A long time ago as an undergrad I heard a rumour that there was a way of accessing journal articles from home as if you were on the university network.

I am now a Ph.D. student and know a bit more about computers and still have no idea what it was or if it could be done. When I have been getting a lot of trouble I have ssh'd into my university machine and launched Firefox through X11, downloaded the file and scp'd it back.

Any suggestions on better ways to achieve this would be greatly appreciated.

In case it is important I usually use Linux but have Mac and Windows available.

  • It sounds as if you heard about a VPN (Virtual Private Network), which allows you to connect to a remote network and act as if you were directly connected to that network. You might check if your university offers VPN access for students. – ernie Jul 26 '12 at 0:05

This would depend a lot on the university. Quite a few allow journal article access via login

If you have SSH on your university system, and can SSH into it, you could use ssh tunneling between the systems - between linux systems, as i understand it, should be as simple as ssh -ND 9999 user@universitysystem.tld on the client side. D allows for dynamic port forwarding, and N opens no prompt aside from the initial password.

You will then set up your web browser to use a socks proxy at port 9999, and set up your web browser to use the DNS server on the proxy side by going to about:config and setting network.proxy.socks_remote_dns = true.

Instructions adapted from lifehacker

This will allow you to connect using your local browser, as your university computer, which should allow full access to internal university resources.

You can do the same from OS X. For windows, putty will act as a client.

If you have more control over the server, and want a slightly solution that is running all the time without needing to log on, you can set up tinyproxy - It dosen't have password authentication so you'd need to set it to only serve to your ip address, but i found it was a simpler solution for me to set up.

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  • For anyone else trying this, you don't need the N – Anake Jul 26 '12 at 10:37
  • Without -N it logs into the remote machine and provides a shell prompt, at least on my system. – Marco Jul 26 '12 at 10:54
  • yup. As i stated in my answer. LH didn't really explain what you were doing ;). – Journeyman Geek Jul 26 '12 at 11:04

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