NOTE: This post is for edu-ma-cational purposes only! I'm not in any way, shape, or form suggesting that go out and try this...yada, yada, yada. You know the drill! ;-)
I know you've all been in this position before: you're waiting at the airport, staying in a hotel, or sipping coffee at some fancy cafe, when all of a sudden you remember that important business email you were supposed to send off. "Damn," you curse under your breath as you haul your MacBook out of it's trusty shoulder bag case, "this one's going to cost me!"
And you know what? You're exactly right, it is going to cost you! Not only with your boss when he finds out you didn't send that important email on time, but also with the paid-wireless internet service provider that your particular airport, hotel or cafe uses. Those guys can charge exorbitant rates for their Wi-Fi services, just for the simple reason that you have no other choice but to go through them. Sure it's unfair, sure it's highway robbery, but what can you do? Fortunately, there is a work around that allows you to access their Wi-Fi connection without having to pay for it, and today I'm going to tell you how.
Jason Striegel from the MAKE: Blog has posted an article with links to two different methods of gaining free access to paid Wi-Fi, in places such as airports, hotels, etc. How is it done? Well according to Jason:
There are two traditional ways of getting around the captive portal: tunneling IP over DNS and tunneling IP over ICMP.
In most situations, the firewall will be set up to block or proxy all TCP traffic, and all HTTP requests are redirected to the authentication server that wants you to enter a credit card. DNS lookups and ICMP traffic (ping, for example) are quite often left untouched, however, allowing you to use these services to move data through a remote computer under your control.
The basic setup is the same for both scenarios, and you can use the same server as a DNS and ICMP proxy. All you'll need is a public DNS server that you can manage and another server with a static IP that you can access remotely. Thomer Gil has written two excellent howtos, one for using NSTX (IP-over-DNS), and the other for using ICMPTX (IP-over-ICMP). Follow the guides, install and configure the two packages, and you can get free access in a pinch from just about anywhere.
Great tip guys! Enjoy!! :-)
Via MAKE: Blog