Port Forwarding for Dummies...? (Or a College Kid)

Littleodie914

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jun 9, 2004
1,813
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Rochester, NY
Hey guys, back for help with this evil thing my college calls ResNet! Turns out just a couple days ago they started "classifying" our internet traffic, and are now blocking traffic they consider "torrent" traffic. In short, I need to learn port forwarding so we can get past these blocks. Sounds sketchy, but I am NOT using this for anything illegal, but mainly for the two issues below:

1) WOW updater. I asked the guy at the front desk why the 600-something MB update was going so slow, and it turns out this is also classified as torrent traffic, and is blocked. He said there's nothing I can do about it. :(

2) Linux. A lot of the distros I'd like to check out for school use (my college uses Linux exclusively, so I'd like to partition my mac for both Mac OS X and Linux...) are provided only as .torrent files, as the servers didn't have enough bandwidth for a public mirror.

So. I have an Airport Express, which I'm using to access the net from my laptop. Works great, except now I need to figure out how to set up the appropriate ports. (6346 I think is the one I need.) Any college/internet guru have tips to offer on this? :)
 

savar

macrumors 68000
Jun 6, 2003
1,952
0
District of Columbia
Littleodie914 said:
Hey guys, back for help with this evil thing my college calls ResNet! Turns out just a couple days ago they started "classifying" our internet traffic, and are now blocking traffic they consider "torrent" traffic. In short, I need to learn port forwarding so we can get past these blocks. Sounds sketchy, but I am NOT using this for anything illegal, but mainly for the two issues below:

1) WOW updater. I asked the guy at the front desk why the 600-something MB update was going so slow, and it turns out this is also classified as torrent traffic, and is blocked. He said there's nothing I can do about it. :(

2) Linux. A lot of the distros I'd like to check out for school use (my college uses Linux exclusively, so I'd like to partition my mac for both Mac OS X and Linux...) are provided only as .torrent files, as the servers didn't have enough bandwidth for a public mirror.

So. I have an Airport Express, which I'm using to access the net from my laptop. Works great, except now I need to figure out how to set up the appropriate ports. (6346 I think is the one I need.) Any college/internet guru have tips to offer on this? :)

Where do you go to school? It was called ResNet at my school too. Maybe that's just an obvious name or something...

Port forwarding isn't quite what you want. If your AE is hooked up to the college's network and it is communicating over those ports, than it doesn't matter what ports you forward, those ports are only forwarded on your wireless LAN. The college network will still see packets on the regulated ports and will shape the traffic accordingly.

Really what you need to do is change the port that the service is using. This is probably impossible with bit torrent since you're communicating with so many other machines...with something like HTTP you could set up an http daemon on some random port (23922, e.g.) and then set your browser to use that port. I don't know if you can do this with bit torrent.
 

OnceUGoMac

macrumors 6502a
Mar 3, 2004
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As a close friend to the head of ResNet at another college, I hope that no one on this forum helps this kid. They block it for a reason.
 

Littleodie914

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Original poster
Jun 9, 2004
1,813
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Rochester, NY
OnceUGoMac said:
As a close friend to the head of ResNet at another college, I hope that no one on this forum helps this kid. They block it for a reason.
What reason is that, to curb illegal downloading? :confused:

That part I understand wholeheartedly. In my post I stated the reasons for which I'm trying to figure this out, neither of which were bad or illegal in and way, shape or form. Your post doesn't seem to make any points besides the general idea that I shouldn't be helped. :confused: :(
 

OnceUGoMac

macrumors 6502a
Mar 3, 2004
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Littleodie914 said:
What reason is that, to curb illegal downloading? :confused:

That part I understand wholeheartedly. In my post I stated the reasons for which I'm trying to figure this out, neither of which were bad or illegal in and way, shape or form. Your post doesn't seem to make any points besides the general idea that I shouldn't be helped. :confused: :(
There are many reasons why they block it. Even if you "find a way around it", they'll find out. When they do, expect to get your port shut off.
 

Littleodie914

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Original poster
Jun 9, 2004
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Rochester, NY
OnceUGoMac said:
There are many reasons why they block it. Even if you "find a way around it", they'll find out. When they do, expect to get your port shut off.
Hey look, I'm not trying to cheat the system here and get in a bunch of trouble. I'm just looking for an easy, non-destructive way to get these things to work. I currently can't play WOW, nor can I install my preferred linux distro on my lappy. I understand their reasons for blocking illegal traffic, but it seems silly to take such a blatant stab at the general category of "torrent traffic". It's not all bad, some people just do bad things with it.

If port forwarding is a bad idea, does anyone have any other suggestions? I'm not looking to do anything illegal, I just feel I'm being underprivileged by these "wide" disallowances.
 

OnceUGoMac

macrumors 6502a
Mar 3, 2004
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0
Littleodie914 said:
Hey look, I'm not trying to cheat the system here and get in a bunch of trouble. I'm just looking for an easy, non-destructive way to get these things to work. I currently can't play WOW, nor can I install my preferred linux distro on my lappy. I understand their reasons for blocking illegal traffic, but it seems silly to take such a blatant stab at the general category of "torrent traffic". It's not all bad, some people just do bad things with it.

If port forwarding is a bad idea, does anyone have any other suggestions? I'm not looking to do anything illegal, I just feel I'm being underprivileged by these "wide" disallowances.
You are trying to cheat the system. It's a violation of your school's network policy. I'm not trying to be a jerk to you for "cheating the system", but save you from getting your port shut off for a week, month, semester, etc. Which do you value more, the privelage to access the internet or bittorrent?
 

wonga1127

macrumors 6502
Mar 16, 2006
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Wishing for a magic bus.
I dont think you should be judging people like that. If Littleodie wants to cheat the system, all the power to him.
The problem is that because of some people who use torrents for illegal activity, there should be an option for people who don't use it that way. Why should the innocent be punished because some people are stupid?
 

OnceUGoMac

macrumors 6502a
Mar 3, 2004
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wonga1127 said:
I dont think you should be judging people like that. If Littleodie wants to cheat the system, all the power to him.
As I stated before, they block torrents for many reasons, not just for the potential for illegal activity. If he wants to be an idiot and get his port shut off, that's fine with me.

The problem is that because of some people who use torrents for illegal activity, there should be an option for people who don't use it that way.
That's a naive statement. You don't really believe that's possible, do you?

Why should the innocent be punished because some people are stupid?
The innocent, eh? It's a private network. How about this, you set up a wireless network at your home and my pals and I will cripple your connection with our torrent sharing. Sound good?
 

annk

Administrator
Staff member
Apr 18, 2004
13,686
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Somewhere over the rainbow
Regardless of what you want to do, and regardless of why your university is putting limits on things, it sounds like getting around the system might cause you problems. You probably signed some sort of agreement where you promised not to break their rules.

If it's just getting hold of some Linux distros and a few game updates, is there anyone in the same city you know well enough to ask to borrow their Internet connection for a bit? I realise this isn't what you're asking here, but it might be the simplest way to solve your problem.
 

Queso

Suspended
Mar 4, 2006
11,824
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I would guess that the main reason for preventing bit-torrents is the accompanying upload overhead they produce whilst someone is downloading, even legal ones. Universities don't have unlimited bandwidth. They're probably seeing a huge chunk of what they do have available being eaten up in torrent traffic, to the point where it's having an effect on other uses.

Littleodie914, the best people to ask are your college's IT department. I'm sure they'll explain their reasoning quite happily.
 

Littleodie914

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jun 9, 2004
1,813
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Rochester, NY
iGary said:
This whole thread is :rolleyes:.

The kid asked for some advice, nicely, and he gets walked all over.

:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
Thank you :eek:

Thanks to all for the advice/suggestions. I settled with a different distro than the one I wanted, but I guess there's never a huge difference anyway. :rolleyes: As for the WOW update, I asked the IT guy downstairs and he said if I just let it keep going, it might start to pick up as it's not classified as bad as the rest of the torrent traffic. I didn't really understand that, but I let it go overnight and sure enough, it finished. (Still took 8 hours and 43 minutes, which is pretty sad considering they have a 100MB/s connection here and it could have finished much faster. :p )

For the record, does Blizzard open a public HTTP mirror of their WOW updates? It'd really be a bummer if I have to download them like this every time. :eek:

OnceUGoMac said:
The innocent, eh? It's a private network. How about this, you set up a wireless network at your home and my pals and I will cripple your connection with our torrent sharing. Sound good?
That's actually a very different scenario... I'm not saying I don't appreciate your feedback, but students here have to pay per semester for the internet connection, and it just seems wrong (for lack of a better word) for the service we pay for to be altered (remember, when we got here everything was working fine. they just changed it a couple days ago) without our notification. Now, some would argue that if I don't like the situation, I should ditch the internet here. That's not really a choice, as I'm on the 5th floor of my dorm room, and there are no other ISP's out here. It's their way or the highway. :(

dynamicv said:
I would guess that the main reason for preventing bit-torrents is the accompanying upload overhead they produce whilst someone is downloading, even legal ones. Universities don't have unlimited bandwidth. They're probably seeing a huge chunk of what they do have available being eaten up in torrent traffic, to the point where it's having an effect on other uses.

Littleodie914, the best people to ask are your college's IT department. I'm sure they'll explain their reasoning quite happily.
Yea I did ask the IT department, and he claimed that if they hadn't blocked the torrent traffic, we wouldn't have even been able to check our mail due to the servers bogging down. I'm no expert, but I figured even if a good chunk of the student body were to be downloading stuff, would it dent the 100MB/s connection that severely? :confused:

I wonder if it's just a front to curb illegal activity. (Which is admirable, but harmful all the same, as in my situation.)
 

Queso

Suspended
Mar 4, 2006
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Littleodie914 said:
I'm no expert, but I figured even if a good chunk of the student body were to be downloading stuff, would it dent the 100MB/s connection that severely? :confused:
That's the connection they offer the students, but there's no way they are going to be able to dedicate that much Internet bandwidth to everyone. They've probably got quite a high contention ratio going on that relies on the fact that only 1 in 200 students are going to be downloading at any one time. If everyone starts BitTorrenting that goes out the window. Think about it. Even if they've got Gigabit equivalent to the Internet, which is unlikely due to the expense, it only takes 10 students to be downloading or uploading at full blast on 100Mbps and that's gone.

You may also find that they've got some form of Network Address Translation going on for either different parts of the network or between the college and the Internet. Everyone BitTorrenting would put one hell of a CPU strain on their firewall equipment.
 

Fearless Leader

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Mar 21, 2006
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sounds like your tubes are gettin blocked...

anyway as denting the connection say 100 students had a connection at 100kb (bout half of my norm) thats about 1000mbs :)

and if i had to absolutly get a connection through bittorrent i'd get an encrypted connection to a proxy server, so IT couldn't identify the traffic, and relay the bittorent through it over port 80.

or drive around the local appartment buildings... not that i would recomend that though...
 

MacBoobsPro

macrumors 603
Jan 10, 2006
5,115
6
To the OP. I realise its harmless stuff you need the connection for but it is not exactly 'school related' is it. Thats why it is getting frowned, upon especially by Onceugomac ;) They are paying for the connection and you are taking advantage of it, albeit it a very small way!

Well thats my 2 cents, now im skint!
 

tuartboy

macrumors 6502a
May 10, 2005
746
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Rokem said:
anyway as denting the connection say 100 students had a connection at 100kb (bout half of my norm) thats about 1000mbs :)
No, that's only 10mbps. It would take 10,000 students at 100kbps.

The main reason I have found that organizations block this traffic is for QoS (Quality of Service). It's not really port based as it usually relies on a packet-shaping solution. An intermediary machine reads the header information of your packet to determine what it is and does something to it using an IT-determined set of rules.

IT doesn't like BT because the protocol likes to take up any available bandwidth if not limited by the downloader or shaped by the packet filter. This then becomes a problem for legitimate traffic. There are ways to give higher priority to certain downloads at the packet filter, however. For example, here at home I have my own QoS machine running that automatically scales my BT traffic down to allow http traffic. It works well, but I can see why an academic organisation would not allow this traffic in the first place.

First, BT is only used for file transfer, something that nearly no academic-related application would ever need.

Second, it hogs university resources.

Third, it can be, and often is, used for illegal purposes.

While packet-shaping solutions can be bypassed with properly encrypted BT traffic, I advise you to stay within the contract you have with your school's IT department. From experience, I can tell you that they are attempting to provide the best service to all people at your university and are doing the best job they can. If they feel BT traffic would interfere with the daily operation of the school, they have every right to block it. You also have a contractual obligation to comply.

In other words, you're just going to have to suck it up.
 

tuartboy

macrumors 6502a
May 10, 2005
746
13
Littleodie914 said:
... would it dent the 100MB/s connection that severely? :confused:
Also, keep in mind it is not mB (megabyte), but mb(megabit). Big difference.

8 bits = 1 byte

100 megabits really only ends up being about 12 megabytes (on a good day). And yes, it would take very few people to saturate a 12MB connection. 1 person could theoretically do it.
 
stuartluff said:
To the OP. I realise its harmless stuff you need the connection for but it is not exactly 'school related' is it. Thats why it is getting frowned, upon especially by Onceugomac ;) They are paying for the connection and you are taking advantage of it, albeit it a very small way!

Well thats my 2 cents, now im skint!
He did state that he is paying for his connection, but he can't change providers due to his location.

Just a minor correction. He's not freeloading :p
 

Littleodie914

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jun 9, 2004
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Rochester, NY
Badandy said:
Uh-oh, looks like you'll have to shed an addiction which you will most likely deny and concentrate more on school. Dang.
Lol beside the point! :p

Haha in all actuality though, I only play an hour or so every couple days, so it's just something fun to do, very far from an addiction! Warcraft 3 TFT on the other hand... ;) :D
 

OnceUGoMac

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Mar 3, 2004
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I apologize to those that think I'm being a "dick" to Littleodie914, but I just wanted to make it clear to him that if he suceeded in getting his torrent sharing working, his port would be shut off a.k.a. no more internet. I'd rather see him posting on Macrumors, than not.;)
 

Fearless Leader

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Mar 21, 2006
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tuartboy said:
Also, keep in mind it is not mB (megabyte), but mb(megabit). Big difference.

8 bits = 1 byte

100 megabits really only ends up being about 12 megabytes (on a good day). And yes, it would take very few people to saturate a 12MB connection. 1 person could theoretically do it.
well if the IT dep. set up the network in a crappy manner, which might be possible becuase 100mb to support an entire university seams kinda low.
 

SC68Cal

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Feb 23, 2006
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If you tell me what distro's of linux you want, or what WOW patches you need, I'd be glad to download them and burn them to a CD for you. My roomate is a big WOW guy so he probably has the patches anyway. Then just kick me the cost of postage