Bypassing Blocked Sites at College..

ShaneBunting

Suspended
Original poster
Aug 10, 2009
161
0
United Kingdom
So we just got Wifi as student at college...

I'm on an 11" Air. It's from 'Meru Networks' or some kind of vendor..

Basically, it downloaded a 'profile' which is now installed, and I connect to a previously hidden SSID ..

We're blocked from Facebook and YouTube etc.. but the connection is fast enough.

Any way to adjust the settings from that profile, so that I can access otherwise blocked sites?

Thanks
 

MiesVanDerRobot

macrumors member
Aug 28, 2012
56
2
The most likely scenario is that the blocking is happening at the network level, not on your computer. The profile you installed merely enables you to connect to the "hidden" network. Any reasonably-competent network engineer is going to avoid putting the filter on your PC where it can be (somewhat) easily circumvented.

It sounds like your college intends the WiFi it provides to be used solely for classwork, not for general internet usage. You will likely have to secure your own network access to use Facebook, YouTube, Netflix, etc.

File under: tough luck.
 

ShaneBunting

Suspended
Original poster
Aug 10, 2009
161
0
United Kingdom
I get it now. And yeah, but they blocked eBay UK as 'shopping' and Google as 'Adult Material'.. It's not even like I'm being unfair lol Hopefully they'll sort it.

I can provide screenshots to prove that too.. I know it's hard to believe :L
 

chris.k

macrumors member
May 22, 2013
91
1
YSSY
eBAY is shopping. I can't think of a more appropriate category for the site.

Google image searches can return adult pictures with safe search off.

I don't see any problem with the way the Netadmins have provisioned this.

Wouldn't surprise me if there's an Ellacoya/Sandvine/Procera box involved here. It's doing the web content classification.

You'll need to VPN out. Assuming they're allowing Such things through. Trivial to block that too.
 

Attonine

macrumors 6502a
Feb 15, 2006
727
53
Kent. UK
When I worked in Saudi, my students put me onto an app called JAP, it burrows through the firewall. It's developed by the University of Heidelberg i think.
 

chown33

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 9, 2009
8,821
5,237
vertical
You might first want to find out if bypassing your school's network restrictions is an expellable offense. Misuse of school networks is usually frowned upon, at best. At worst, you could be out the door.
 

cgk.emu

macrumors 6502
May 16, 2012
449
1
All of the suggestions are are completely useless if they have sites/categories blacklisted at the router level. Even if you use something like TOR, openDNS, BTGuard, etc, your traffic still must pass through the router. Even if you DO manage to bypass their filtering, once the network admins find out you're likely to face disciplinary action. I'm sure you signed a network usage agreement.

"But what if they just blacklist my IP, I'll get a difference one!" Sure. Go ahead and then they just blacklist your MAC address. Goodbye network access. Good luck explaining that one to the computer folks. Sure you can spoof a MAC address, but still, circumventing controls isn't how you get on your schools good side.

----------

You might first want to find out if bypassing your school's network restrictions is an expellable offense. Misuse of school networks is usually frowned upon, at best. At worst, you could be out the door.
Exactly. It's not worth it, OP.
 

ShaneBunting

Suspended
Original poster
Aug 10, 2009
161
0
United Kingdom
Okay. I won't do anything about it. It's not the end of the world I know, but surely you'd all hate to be stuck on Windows XP & Office 2003 at your work / establishments.. Lol They don't even have an IT department, and if something happens it's weeks until someone 'authorised' can go near the servers. I think it's appalling for the UK in 2013 :eek:
 

DUCKofD3ATH

Suspended
Jun 6, 2005
541
2,419
Universe 0 Timeline
So we just got Wifi as student at college...

I'm on an 11" Air. It's from 'Meru Networks' or some kind of vendor..

Basically, it downloaded a 'profile' which is now installed, and I connect to a previously hidden SSID ..

We're blocked from Facebook and YouTube etc.. but the connection is fast enough.

Any way to adjust the settings from that profile, so that I can access otherwise blocked sites?

Thanks
Use LogMeIn (https://secure.logmein.com) to access a computer remotely. Should be fast enough for using a web browser, but you won't be able to run audio or video.
 

velocityg4

macrumors 603
Dec 19, 2004
5,123
1,643
Georgia
It's their network not yours. If you don't like it file a complaint and leave it at that, try to organize a student protest or change schools. You could also get a 4g card or hotspot.
 

binaryspiral

macrumors newbie
Sep 9, 2012
16
0
All you need is a VPN service... as long as the school allows VPN connections, you'll tunnel to the VPN service's network and have access to any content you like.

Again, bad idea if you'd get bounced when (not if) you get caught.
 

thehustleman

macrumors 65816
Jan 3, 2013
1,123
1
It's pretty silly of them to do such a thing with the network, but you can always cop a hot spot, or if you have an unlimited data plan and one of the best phones out you can simply root the device and use that.

Isn't gonna be fast as a campus network but hey...
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Ap0ks

macrumors 6502
Aug 12, 2008
311
68
Cambridge, UK
Okay. I won't do anything about it. It's not the end of the world I know, but surely you'd all hate to be stuck on Windows XP & Office 2003 at your work / establishments.. Lol They don't even have an IT department, and if something happens it's weeks until someone 'authorised' can go near the servers. I think it's appalling for the UK in 2013 :eek:
A rather naive post, a lot of companies are still running Windows XP & Office 2003 - not everyone has the money, time or need to be running the latest software.

Since you're at college in the UK, I'm assuming you only attend college during the day and aren't living on campus, shouldn't you be studying while you're there rather than trying to find a way to bypass the college filters? Businesses would also have filters in place so it's not like it's an uncommon situation - personal internet browsing on your own time/internet connection.
 

Apple fanboy

macrumors Westmere
Feb 21, 2012
38,360
27,873
Behind the Lens, UK
A rather naive post, a lot of companies are still running Windows XP & Office 2003 - not everyone has the money, time or need to be running the latest software.

Since you're at college in the UK, I'm assuming you only attend college during the day and aren't living on campus, shouldn't you be studying while you're there rather than trying to find a way to bypass the college filters? Businesses would also have filters in place so it's not like it's an uncommon situation - personal internet browsing on your own time/internet connection.
Sadly our business has no filters in place. That's why a good chunk of the workforce spend the day on Facebook & twitter, whilst the rest of us have to get on and work.

To the OP, just get on and do your work instead of trying to circumnavigate the collage network filters. Going to college is a privilege.
 

joyrida12

macrumors newbie
Jan 11, 2014
5
0
Really? A school blocking Google because it has the ability to find "adult content" is asinine. Search engines have revolutionized the way scholarly materials are shared and open students up to ideas and research they would not have found otherwise. In all honesty it sounds more like lazy network admins than any type of school policy.

I say by-pass away, if they kick you out for navigating to an educational resource via a Google search then so be it. Take your story public and let them explain why they ruined a young students life over a Google search.

There are lots of ways to bypass the restrictions, the easiest being to use a proxy server and/or VPN. Given the fact that the admin was to lazy to block specific content and instead chose a blanket fix, it's likely they were to lazy to properly block those connection types as well.

However, if they did block those options, another solution(that is relatively new and over looked by security admins) is DNS Tunneling. I won't go into the exact details [plenty of documentation on the technique, try Google ;-)] but basically you need a computer of site connected to the internet that will act as a DNS server and accept dns queries. Your computer sends an encoded http request disguised as a dns request, a program on your "dns server" decodes the request, gathers the data, encodes it as a dns response, and sends it back to your computer for you to decide and read.
 

ShaneBunting

Suspended
Original poster
Aug 10, 2009
161
0
United Kingdom
Just an update.. our network still sucks.

I'll try get you guys a screenshot of the Google blocked page.. I know it's probably very hard to believe but you guys will LOL when you see..
 

960design

macrumors 68040
Apr 17, 2012
3,051
989
Destin, FL
I thought I would chime in on this:
We expel about 2 or 3 students a year for violating the internet usage policy they sign before they are given access.

The profile only pushes the WiFi password, it has nothing to do with filtering. Well it could, but that wouldn't be a very effective use of the profile.

We have a student that went to all sorts of effort to bypass our security ( we log and watch - we literally have 3 big screen TVs that display all connection that are color coded and can be clicked to make sticky - activity on our network ). Apparently he gave up and finally decided to DoS attack our network. Sadly this accomplished it's intended purpose and slowed out network to a crawl. Very sadly our fiber company detected the attack and reported it to Homeland Security. Very very sadly the person did the exact same attack the very next day while the authorities were investigating. They went to their location and arrested them. They are no longer at our school and probably facing a very long jail sentence.

It's very easy to 'hack' a network. It's nearly impossible to do it and NOT be detected. We try not to over react to incursions or attempts. We watch and build a case.

I agree with the above poster. We DO allow access to google. We of course attempt to filter out the images and do not allow our own laziness to get in the way of student research. Our filter page pops up a warning and a link that users can click to let us know that this should be whitelisted. We do a quick review and approve or deny based on content.
 
Last edited:

mcnallym

macrumors 6502a
Oct 28, 2008
727
234
Just an update.. our network still sucks.

I'll try get you guys a screenshot of the Google blocked page.. I know it's probably very hard to believe but you guys will LOL when you see..
Doesn't surprise me at all.

With all the headlines about adult content etc on the Internet in the UK then if you allow Google to do a normal search without safe search enabled then it will display the images on the screen, as the images are simply placed into the search output and seen coming from google.com, so go through the system, even if you block google images etc.

In todays lawyer happy society then only takes one idiot to say that seen explicit material as walking past a screen and were offended and try and sue the college, and the Daily Mail will be posting headlines about education establishments been rife with explicit material and dens of vice and corrupting the young impressionable minds.

Ironically is where Bing is better in that any images deemed explicit are actually seen as coming from explicit.bing.com which is rated as an explicit site and so blocked by the Web Content Systems even if https.

You can get Google to be blocked by forcing safe search on the results, however tend to need to enable HTTPS Inspection as google is using https these days and that opens up a can of worms in terms of privacy due to the fact that now breaking into the HTTPS traffic. .

College Admin has probably gone for the easy route of just blocking Google full stop, to make there life easier.
 

MacsRgr8

macrumors 604
Sep 8, 2002
7,858
1,182
The Netherlands
It's their network not yours. If you don't like it file a complaint and leave it at that, try to organize a student protest or change schools. You could also get a 4g card or hotspot.
This will certainly be the answer in the (near) future.

Why use anyone else's Wifi / network if you can use your own 4G network?

Once the cost of 4G is manageable (i.e. unlimited data for a fair price...) and the speed is good enough (that's debatable) lots of hotspots and Wifi services will become obsolete.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.