How to use VPNs when you do not control the network?

Discussion in 'privacy problems' started by dumpydonk, Apr 3, 2010.

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  1. dumpydonk

    dumpydonk Registered Member

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    I am on an academic network. I have a direct IP and as far as I can tell there is no NAT. An Ethernet connection.

    Therefore I do not control this network. For example ICMP (ping) is blocked. I cannot use VPNs - both Swiss VPN and Perfect Privacy.com do not work.

    I cannot change my DNS settings to OpenDNS for example in resolv.conf.

    Does anyone know how I can deal with this (without getting into trouble). In the past people have said "talk to the network manager" but I really do not think s/he is going to change the system for me. And anyhow, surely s/he would ask "what are you using a VPN for?"

    Any ideas?

    Thanks as always.
     
  2. caspian

    caspian Registered Member

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    I tried Xerobank on a USB stick at my local University a couple of years ago and it worked. I guess because it was already installed on the USB stick. I will try it again and see if it still works.
     
  3. Hollowstriker

    Hollowstriker Registered Member

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    I have a similar problem at my school where we use our personal laptops (joined to the school's domain) on the school's wireless Internet network. One difference though, is that we are using NAT and being assigned private IPs.

    Depending on what you are trying to achieve (anonymous surfing?), there are a probably quite few ways around this, though you might want to take care not to violate their acceptable use policy/terms of service in doing so, else you could get into trouble with the school management (personally I just prefer using my own 3G connection rather than touching their network at all, if this is an option for you):

    1. SSL encrypted anonymous web proxy--> https://www.freesslproxy.com/
    2. Free software-based SSL VPN--> http://www.hotspotshield.com/ (note- has some adware warnings by NOD32)
    3. Paid software-based SSL VPN--> http://www.hotspotvpn.com/

    When you say you cannot use VPNs, do you mean that you don't have administrative priviledges to install anything on the computer which you use, or do you mean that the network prevents the VPNs from connecting? If it's the former, the first option would help (though rather limited anonymity- web pages only). If it's the latter, then there is a chance the VPNs which I suggest above may work- these are OpenVPN based, using the SSL port (port 443)*, which are far less likely to be blocked than ordinary VPN services on special ports (the SwissVPN services seems to use PPTP by default, which is commonly blocked by policy on networks).

    *This means that if you are able to connect to https://www.paypal.com securely (with the certificate on the page being signed by Versign, not your school), then it should work (this uses port 443 as well).
     
  4. LockBox

    LockBox Registered Member

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    Another good reason to just forget about using PPTP. Dumpydonk, I suggest you try again with an Open-VPN based provider and, if possible, run it from a USB thumb drive as Caspian does.
     
  5. tesk

    tesk Registered Member

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    I am using the paid version of Trustconnect and I am finding it pretty good. Stable and somewhere fast (300 kb/s, and no it is not my max on my internet connection, I have 30/30 mbit ;)) and without trustconnect enabled I download with 3-4 mb/s. But well, if they should offer all people that speed, it would be impossible, 300 kb/s is fine I think. You are anyway not supposed to download large file through that service anyway. :)
     
  6. LockBox

    LockBox Registered Member

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    What are they using? OpenVPN-based? I couldn't find any truly technical information on the Comodo site or forums. That signals to me: proprietary self-developed protocol. Do you know?
     
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