How can I bypass my VPN's blockage of several IRC ports?
October 10, 2004 10:03 AM   Subscribe

How can I bypass my VPN's blockage of several IRC ports? [more inside]

My situation: My workplace blocks several IRC ports. I'm a telecommuter and need to be logged into my workplace's VPN to allow me to remote log into a computer there. What's the best way to get me to IRC in this situation? Extra brownie points for an answer written in the "For Dummies" context.
posted by Stynxno to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
 
If the VPN routes to the internet, run a SOCKS proxy server outside the VPN on an unblocked port. You could, for example, use the AnalogX proxy server. If you do that, ensure you set it up so that only your VPN IP can connect to it, lest the entire internet be abusing your proxy server. You could also use a password, although a lot of the more advanced SOCKS servers get very expensive, real fast.

On your end, if your IRC application doesn't support socks natively, and you are running windows, you start the application with SOCKSCAP.

HTH. BTW: Don't get fired over this. If they've blocked those ports for a reason, this could get you in trouble.
posted by shepd at 10:20 AM on October 10, 2004


HTH. BTW: Don't get fired over this. If they've blocked those ports for a reason, this could get you in trouble.

I'm not going to be fired because I was told I could IRC if I found the right work around. My workplace is pretty lax about that stuff and only blocked the ports due to some worm that one can get through IRC but this worm doesn't exist in the IRC channels I want to chat in.

I'll give your stuff a try shepd. thanx :)
posted by Stynxno at 10:26 AM on October 10, 2004


If you have a shell account on another computer, you can always telnet/ssh into there and IRC using a *nix client like BitchX or irssi.
posted by neckro23 at 12:12 PM on October 10, 2004


It's possible to set up a VPN so that you don't need to do anything special at all. The goal is for your computer to route packets to your private work network over the VPN, but route packets for the rest of the Internet over the normal Internet. This is a pretty common setup, but if you have no control over what your IT guys do then you may be out of luck.
posted by Nelson at 1:11 PM on October 10, 2004


neckro23: i totally would do that if i had access to another computer.

Nelson: i was told that this was possible but I couldn't get it to work correctly (something to do with setting up a static route).
posted by Stynxno at 1:47 PM on October 10, 2004


Stynxno, if you ever need a Unix shell account, just let me know ;) I think I even have BitchX installed on my server, and if I don't now, I will in a few weeks after I overhaul the damn thing.

Also, I was going to parrot Nelson's suggestion--there ought to be ways to use the VPN for some network services and the general Internet for others. Depends on how exactly you're set up--I confess I don't have much experience with VPNs.

As for setting up a static route, it should be fairly easy to do even on Windows, but again, it depends. Got any more details? =)
posted by cyrusdogstar at 4:12 PM on October 10, 2004


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