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Q: Need to pass through net traffic through another location ( Answered,   2 Comments )
Subject: Need to pass through net traffic through another location
Category: Computers > Internet
Asked by: nortonloaf-ga
List Price: $200.00
Posted: 02 May 2006 11:35 PDT
Expires: 01 Jun 2006 11:35 PDT
Question ID: 724772
Here is what I have:

Powermac G5
Linksys WRT54GS Router
Cable internet connection
Bob, a friend in Kansas with a cable or dsl connection
A cheap PC with XP Pro on it
Some familiarity with Unix
Some familiarity with router settings
A rough idea that 1 possible solution somehow involves setting up a VPN

What I want to do:
Pass my internet traffic through Bob's internet connection, so that it
appears to all external websites that I am located at Bob's house.

Awhile ago I saw a possible solution that would accomplish what I want, but
I didn't pay attention at the time.  PersonA placed a headless PC with
NetBSD installed into PersonB's house.  PersonA set up port forwarding
on PersonB's router, put some ethernet between the PC and PersonB's
router, and changed some settings on the PC.  PersonA was then able to
route all his activities through PersonB's net connection, appearing
to have PersonB's IP address.  A
VPN was somehow involved.

I only mention the above scenario because I saw that it worked, and I
remembered a little about it.  I am open to any solution that solves
the problem in such a way that these 2 requirements are met:

1.  My traffic must appear to be originating from Bob's house.
2.  There must be a minimum amount of lag.  I realize that adding the
extra middleman means there will be some delay, but the less the
better.  In the possible VPN solution above, there was pretty much no
noticable delay.

I don't mind buying equipment that makes it easier on either myself or
Bob (in the above VPN case, it's fine if the solution involves me
shipping Bob a PC and a router.  If this does turn out to be the best
solution, I would need explicit steps detailing what changes need to
be made on NetBSD box(if NetBSD needs to be installed), my router
settings, and Bob's router settings.)

If it turns out there is a simpler solution that satisfies the above
two conditions, then thats great too.
Subject: Re: Need to pass through net traffic through another location
Answered By: leapinglizard-ga on 03 May 2006 07:05 PDT
Dear nortonloaf,

The easiest solution to your problem is to set up a remote-desktop 
server at Bob's house. There are commercial providers for this service,
such as pcAnywhere and GoToMyPC, but I recommend the open-source
product VNC, which gives you a free, robust, high-performance remote
desktop. The developers of VNC have started a company called RealVNC
that now distributes a commercial product of their own as well as the
open-source VNC.

RealVNC: what is it?

In theory you could use Bob's existing machine to host the VNC server,
but to maximize performance and minimize administrative hassle, you'll
want to set him up with a separate machine dedicated to running the remote
desktop. This can be a Windows box or a Linux box, whichever suits you
better, and it can be headless. In either case, you should install and
configure the VNC server on the machine before you ship it to Bob, so all
he has to do upon receipt is boot the machine and start the VNC server.

Well, there's also a bit of home networking for Bob to do if he's going
to share his Internet connection with your VNC host. You should buy him
a cable/DSL router such as one of the following, plus a couple of Cat5
Ethernet cables to connect the machines to the router.

TigerDirect: Netgear RP614NA 10/100 Mbps 4-Port Cable/DSL Web Safe Router

TigerDirect: Linksys BEFSR41 10/100 Mbps 4-Port Cable/DSL Router

TigerDirect: U.S. Robotics - USR8004 - 4-Port Cable/DSL Router

Once the machines are wired up, Bob should be able to use the Internet
connection on his own box as usual without doing any special router
configuration. To let your box -- from now on I'll call it the host --
run the VNC server, Bob's router has to be configured to accept VNC
connections, which arrive on port 5800 by default, and forward them to
the host. The precise way for Bob to do this depends on which router
you get for him, so I'll have to know the model number before I give you
more detailed instructions. In any case, it won't be very difficult for
Bob to accomplish, and you can even do it yourself if he enables remote
administration on the router.

One more thing you'll need is Bob's IP address, which is to say the IP
address of his cable/DSL modem. This address can be read off the router
by going to its status web page, although it is not worthwhile reading it
manually because cable/DSL modems are allocated dynamic IPs that change
periodically and sometimes unpredictably. So what you really need is a
domain name for Bob's house, and a service that updates the domain name's
DNS record whenever the IP address changes. You can get this done for
free by making an account at DynDNS.

DynDNS: Dynamic DNS

DynDNS will give you a free subdomain of your choosing on one of their
many domains, so you'll end up with a domain name that looks something
like You then download an update client, which
is a small utility that runs on the host and talks to Bob's router,
so that it can do the job of calling up DynDNS to get the DNS record
updated whenever Bob's IP address changes. This will work seamlessly
and transparently, I promise. If you need help setting up the dynamic
DNS service, just let me know what OS you're running on the host and
what router you're getting for Bob. In case you're worrying about OS
support for the update client, don't. There are Perl clients and Python
clients that will run anywhere, and most of the Unix clients will work
on Windows if you compile them under Cygwin.

DynDNS: Dynamic DNS How-To

DynDNS: Third Party Update Clients

Before the host is ready to rock, you need to install the VNC server,
of course. Download the Free Edition of VNC from the following page. You
can fill out the little survey if you feel like it, or just go ahead
and click on the "Proceed to download" button.

RealVNC: Download VNC Free Edition 4.1

If your host is running Windows, download the executable file and run
it. You can accept all defaults in the installation wizard, but when
the server configuration window comes up as the VNC server loads for the
first time, you'll most probably want to change "No Authentication" to
"VNC Password Authentication" in the Authentication pane and click the
Configure button to set a password. Otherwise, any clown on the Internet
will be able to control your host's desktop by pointing a VNC viewer at
the IP address that corresponds to Bob's router, and there are lots of
clowns trying to do just that to random IP addresses. If you want even
greater security by encrypting all communication during the VNC session,
you should purchase the VNC Personal Edition, a Windows-only package
that goes for 30 bucks.

If you don't need high security and you want your host to run Linux,
choose the RPM for the VNC Free Edition and install it by executing
rpm -Uvh on the command line. Actually, before you do that, check to
see if VNC is already installed -- there is a good chance that it is --
by running "man vncserver". If it is, run vncserver and go through the
initial setup. If the host is running Linux, it is best to run the sshd
server on it and configure Bob's router to forward ssh connections to
your host, so that you can start the server yourself by logging into the
host remotely. In this way, Bob's only responsibility is to boot the host.

Otherwise, if the host is running Windows, Bob has to start the VNC
server from the Start menu, or perhaps using the desktop icon or the
quickstart button if you chose one of those options. Once the VNC server
is running, use a VNC viewer to connect to the host by specifying its
DynDNS hostname. The viewer is vncviewer under Linux, and VNC Viewer 4
under Windows. There is also a Mac VNC client that I haven't been able
to try out myself.

SourceForge: Chicken of the VNC

A further alternative is to use the VNC server's built-in Java viewer,
which you can access through a Java-equipped web browser on any platform
by entering something like, depending on
the hostname and the VNC port number. 5800 should work by default. There
will be significant graphical lag through the Java viewer, meaning that
the cursor will move slowly and windows won't be redrawn smoothly,
although any web material you view in the remote desktop will still
download at the same rate.

It has been a pleasure to answer your question. If you run into technical
difficulties along the way, don't hesitate to advise me through a
Clarification Request so that I can make sure your needs are fully met
before you rate this answer.



Search strategy:

cable dsl gateway

dynamic dns

vnc server

mac vnc client

Request for Answer Clarification by nortonloaf-ga on 03 May 2006 08:10 PDT

Thanks for your answer, and all your effort.

I think, however, there is some confusion about what I want.  I don't
want to do anything on Bob's computer...a remote desktop setup just
means that I'll be remotely controlling a computer on Bob's network. 
I don't want that.

All I want to do is pass my internet traffic through Bob's house.  For
example, lets say I was a stock trader.  I want to have Ameritrade and
all my real-time analysis software and 3rd-party ticker information
running on my Mac.  I want Ameritrade to believe I am located in Bob's
house.  All I want is an IP pass-thru.

Does this make sense?

Clarification of Answer by leapinglizard-ga on 03 May 2006 08:59 PDT
I do and I did understand what you need. I maintain that the best
solution is a remote desktop, since this will allow you to control a
web browser and all its plugins from Bob's house. Thus, all the
Internet traffic will originate from there.

The alternatives I considered were web proxying and X hosting. One
problem with web proxying is that a high degree of technical skill is
required to properly configure and maintain the proxy server. And the
deal-breaker, in my view, is that a web proxy only works for the HTTP
portion of the browsing experience. You can't expect Flash, Java, and
other plugins to work through the web proxy, yet these are crucial to
real-time stock tickers and other rich web media. If all you really
need is HTTP, you can get away with running a simple SSH server on
Bob's machine and tunneling a text browser through your secure client.
This would be easy to accomplish on Bob's Windows box, if you care for
the details.

The other chief alternative would be to tunnel a graphical browser
through an X-carrying ssh session. If you set up a Unix machine
(Linux, BSD, or what have you) running the standard X Windows
graphical server in Bob's house, you can ssh to Bob's and launch a
browser on that machine without bringing up the whole desktop.
However, the X protocol is so inefficient that it consumes ten times
as much bandwidth as VNC. Your graphical refresh speed would suffer
accordingly. Nonetheless, if this is the route you want to take rather
than a remote desktop, I can outline the steps for you.

After considering these alternatives and taking stock of my extensive
experience with remote application execution, I decided that the best
solution for you would be a VNC desktop within which you would run
your browser. Don't you agree?


Request for Answer Clarification by nortonloaf-ga on 03 May 2006 09:07 PDT

For unrelated reasons, I absolutely have to run my applications on my
computer, in this case my Mac.  Merely controlling a browser on Bob's
machine is not an option.

X-hosting doesn't sound like an option, as you mention.  Any kind of
proxying also doesn't sound like an option, from what I understand of
it (1. speed issues, and 2. the external websites can see that you are
proxying, yes?).

What are your thoughts on the VPN idea?

Clarification of Answer by leapinglizard-ga on 03 May 2006 09:24 PDT
Web proxying is only detectable in the sense that the proxy server
identifies itself as a different type of client than your web browser.
But the proxy server could be set up in your house, or at your
workplace, or any number of other places besides Bob's, so it really
doesn't tell the web server what you're up to. Performance should be
acceptable, too. The main stumbling block is the non-HTTP media, i.e.,
Java and Flash.

If you set up a VPN, it would still mean logging into a machine at
Bob's, either to run an application there or to tunnel your traffic
through a server there. There is no way for you to run an application
on your Mac and just have the raw IP traffic piped through Bob's
router without an intervening server at Bob's place. Also, bear in
mind that the VPN solution would mean running all of your Internet
traffic through Bob's place. You would not be able to choose a subset
of the Mac's traffic for rerouting, since the virtual ethernet card
would consume every IP packet.


Clarification of Answer by leapinglizard-ga on 03 May 2006 09:34 PDT
The comment below contains a good link, but what you really want for
VPN is this other article --

VPN howto

-- and the following software.

OpenVPN: Home


Clarification of Answer by leapinglizard-ga on 03 May 2006 09:43 PDT
Alright, stop the presses. I might have found just the thing for you.
I don't have a Mac, so I haven't been able to try this out, but the
following page seems to describe exactly what you want.

Mike Ash: Using ssh as a SOCKS proxy on Mac OS X

Does that work for you?


Clarification of Answer by leapinglizard-ga on 03 May 2006 09:50 PDT
To use Mike Ash's method, you'll need an SSH server at Bob's place,
running either on a separate machine -- preferably with some flavor of
Unix -- or on Bob's Windows box. For instance, Bob can install the
Cygwin shell on his machine and then compile OpenSSH under Cygwin, so
that he ends up with the sshd server. Once he's fired that up and made
an ssh account for you, Mike Ash's instructions should work. If this
solution is too slow for you -- expect a performance hit from
encrypting and decrypting the data stream through SSH -- then you need
to break out the heavy artillery of OpenVPN.


Request for Answer Clarification by nortonloaf-ga on 03 May 2006 11:12 PDT
Just responding to say my day has gotten screwed, and you have given a
lot of info quickly....let me take some time to go over it, and I'll
get back to you either later today or tomorrow. Thanks.

Clarification of Answer by leapinglizard-ga on 03 May 2006 12:19 PDT
I look forward to hearing from you.


Request for Answer Clarification by nortonloaf-ga on 03 May 2006 13:56 PDT

Ok, I've gone through the above items.  The article seems to
just describe how to run browser traffic from a different ip. 
Proxying also seems to just deal with http traffic.  The mikeash
solution also only appears to deal with browser traffic.

I'm not trying to be blind to any non-VPN solution, but the more I
look at this stuff, the more it appears that setting up a VPN is the
only solution that will work.  I need all internet traffic to go
through Bob's IP, not just a browser.

In one of the messages, you said:

"If you set up a VPN, it would still mean logging into a machine at
Bob's, either to run an application there or to tunnel your traffic
through a server there. There is no way for you to run an application
on your Mac and just have the raw IP traffic piped through Bob's
router without an intervening server at Bob's place. Also, bear in
mind that the VPN solution would mean running all of your Internet
traffic through Bob's place. You would not be able to choose a subset
of the Mac's traffic for rerouting, since the virtual ethernet card
would consume every IP packet."

None of this sounds bad to me...I've no problem with the idea of an
"intervening server" at Bob's house, and "tunnel your traffic
through a server there" sounds exactly right.  I also have no problem
with having to run all my Internet traffic through Bob's house...I'm
not concerned with trying to pick and choose which traffic goes
through him.  I
want it all to go through him.

A friend just told me a good example that might be more clear.  How
about those online games like "Everquest"?  They involve installing
software on your machine, and connecting to the game servers.  More
than just http traffic is going back and forth...who knows how many
different ways your machine is communicating with their servers, or
what their servers are finding out about your system, etc.  If, for
whatever reason, I just wanted them to think my machine was located at
Bob's house, instead of my house, how do I do that?

Clarification of Answer by leapinglizard-ga on 03 May 2006 15:24 PDT
If you want to go with VPN, much of the advice in my original answer
still applies, except you should read "OpenVPN" instead of "VNC". You
have to start by getting Bob a cable/DSL router and configuring it to
forward VPN traffic to whatever box, yours or Bob's, is going to host
the VPN server. Next, you have to get a domain name through DynDNS and
install an update client at Bob's. Finally, install OpenVPN on the
host machine at Bob's and on your Mac at home. The nitty-gritty
configuration details depend on your choice of OS and router.


Request for Answer Clarification by nortonloaf-ga on 04 May 2006 08:06 PDT

Ok.  So Bob's machine will host the VPN, right?

Here are the specifics, hopefully this is enough to provide step-by-step

Bob's Router: Linksys WRT54GS
Bob's domain:
bob's computer: PC running NetBSD (need instructions for installing this)
My Router: Linksys WRT54GS
My domain:
My computer: powermac G5 running MacOS *or* standard WinXP Pro PC (instr. for both)

Anything else?

Request for Answer Clarification by nortonloaf-ga on 04 May 2006 11:15 PDT
Note...the reason I chose NetBSD is only because I know it was what
they used on the setup I saw.  I'm somewhat familiar with unix.

One important point about the computer at Bob's house, is that it
needs to be headless, and if there is a sudden power loss or
something, the server needs to be able to restart itself just by Bob
going and powering it back up.  That is, all Bob should ever have to
do after things are set up is push the power button in the event of a
power outage.

Clarification of Answer by leapinglizard-ga on 04 May 2006 12:00 PDT
I have never installed or configured NetBSD, so I wouldn't be able to
help you with that. I think you would have an easier time using a
popular Linux distribution such as Fedora Core or Ubuntu. I see no
reason why Linux wouldn't support OpenVPN just as well as NetBSD

I understand your concerns about headless operation and push-button
booting. It is easy to configure Linux for automatic server startup at
boot time. NetBSD is probably similar, but I wouldn't know the

I'm being detained by something very urgent at the moment, but I'll
get back to you in a few hours.


Request for Answer Clarification by nortonloaf-ga on 04 May 2006 12:24 PDT
(No problem about a delay)

The Linux solutions you mentioned sound fine to me, especially since
you are familiar with them.  Hopefully you have a preference, or a
guess which flavor might be better suited to this project.

Clarification of Answer by leapinglizard-ga on 04 May 2006 19:53 PDT
I'm afraid I'm too tired to type out a walkthrough now. Will write
tomorrow. In the meantime, you can download Fedora Core 5 and burn it
to disc. (This is the distro I am most familiar with. I use Debian at
work, but on my home network I operate a number of servers under FC5.)

Fedora Project: Download

If your machine has a 32-bit Intel or AMD processor, you'll want the
i386 version. You have a choice of burning one DVD or five CDs (the
rescue CD is unnecessary). After burning, you can boot from the DVD or
CD number 1, and go through the media check right away.

I'll give you instructions tomorrow for configuring Fedora and the
other stuff.  One more thing to consider in advance is whether you
want a pure-Linux box or a dual-boot machine with Windows too. If the
latter, repartition the disk with at least 2 gig of free space, but
preferably 5 to 10, reserved for Linux. If it's going to be a headless
remote server, you may as well go with pure Linux.

Please let me know how much disk space you're allowing for Linux, and
how much RAM you have.


Request for Answer Clarification by nortonloaf-ga on 05 May 2006 06:47 PDT

Thanks.  I'll be going with just Linux, drive is 160gig, 512mb ram.  The
system is a newly purchased e-machine:

Clarification of Answer by leapinglizard-ga on 05 May 2006 07:07 PDT
According to the specs, that machine has a 64-bit processor. You
therefore need the x86_64 version of FC5.


Request for Answer Clarification by nortonloaf-ga on 05 May 2006 11:40 PDT
(this is just a status update, not trying to hurry you)

I've burned fedora, and booted from it.  Went through the media check, all is fine.

Doing the fedora install, there are (of course) a ton of choices to be
made.  I'm going to hold off until you get back to me.  I note that
one of the things I'm being asked is about various software
applications...when you get to specifying those, just a reminder that
there is no need (and never will be) for any extra stuff, unless it is
needed for this particular setup.

Also, a general question about specifying a subdomain with dyndns.  Is
there any added time involved in resolving a name to the numerical
representation?  If, for example, I were positive Bob had a static IP
that would never change, does it add any delay to set up the dyndns?

Clarification of Answer by leapinglizard-ga on 05 May 2006 23:17 PDT
I understand your concern about installing extraneous packages, but
for the time being it's best to go with the standard software bundles I
mention below. If the system turns out to be too bloated for your liking,
it's easy to go back and uninstall individual programs.

As for the static-IP question, I don't know whether DNS lookup would
have a noticeable effect on the overall transaction time. If Bob's
broadband provider does issue static IPs, you can run experiments to
find out for yourself.

When you install Fedora, you can accept the defaults for the most
part. The first important choice you face involves partitioning. Since you
won't be running any other OS on this box, you can go ahead and accept
the offer to remove all partitions and create a default layout. You
should then accept the default for the GRUB bootloader.

Don't try to enter any hostname manually when the option comes up. You
can do this later if you really want to, after assigning a hostname to
a static local IP address in the router's namespace.

When you see the world map, choose your time zone and don't force the
system clock to use UTC.

You will be offered a choice of software bundles. Deselect "Office and
Productivity", then select "Software Development" and "Web Server". You
don't need the web server itself, but the other programs that come
bundled with it may come in handy. Do choose to customize the software
selection now. Go to "Servers" and select "Server Configuration Tools",
then go to "Base System" and select "System Tools".

The first time you boot your Fedora installation, you'll be asked
to complete some further steps. Do agree to the license terms, of
course. Accept the default firewall settings, allowing ssh connections
through. Change the SELinux level to Permissive. On the Date & Time
screen, enable Network Time Protocol (NTP) and get your clock synced
with the default NTP servers. If you're using a flat-panel display,
set the resolution to your native LCD resolution.

Make a new user account for yourself with a password that differs from
the root password. Your system won't need network authentication.

Test network connectivity on your home network by using ssh from your
Mac to log on to the Linux box. Use the syntax

    ssh -l <username> <hostname>

where the hostname can be an IP address or a domain name. To activate
the domain name, download from

and read the documentation, either on the web page or by running

    ./ --help

in a terminal. If necessary, change the first line of to the
correct path for Python. The documentation suggests calling
from ip-up.local, but I run it as a cron job every 15 minutes. To do
the same, add a line like

    43,58,13,28   *     *     *     *    /home/username/dns/update_ip

to the root user's crontab, where update_up is an executable file in
your dns directory with the following contents.


    cd /home/username/dns
    /home/username/dns/ -l -r
--acctfile account.txt

The contents of account.txt should look like

    name password

using your DynDNS account name and password. Like the
documentation says, you must use the --makedat option the first time
you run it.

Download the OpenVPN tarball from

and install with the

    make install

dance. You can add yourself to the /etc/sudoers file to use the sudo
command for "make install" and other superuser tasks. Use the Mini-HOWTO
instructions at

to set up a pair of static keys, then follow

to implement traffic redirection.

Configure Bob's router to let ssh and OpenVPN traffic through by using
the Port Range Forward feature under the Applications and Gaming tab in
the router's web interface. Forward UDP/TCP traffic on port 22 (for ssh)
and on port 1197 (for OpenVPN) to your machine. Check your machine's
IP address by reading Local Network under the Status tab. Even though
local IP addresses are dynamically allocated by the router, your OpenVPN
server's address will stay the same as long as no other machine takes
its place and you don't switch its network card. If you really want to,
you can also set a static IP in the router.


Request for Answer Clarification by nortonloaf-ga on 08 May 2006 12:51 PDT
I got through the Fedora installation.  The mouse pointer is
invisible...i can see where the pointer is at by randomly moving it
until something is triggered by mouse-ing over it...then I can slowly
move the mouse and guestimate where the item is I want to click. 
Tried different mice, changing the pointer color/shape...nothing.

Oh, and it can't find the net connection.  Tested that, the connection
itself is fine.

Is there a non-gui way of running Fedora?  Can I just get a command
prompt and do all the stuff I need that way?  I'm pretty much giving
up on it I guess.

Can you point me to someone or someplace where I could get
step-by-step instructions for NetBSD?  The links you gave for setting
up the actual vpn would probably be fine, if I wanted to dig through
it all and do it myself...which I don't.

Clarification of Answer by leapinglizard-ga on 08 May 2006 14:57 PDT
The invisible-cursor phenomenon means that there's something funky
with the X Windows server, not with your mouse. I bet the native
support for your nVidia 6100 is inadequate. This should be easily
curable, since nVidia offers a proprietary Linux driver. Download the
driver from

and follow the installation instructions to the letter.

What do you mean by not finding the net connection? Do you mean that
you don't have Internet access at all? Does nothing show up in the web
browser? What happens if you execute /sbin/ifconfig ?

You can open a terminal window under the System Tools menu or through
the menu obtained by right-clicking on the desktop background. To use
terminal mode without seeing the graphical stuff at all, hold down
Ctrl-Alt-F1. The keys F1 through F6 are each linked to a different
text terminal. Hold down Ctrl-Alt-F7 to switch back to X Windows. To
make the OS boot straight into text mode without starting X, change
the initdefault to 3 in the /etc/inittab file. You can then manually
start X from text mode with the startx command.

Don't give up on Linux so soon! I guarantee that no other flavor of
Unix is more user-friendly, and Fedora is one of the best Linux
distributions. You do need some patience and a willingness to learn
through trial and error if you're going to run any kind of Unix on
your PC.

The NetBSD guide is at

and I don't know of any installation guide that caters to more casual
users. BSD is for hard-core hobbyists, even more so than Linux.


Request for Answer Clarification by nortonloaf-ga on 09 May 2006 09:43 PDT
tried to install the driver.  it said "no precompiled kernel interface
was found to match your kernel". couldn't connect to the internet to
download a kernel interface, of course.

looked on the linux display driver page, then the help boards...found
a bunch of stuff that supposedly is the fix, but it looks time
consuming and i've lost faith anything would work.

no net connection at all.  /sbin/ifconfig  gives me a bunch of
stuff...among them is "rx packets" and "tx packets" which both have
120errors.  plugged in a few different isp connections, same thing.

i did get it to boot right into text mode...1/3 aint bad.  i guess if
you have some tips for how to get it to see its net connection i might
try continuing, but i think most likely this was a failure,
considering all the vpn setup stuff i still have to learn and do.

Request for Answer Clarification by nortonloaf-ga on 09 May 2006 09:55 PDT
On a slightly different path...I saw this answer to a somewhat related
question from a friend:

A router is basically a computer with more than one network interface.
There is an Open Source project ( that replaces the
operating system on certain commercial wireless routers with Linux, and
that enables all kinds of customization.  For example, on my own router
I modified the firewall to block incoming ssh attempts unless a
specific sequence of "knock" packets has been seen from that address.
It also will wake up my Mac from sleep state.  Other people use them as
web servers, or to run IRC bots.

It should be possible to add the proxying capability to one of these
routers (current street price around $80 - I've bought them for as low
as $20 after rebate), and it can still operate as a normal household
router.  So instead of adding a box in the garage, you might just be
replacing whatever router they already have.

Do you think this is possible?

Clarification of Answer by leapinglizard-ga on 11 May 2006 11:20 PDT
It is possible to install a custom Linux system on some routers, but
your particular model is not supported. Furthermore, the installation
and configuration would be much, much harder than with Fedora or other
mainstream Linux distributions.

I am sure you can get Fedora going with a bit more fiddling. The nVidia
driver can be compiled for your kernel if you follow the instructions in
the README.txt, which are actually much less complicated than they seem.
In any case, the installer will probably be able to download a precompiled
kernel interface once you get the net connection going, which is your
primary concern right now.

You should check to see whether your router is assigning IP addresses on
your local network using its DHCP server, which is the default setup. Open
the router's web interface on your Mac and go to Setup -> Basic Setup. In
the section labeled Network Address Server Settings (DHCP), is the DHCP
Server enabled? If so, Fedora has to use DHCP to get an IP address.

Switch into superuser mode using the su command and run
system-config-network to make sure that you're using DHCP on the Ethernet
interface. (Use Tab to go from field to field and Space to activate a
field.) If, on the other hand, your router does not have DHCP enabled,
then you must be assigning static IPs to the machines on your local
network. In that case, find out the proper IP address through the
router's web interface, then use the system-config-network utility to
set the static IP on Fedora.

Once you are done with system-config-network, execute

    cat /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0

to see the Ethernet card's configuration. If you're using DHCP, the
output will look something like this.

    # 3Com Corporation 3c905C-TX/TX-M [Tornado]

When you run

    /sbin/ifconfig eth0

the output should include


and some other stuff. If the connection is down, run

    /sbin/ifconfig eth0 up

as superuser. To get the connection to start automatically at boot time,
make sure it says


in the configuration script named above.

Subject: Re: Need to pass through net traffic through another location
From: dmrmv-ga on 03 May 2006 09:19 PDT
I believe you could do this using SSH tunneling to forward your
traffic through a proxy machine on Bob's network but I lack the
expertise to give you detailed information. Check out this link:
Subject: VPN solution
From: brianegge-ga on 14 Aug 2006 11:39 PDT
I think your best bet is to install a vpn, and use the VPN to tunnel
all of your traffic.

I use a Cisco product at work, but there is a free one available:

When you want to send traffic through Bob's computer, you connect your
VPN.  This appears to your computer as an Ethernet adaptor, and you
can configure it to transparently route 100% of your traffic.  When
your done, you can simply disconnect, and you traffic will go out
through your regular internet connection.

If you simply want to edit Wikipedia or something, and don't want the
IP to identify you, there are plenty of free web based proxies which
do this.

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