I recently was on a visit for a few days where my primary internet access was through verizon, which I eventually discovered blocks SMTP ports. I had to improvise a workaround to send mail, but I burned a lot of effort figuring everything out.
So, my question is, what's the best general strategy for dealing with on-the-road network connectivity, given that my home PC will be powered off and I'll be carrying a netbook.
-- None of the answers to date is really satisfactory, and I've given the subject more thought. It finally came to me that the solution is the very earliest technology the public used to get to the internet. Back in the stone age of the internet, you had to be an institution to have internet access. Those institutions could allow their employees or other associates to dial in to their sites, and from there do whatever the institutions permitted, but you were pretty much tethered. If your internet access was through a school, and you graduated, you were out of luck. If your access was through your job, and you changed jobs, your internet access went away with it.
-- One of the first cracks in this institutional wall was netcom. I'm not sure what they were officially, but they started selling dialup access to unix shell accounts for about $30/month. This was about 1995. Ostensibly, these shell accounts let you do simple things like send email and use FTP from text-based client programs. Everything was run over a text based interface suitable for a "glass tty" terminal which was standard for the time. This was pre-web - there were no browsers yet - but as we all know that all changed very rapidly. Suddenly, there was all this cool browsing and graphics that everyone was using, but only from work - because you had to be an institution to connect to the internet, and users only connected to institutions by text based dialup.
-- The programs that changed all this were "slirp" and "tia". These programs ran on unix shell accounts, and used PPTP to tunnel internet traffic over the dialup text connection, back to your home pc, giving you full internet access over your dialup line. The slirp/tia era didn't last long, soon netcom (and others) started offering dialup that did exactly the same things but didn't require messing with shell accounts or finicky setup of your pc's network stack.
-- the main thing (and the answer to my question) is that "slirp" effectively teleported your network identity to the host you dialed in to. And that is what I want for my traveling PC - a way to take whatever brain damaged, restricted, censored, or otherwise limited internet access while on the road and teleport it to a nice unrestricted host.
I think what I'm looking for is a mandatory VPN, perhaps one that is configurable to use port 80 or some other port that is found to be available.