I use my university internet network and all incoming connection is blocked on every port.(they use netasq firewall) They have no other restrictions which stops me from using a torrent client. Using torrent is NOT against university network policy but they restrict all incoming port just for security reasons.

Is there any way, I can use torrent in this situation?

can VPN be a solution here?

can SSH be a solution?

Mainly, I need to know, can torrent work if all incoming connection is blocked? Is there any way to initiate the session beforehand so that I get a open port in NAT table?

1 Answer 1


Netasq has a firewall feature that targets specific applications using deep packet inspection not just basic port blocking. In order to bypass the firewall you would need to encrypt your traffic by using a VPN or similar. I good vpn client is called OpenVPN. To accomplish this through ssh(using linux) you would ssh -D 8080 [email protected] you would then need to run ssh -L 1234: [email protected] The first command sets up a proxy(socks) service on port 8080. Then second command binds a local port to the remote port on the server where proxy is running. After a while ssh session will drop due to no data being sent over the connection. To keep connection alive you would need to add

ClientAliveInterval 120


to the ssh daemon config file usually located at /etc/ssh/sshd_config on the server. If you don't have access to the sshd config file you can also use

ssh (commands here eg. -D or -L) -o TCPKeepAlive=yes -o ServerAliveInterval=60 [email protected]

The command above would have the same affect keeping the connection alive.

If you are using putty(ssh client) click connection on the left panel you will see seconds between intervals and a text box enter 60 in the text box this will keep the connection alive and stop it from dropping out. Putty also has port forwarding options under Connection -> SSH -> Tunnels. To create a proxy on the server you would need to enter -D 8080 [email protected] under Connection -> SSH where you see remote command. This will setup a proxy(socks) on port 8080 on the server. After setting up port forwarding and proxy you would need to configure torrent client to use the proxy listening locally. A torrent client will still work if the firewall does not allow incoming connections to ports.

  • Very well answered sir. Can you please clear my basic confusion that "can torrent work if all incoming connection is blocked?". just think that they don't use Deep Packet Inspection and only block all incoming connection which is not in NAT table. Jan 3, 2015 at 13:20
  • Thank You. Yes torrent client will still work if the firewall does not allow incoming connections to ports.
    – Tim Jonas
    Jan 3, 2015 at 13:21
  • So, I think they purposely block all torrent using DPI and this is the only thing I need to bypass using a VPN? Jan 3, 2015 at 13:23
  • That is correct
    – Tim Jonas
    Jan 3, 2015 at 13:25
  • 1
    With a advanced firewall I believe it would be possible. Most IT administrators that want to block VPN connections block ports that VPN's use such as port 1194 udp, 443 tcp and 1173 udp/tcp. Some firewalls have a built-in proxy/vpn list where they will block access to those domains all together.
    – Tim Jonas
    Jan 6, 2015 at 15:41

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