Help me connect my two VPNs from a public hotspot
February 28, 2008 7:28 PM   Subscribe

How can I make my laptop pretend it's connected directly to the internet when I'm behind a firewall that blocks almost all ports?

I work from home a lot, but since the weather here in LA is nice this week I want to work from the local coffee shop. Said coffee shop blocks all ports (pretty much) except SSH, HTTP, and HTTPS.

I have two different jobs and two different VPN clients. One is the built in Windows XP PPTP VPN client, and the other is a Nortel Contivity IPSEC client.

I also have root access at a VPS (virtual private server) on the public internet running Ubuntu Gutsy and I completely control this machine.

So, I've looked into SSH port forwarding (via putty) but because the VPN clients use more than just a single TCP port it didn't work. Also I can't make the VPN clients use a different port to connect.

What I want is for all traffic to go from my laptop to my server on the internet via port 22, 80 or 443. Also, I want for all my applications to think that they are directly connected to the internet somehow. Do I need to connect to my VPS with a new VPN and then run my current clients over that connection?
posted by sideshow to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: OpenVPN runs over TCP, is un Ubuntu universe, has a Windows client, and can be configured to listen on whatever port you want...
posted by russm at 7:52 PM on February 28, 2008

(of course to make everything do what you want you'd also need to set your Ubuntu box up as a client to both the PPTP and IPsec work VPNs, routing all traffic appropriately... not difficult if you know unix networking, but not easy if you don't...)
posted by russm at 7:55 PM on February 28, 2008

Response by poster: Ok, never thought about making the Ubuntu box act as a VPN client.

Thank you, this gives me the right direction.
posted by sideshow at 12:46 AM on February 29, 2008

Best answer: Another option would be to use ssh's SOCKS proxy option. ssh -D someport somehost and you have a SOCKS proxy running on localhost:someport that will run all traffic out of somehost through the ssh connection.

Assuming whatever is blocked supports using a SOCKS proxy, you're set. OSX supports a system-wide setting for SOCKS proxy - I'm not sure if Windows does.

I use OpenVPN personally and it is quite annoying to set up. When I push ~1mB/s over a wireless connection for 15 minutes (doing a backup), OpenVPN tends to crap out. Other than that, which I suspect is a wireless problem, OpenVPN is great.
posted by easyasy3k at 8:23 PM on March 1, 2008

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