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December 13, 2006 11:36 AM   Subscribe

How can I use p2p software behind a restrictive firewall?

I'm behind a fairly restrictive firewall, in that all uncommon ports are blocked. What is my solution if I wish use any of the most common p2p programs (bitorrent, gnutella network stuff, emule, etc)?
posted by Willie0248 to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
Your solution is probably to quit using p2p apps at work. That firewall is there for a reason. One of those reasons is to keep turkeys from installing shit like eDonkey and Limewire. Some may tunnel over a common port, like port 80, but they will leave fingerprints that could lead back to you. We have an IPS unit here that very easily picks out p2p apps from a TCP stream.

Your best bet: install that stuff at home on your home box. Or get permission from your management staff, and have your IT folks open up the necessary ports.

You might be able to fiddle around with proxying it, but you still run the risk of getting busted. And in many cases, fired from your job.
posted by drstein at 12:04 PM on December 13, 2006

It's very difficult to achieve if the people running the firewall know the basics.

To be part of a p2p networks, you need to present yourself on the correct port looking out at the internet.

The entire purpose of the firewall is to prevent unauthorized transport through ports. If the adminstrators don't allow your internal access to present yourself on the correct port, you are SOL.

There may be p2p systems that use commonly open ports like http @ 80, but I'm not aware of them.

If you have the possibility to SSH out of the firewall, you might be able to use WASTE, but that's not a scaled p2p system, it's you and your trusted friends.
posted by Argyle at 12:04 PM on December 13, 2006

Best way is to use VNC or Remote Desktop to operate the client on your home machine.
posted by kindall at 12:34 PM on December 13, 2006

Seconding kindall. Don't start fights with your sysadmin. You will lose.
posted by flabdablet at 3:16 PM on December 13, 2006

Yep - you would probably violate a dozen or more IT policies which could lead rapidly to your dismissal.

Even though others have pointed out that it would be best to connect to an external machine elsewhere and control the p2p applications remotely - unless that connection was encrypted you could still get into trouble. Technically you would still be using company resources to do something that may violate a policy or two.
posted by jkaczor at 4:19 PM on December 13, 2006

Why is everyone assuming Willie0248 is trying to use p2p at work and could be fired as a result? My first guess is a this is university network and his home computer so he wouldn't have any other way to use p2p than to work around the firewall.
posted by metaname at 4:34 PM on December 13, 2006

You can tunnel over SSH, as some others have suggested, but that requires a server to tunnel to. I'm behind a university firewall, at 99% of the time, people use the internal DC++ network, but SSH tunneling is used for BitTorrent. BT also has a protocol encryption option that has been reported to work.

If you don't have an SSH server to tunnel too, some people offer SSH shell accounts, and a subset of those have the correct settings to make SSH tunneling work and don't mind the bandwidth.

You could also use a VPN. Check out Relakks VPN, it's a $5/mo anonymous VPN run by the Pirate Party of Sweden.

Good Luck.
posted by bkudria at 8:32 PM on December 13, 2006

"wouldn't have any other way to use p2p than to work around the firewall."

that's the point. The firewall is there to prevent people from using p2p. If it's a university network, the OP can very easily find their internet access revoked entirely. Is it really worth the risk?
posted by drstein at 9:35 PM on December 13, 2006

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