SORACOM Napter

Overview

Soracom Napter is an on-demand networking service for devices using Soracom Air for Cellular SIM cards, which enables you to quickly and securely access your devices remotely. Napter allows you to perform remote maintenance, troubleshooting, or other typical remote access tasks, without setting up any relay servers or installing agent software on the device.


 

When you enable on-demand remote access, Napter will assign a random IP address (with a corresponding hostname) and port. You can then connect to Napter using the assigned IP address and port, using any TCP protocol, such as SSH, RDP, VNC, and HTTP/HTTPS. When Napter receives your connection request, it will take care of establishing the connection back to your device.

Napter provides a simple and secure way to perform common remote access tasks, such as:

  • Connect directly to a remote device
    • Remotely access a device using SSH to change its settings
    • Connect to the device using Remote Desktop (RDP)
    • Access a remote terminal using VNC
  • Access a device’s web-based interface
    • Connect to a remote router or gateway’s admin page
    • Access a remotely deployed sensor or device to download its data
    • View real-time imagery from a security monitoring device

 

Other common remote access solutions typically require acquiring and configuring a fixed public IP address, which increases security risks as anyone with knowledge of the device IP address may be able to remotely attack the device. Napter provides the same remote access functionality without the risks typically associated with exposing a public IP address.

Features

  • Access is enabled on-demand and can also be manually disabled, ensuring access is available only when you need it.
  • Access is controlled by specifying an IP address range, such as 123.45.67.89/32.
  • Each time secure remote access is enabled, a random IP address and port is assigned, preventing distributed attacks.
  • Access can be enabled directly in the User Console, or via the Soracom API.
  • Access can be enabled for a single SIM card.
  • No need to change existing settings or configure group settings.

Limitations

Before using Napter, please be aware of the following limitations:
 

  • When enabling Napter, you must specify an IP address range where remote access should be allowed, such as 123.45.67.89/32. For security, you cannot set 0.0.0.0/0 (any IP address).
  • You can enable a maximum of 6 ports per SIM at one time.
  • For each port, a maximum of 6 active concurrent connections are allowed. Additional connection requests will be denied.
  • The maximum remote access session time limited to 8 hours.
  • Only TCP connections are supported.

Compared to Gate

While Napter provides similar remote access functionality as Gate, there are some important differences.

Napter only supports TCP connections. Many common remote access protocols or services support TCP connections, including SSH, Remote Desktop, VNC, as well as HTTP/HTTPS for web-based management, however UDP is not supported.

The maximum duration of a remote access session is limited to 8 hours.

Soracom Gate does not have these limitations, and is therefore better suited if you require UDP connections or need to maintain a remote access connection for longer than 8 hours.