I need to be able to access all the computers over the internet as they are spread across the country:

  • descartes: My dad’s Debian desktop (1800 km away).
  • kant: RPi 3 running Arch (a NAS, printer, a wormhole).
  • camus: RPi 4 running Manjaro (my personal work machine).
  • nietzsche: My wife’s Manjaro notebook.
  • Phones: newton, feyman, einstine and sagan.
  • kepler: a tiny Debian on Google Cloud.
  • webb: a tiny Ubuntu Server on Oracle Cloud.

All the computers actually have different astronomy inspired names.

Additionally, I found my lost RPi 2 hidden in a bag’s pocket, so it’ll also find a place among all the others (likely a second wormhole at my parens').

For a long time, I was using reverse SSH based tunnels, which worked reliably, but was slow (a US based VM) and not the cleanest. I couldn’t easily add machines and each machine would need to SSH in opening a reverse SSH tunnel which I’d need to note somewhere.

For the last year or so though, I have been using ZeroTier. It works relibably and is easy to administer through the web interface. Being peer-to-peer, it is very low latency and sloved all my problems. So, the reverse SSH tunnels was now a redundant setup for me.

That is, until now. I finally got around to setup a WireGuard server. WireGuard is surprisingly simple to setup and works reliably. There are multiple guides on how to set it up (hence I didn’t yet another), like this one. The way to administor it is a bit more involved than ZeroTier, but once setup, it works transparently. Interestingly, the hop latency doesn’t take much of a hit because the cloud VM sits near the line connecting me and my parents'.

I am happy with the setup now with ZeroTier and WireGuard serving as each other’s redundancy.

Interestingly, the VPNs aren’t even the primary network tool that I use. All these devices share most of their data with each other via syncthing. Syncthing is an awesome piece of technology allowing me to have redundancy and local access to files. Run a relay or donate if you can.

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