Scenario: I want to play World of Warcraft at work or behind a firewall. Most ports are blocked although I am able to get a tunnel out (eg on port 443). Of course you need a PC left on around the clock to connect to (or a router running dd-wrt) – to see my other SSH related articles click ‘Technology talk’ on the menu to the left.
Solution: Use a commercial piece of software called proxifier which routes traffic from any piece of software over your ssh tunnel. (Update: There is a new version of proxifier which can be run from a usb key in addition to the standard version)
Open your ssh tunnel using putty (be sure to make sure you have the dynamic/socks tunnel enabled). Opening a tunnel on port 443 is usually possible. I am usually able to open a tunnel on port 443 from where I work (an educational broadband consortium) but on the few occasions when I can’t open one, I can force one if I know the proxy server name by putting the proxy details in the proxy tab. (This link may tell you if you are behind a proxy server – click on ‘Proxy test’)
In the options for proxifier tell it which port your tunnel is on (proxy settings).
You can set it to route all traffic (apart from exclusions) over the tunnel, or to only route traffic from certain applications over your tunnel. I did the latter.
When I started warcraft up I was able to log on from work over my tunnel. Ping times were usually playable (120ms upwards) but this depended on the quality of the connection between your computer and your server.
And there you have it – World of Warcraft over an ssh tunnel from work! Easy when you know how!! (and much simpler than setting up a VPN!).
Of course you need a piece of hardware permanently powered up at the other end but buying the right router or running a low power Linux box like a Linksys NSLU2 is a brilliant way around this (and can also host networked storage, web pages and even torrents whilst drawing very little power).
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