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Setting up a router undetected at university

Last response: in Networking
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October 26, 2011 1:10:14 PM

Hi,
I have recently purchased a PS3 and can sign into my PSN account but cannot access PSN when i try to play games on multiplayer.
My university doesn't allow routers so I was wondering if:
1)Having a router would let my ps3 work properly online?
2)How to set up a router without it being detected. I have no knowledge whatsoever of routers so it would be much appreciated if the advice could be dumbed down a lot :D 

Thank you
October 26, 2011 1:57:52 PM

I assume your PS3 needs to open ports on the firewall. At least that's been my experience w/ most consoles if you intend to support online gaming. Problem is, you don't control the university firewall. Even if you could, it would only work for ONE user since the necessary port forwarding can only be directed to a single IP address (and even that IP address is most likely dynamically assigned). Until and unless you can solve those problems (highly unlikely), the router (as least when it comes to supporting the PS3) is a moot issue.

As far as using a router for general purposes, you will probably have to clone the MAC address of your PC/laptop (the one already authorized on the university network) to the WAN port of your router (a feature available w/ most routers these days). The university system will then be fooled into thinking your PC/laptop is connected to the system when in fact it’s your router.

How not to be detected? I suppose a strong wireless signal emanating from your dorm isn’t a good idea. Wouldn’t hurt to disguise the router a bit either, although ultimately it can always be found via inspection by simply following the ethernet cable back from the wall. Obviously I have no idea what is and isn’t a likely scenario on your campus. There’s also the possibility (if unlikely) of the university using traffic analysis to detect the router. Outright detection isn’t easy (unless you do something stupid), but they *might* be able to at least suspect a router is in the mix based on what it’s doing, where it’s going, or just the sheer amount of traffic it’s carrying compare to those not using routers. You can at least undermine some of those analytical tools by using a VPN (which encryption your traffic), perhaps one established back to your home (saves some money compared to a public VPN service). Another possibility is to use your PC/laptop as the router. IOW, use something like ICS (Internet Connectio Services) under Windows. That’s a software based solution as opposed to separate, standalone router. Now it appears as if your PC/laptop is connected normally. Someone comes into the room and as far anyone casually examining the situation can tell, you just have your PC/laptop connected as normal. But in fact it’s “configured” as a router. Or if you wanted to risk establishing a wireless AP, use something like Connectify to create a wireless repeater.

Ultimately there are no guarantees. Nothing stops the university from simply engaging in physical sweeps of the area if they feel so inclined.
October 26, 2011 4:07:51 PM

You won't be able to use a router, they are easy to spot on the network, and won't do anything for you as you'd have to go though the school network anyway, which is where the block is.

If you want an external connection, get a cell modem, hook it up to your PC, and share out that connection using ICS, then connect the PS3 to that ICS. It won't be on your school network, no-one will get in trouble, you can share the cost with room-mates.
November 4, 2011 2:18:11 AM

The way that they block it is by packet and port filtering. There maybe a few ways to resolve this but I have never tried so do not know. You could change the port that the game works on (some games allow this PS3 probably will not). So if you set up a PC with ICS and setup port forwarding so that like port XXXX goes to port 80 (port 80 is what your web browser uses) you would then need to find a place (web site or other) to switch the port back from 80 to XXXX as PS3 servers would not accept a connection on port 80 that would work for the game. In concept this will work but... is difficult to setup and a VPN would still be needed to prevent detection if they are watching for this type of thing and they are trust me they are. Also note if you did this it could get you in trouble like removed from internet access or worse depending on the TOS and ULA (Terms Of Service, User license Agreement). Honestly I would not try it for a game.
!