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I am a student working a library job. Its a great job for a student, since I have lots of downtime to study and get other work done. So naturally, i want to work on my java projects. I spoke with our IT person and he said that installing the JDK was a security risk... damn. It would have been so nice to check out a fresh copy of the project every time i went to work and commit the changes and see them at home. anyway...

I have a second idea, but I am not sure its possible. Let me preface this by saying I know very little about networking. very little. At home I develop on my linux box. My landlord, a very old non-technical person, shares free and fast wireless internet over an unsecured wireless network. I understand that this is itself a security risk.... but I would only like to bother this old man if absolutely necessary.

I have a wireless router. Is it possible to set up my router such that I can have my own secured wireless network, but have that network use the internet access from the unsecured connection of my elderly landlord? This would potentially solve two problems for me. Close up a rather large security hole, and allow me to configure my router for port forwarding and be able to ssh into my home machine. This way Ill be able to code through emacs or vim through a putty window.

Sorry if this is a complete bone head question, and thanks for an answer. Any other ideas for letting me code remotely from work?

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What you're talking about is configuring your router as a WAP and bridging the connection to the active internet connection... There should be ways to do this (depending on router settings) but you may need to link your router to the active router with a network cable... – HaydnWVN Jan 10 '12 at 8:58
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Basically the insecurity on an open WiFi networks comes from the possibility of getting sniffed. Because WiFi sends traffic to everyone, a malicious person could check out what you are doing. If you add another modem you will still use an insecure medium that is easily sniffable.

Anyway by installing another WiFi modem you are not going to solve the problem unless you connect it directly to the switch or router where you get the internet from your provider.

Connecting to the other WiFi AP already is not really that straightforward with consumer hardware (although I am not sure).

If you want a secure line, I suggest you rent an encrypted VPN somewhere (can find those for about 30 to 50 USD a year). You will proxy all your traffic through that VPN. It will get encrypted before you send it over the network and decrypted at the end point (being the VPN provider). It is insecure if you do not trust your VPN provider.

Also, providing the open WiFi uses NAT rather than give you a public IP, you would still need to portforward from the insecure network to your network, since this is where you get the internet from and where the public IP is configured. If your computer does get a public IP, you would already be able to use SSH. However bear in mind that some ISP's block everything below 1024 for consumers, so just let the SSH daemon run on a higher port, rather than on 22.

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