Bittorrent at Uni?
September 26, 2006 3:03 PM   Subscribe

Okay, so I'm now at Uni and I have the internet in my room: However, I'd forgotten that they have a very stringent access policy: now mefites, can you help me set up Bittorent using SSH tunnels or equivalent?

If it makes much difference, I'm on the JANET network: I'm not going to be downloading porn, just last nights House, Scrubs or Spooks and occasional album. I have a computer at home, which is on Broadband, and has a dynamic IP.

I've tried changing the ports of "ĀµTorrent", but still no success.

I've read this post, which gave me the idea of using SSH, but would there be a better way to do it? I have NO experience with SSH, so if anybody could point me in the direction of a decent app or step by step that would be ace. Likewise, if I'm fighting a loosing battle just shout.

Thanks guys!
posted by philsi to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I don't know anything about SSH, but I thought I should mention that I don't think JANET itself imposes any access controls, although your uni may well do.

If there's any way of downloading stuff via JANET rather than home broadband then go for it, because JANET is crazy fast, far faster than any home connection (although this may vary somewhat by region, I'm not sure).

I don't know what uni you're at, but apparently at several unis there are hidden DC++ hubs which allow you to download this sort of thing. TSR is a good place to ask if you're interested.
posted by matthewr at 3:16 PM on September 26, 2006

Having said that, before downloading things of questionable legality over your uni network I would consider how willing you are to face the potential consequences, which probably range from nasty to very nasty.
posted by matthewr at 3:22 PM on September 26, 2006

Controlled university networks are the worst places to try to circumvent access and traffic control restrictions. There are usually plenty of people looking at traffic patterns, and a whole host of users with similar tastes and ideas, that the network admins have seen and heard most, if not all, attempts to hack around it. SSH is only really valuable if you're trying to secure your connection contents, because if you start running torrents that use any bandwidth, they'll just cap or throttle your encrypted connection, to keep you from hogging resources.

You're better off finding a nearby cafe or restaurant with WiFi access, and doing your torrents from there.
posted by paulsc at 3:41 PM on September 26, 2006

First off, forgive me if this answer is obviously not going to work, as I'm not well versed in the intricacies of networking.

My university has a nice underground DC++ hub, but when I really do need to jump on BT, I've found that using ĀµTorrent in forced encrypted mode, with legacy connections turned off, and ports set to randomized works. YMMV.
posted by roomwithaview at 3:47 PM on September 26, 2006 [2 favorites]

On our campus we have p2p bandwidth throttled down too low to be usable. I purchased a subscription to GigaNews usenet binary retention service for about 10 bucks a month. Anything you can find on bittorrent you can find on usenet. I get 300-500KBps and its much less risky than p2p.
posted by dendrite at 4:14 PM on September 26, 2006

In my experience they're going to care rather more about your ability to upload and download vast amounts of data than what that data is. If you're sending gigs over ssh or any other encrypted connection eyebrows will probably be raised, and it's not unreasonable for them to ask you to explain and justify your use. If you do do it, then throttle it.

Ideally however, find a friend who has their own connection and supply them with blank DVDs.
posted by edd at 4:32 PM on September 26, 2006 [1 favorite]

Why don't you think outside of the box? A safer way would be to make friends with someone who lives off campus who is willing to download/share these shows for you. Likely candidates would be people who work in small computer shops (they are always deviants, tv shows would be nothing to them).
posted by a. at 6:18 PM on September 26, 2006

posted by a. at 6:19 PM on September 26, 2006

Do know that some UK universities are starting to crack down on DC++ hubs run on campus. Warwick, for example, has started to fine people using DC++ in residence halls and, in some cases, cut their internet access (they were last year, anyway, though things may have changed).
posted by lumiere at 8:09 PM on September 26, 2006

Warwick has also throttled p2p bandwidth and, in light of fines being imposed for downloading/uploading files within the university, I'd be very hesitant to start sharing files outside of the university network. There are, of course, ways around this - the best of which would probably be heading to a friend's flat!
posted by lumiere at 8:12 PM on September 26, 2006

Here's what you should do - install Azureus on your home PC. Azureus has Swing and HTML interface plugins available. Set up your router in such a way that you can log in to your Azureus interface from the web - you should be able to add and monitor BitTorrent files that way. You can also set it up when you're at home to monitor RSS feeds using the "RSSFeed" plugin - get the feed from one of the search sites (mininova, isohunt etc.) and automatically download stuff that interests you. There is also a plugin for Azureus that does SMS notification when your downloads have finished, though you have to buy a bundle of texts from the provider - that way you can set your downloads going and forget about them until your phone rings.

Once your BitTorrent transfer is done from the 'net to your home machine, log in to your home machine using [S]FTP and grab the file. This has the advantage that if you are a laptop user at uni, your laptop doesn't get tied to your bedroom.
posted by tommorris at 7:28 AM on September 27, 2006

« Older What would you call logical action with an...   |   First Gouda pun? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.