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As an avid designer and developer I work with software on my laptop while at school. Because I'm on my school's network, I have no access to things like:

  • the web server I run on my personal computer from elsewhere,
  • remote desktop connection (RDC), and
  • anything that requires a port.

I looked around on the Internet but I couldn't find a very cohesive and complete answer to this. I've heard that it's possible to run a VPN or tunnel out. If it helps, I have access to a router at home that I can configure for possible VPNing.

What should I do? Ideally I'd like to be able to point certain ports on my home router to my laptop at school, so I can access my home IP at port 80, for example, and receive the web server running on my laptop.

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What kind of router do you have? You most likely won't be able to setup a VPN server on the original firmware of your router. You'll most likely need your router's firmware to something like DD-WRT to do that. – superuser Aug 22 '12 at 4:47
    
No you're right. Is that going to be necessary/ the only way? – Brandon Wang Aug 22 '12 at 5:50
    
Doing something like this might be against your school's policy – Keltari Jan 24 '13 at 6:13

Take a look at hamachi:

https://secure.logmein.com/products/hamachi/download.aspx

I have a similar issue to you, and I am lucky because I can run the hamachi client on the computer behind NAT 24/7. If you can't run the server on the target computer, you will need to find another computer that is also behind the same NAT which can run the hamachi client.

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