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I live in an on-campus apartment at a University. I have my own subnetwork setup inside my apartment. For my main gateway I use an Apple AirPort Express and I also have an Asus RT-N12 running as a repeater (the RT-N12 is DD-WRT compatible).

I have an HTPC that is connected via ethernet to the RT-N12. I want to be able to access the HTPC from outside the university's network. I've set the HTPC's local IP (in my subnetwork) to be the default host for the AirPort Express but I still can't access it from outside the university's network.

I believe that the University is assigning my subnetwork a public IP (not NAT) because when I go to a site like http://whatismyipaddress.com it shows the same external IP address as my AirPort Express.

One solution that comes to mind is to install DD-WRT on the RT-N12 and set it up as a VPN client to a VPN server that I host outside the university's network. Would that work?

If there's a solution that does not involve VPN, then that would be preferable since I plan to be streaming videos from the HTPC (large amounts of data).

Thanks in advance for any help.

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1 Answer 1

I'm in school also, and if you don't mind a newbie trying to help you, I'd like to give this a try.

What ports are open/available for you to use? I'd find that out. Getting through school networks is not always easy because the admins are usually tired of students, faculty, and staff and their downloads/uploads/other weird activity. Since there's really not many good reasons for you to be traversing the school routers to get from point A to B (i.e. listening on ports like for VPN, RDP, http, etc), you might not have privileges for that.

See if even a basic port 80 webserver can be seen outside your local subnet (like see if your neighbors can see your htpc). Just because whatsmyip recognizes you doesn't mean the routers will let you and your files hop over them. All whatsmyip is telling you is that the school's NAT is allowing some pool of public ip addresses within some range to be used so that you can use the internet. That's all at their discretion, and it depends on how little the admins trust the users in the network. The DD-WRT won't do you much good if the next hop (i.e. on the school network) is blocking you. But you might luck out and get a decent choice of ports both inbound and outbound.

Sometimes some students are allowed network drive space (for 'official' purposes). That would solve it for you, but you need a good reason to give the admins. If all else fails you could try something on the very high ports. I've heard of people getting torrents even on torrent-blocked networks so there are possibilities.

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