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I have a device that connects to the network.

Unfortunately, I cannot connect it at my desk due to the IT department not wanting to put non controllable devices on the network.

Is there a way that I could connect it, possibly with my computer using a hub, and then forward its traffic over SSH to a different computer that would give my device network access?

Edit: Seeing as you all immediately got defensive (thanks). The plan was to find the alternative, and then propose it to IT. The problem is not that they don't want to work with me, its more of a "The right firewall for the right devices" issue.

Also, posting snide comments and down ranking a question just because you feel like politicizing it is a really crappy policy.

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closed as off topic by Chopper3, Zypher, Zoredache, John Gardeniers, splattne Feb 2 '10 at 7:19

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Your IT department wouldn't like that. These days it's pretty easy to hire someone else who won't violate company rules, so why take a chance? – Alex Holst Feb 1 '10 at 22:20
@Alex, depends on the industry. I don't think nuclear physicists are particluarly easy to come across. – Mark Henderson Feb 1 '10 at 22:22
There could be a perfectly legitimate reason to use a network enabled device for your work (network enabled lab/sensing equipment for instance.) Rather than go around IT though, you should involve them in coming up with a solution that enables you to use the device without compromising the security/stability of the network IT is responsible for. Suggest you take any advice found here and discuss it with IT. Some IT geeks will consider your issue a challenge to overcome. ;-) – Chris Nava Feb 1 '10 at 22:42
Once again we have someone asking us how to circumvent systems put in place by others of our kind. – John Gardeniers Feb 1 '10 at 22:49
All of your comments regarding IT do not apply in this case, but thanks for questioning my motives. – Seamus Feb 1 '10 at 23:58

I'm really not sure coming to a forum staffed with professional sysadmins looking for a way to get around other professional sysadmin's business and technical decisions is either smart or likely to gain you the answer you're looking for.

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And I'm really sure this doesn't constitute an answer, see my edit. – Seamus Feb 2 '10 at 0:31
@Seamus, I agree, I'm tired of seeing people telling the world that they don't agree. See here:… – Mark Henderson Feb 2 '10 at 1:24

If you're going to connect this device to a hub, and then to your PC, and your computer only has one network card, then you're going to have to plug your PC into the hub as well.

And if you do that, then you're going to have to plug your network cable from the wall socket into the hub, because the network card from your PC is plugged into the hub and can't be plugged into both the hub and the wall at the same time.

And if you do that, it's quite likely that your network guys will come down on you like a ton of bricks.

So, short answer, no. If you had two network cards, different story though.

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USB ethernet adapter ftw. but i don't think that'll prevent the IT guys from coming down on the OP like a ****-ton of bricks. – quack quixote Feb 1 '10 at 22:30
The idea was to come up with an alternative before I met with IT, but thanks for the concern. – Seamus Feb 2 '10 at 0:33

Actually, I'll be the devils advocate here, because I actually enjoy the challenge of this stuff from both sides, and because a lot of you jokers are just lazy.


I worked with a guy once who refused (categorically) to upgrade to any browser past IE 6, and he held to that policy through hell, high water, and tears, until our own website would no longer even work on the browser installed on our internal desktops. He had the exact same view about everything else on the network that he didn't put there himself, and was just a complete misery to work with.

As an admin, your job should be to help the users do their job, and to try and help out those few who have some technical competence when it's not going to be too much trouble. This is not to say that you should let every schmuck come in and plug in whatever the hell they want, and it's not to say that you should compromise your security in the name of user convenience, but your job is not to keep your network wholly pristine, it is to make it as useful as possible, and useful means getting a little dirty.


The problem is always going to be the extra IP address/Mac Address pair. That's what they're going to be looking for: even if they don't have DHCP completely locked down, they're bound to be scanning for "new" MAC addresses. You can't secure your physical network if you don't watch out for unfamiliar MACs.

To get around it, either you have to route the extra traffic through your machine, using some kind of proxy (which is only possible if you can install software), or you're going to have to slip a switch in between your machine and the network and then NAT all the traffic straight through to your desktop (chances are they have RPD or similar set up so they can admin your machine remotely), and you're going to have to configure the switch to have your machines IP address, and your MAC address, and you may not be able to determine these depending on how locked down your machine is.

Now, both of these solutions are going to be completely obvious to anyone who bothers to leave the coffee pot and walk around. If you're lucky, the guy is going to think the rule prohibiting you from connecting your virus-laden tablet PC to the company network is outdated and turn a blind eye. If you're unlucky, they'll disconnect it with a hammer (I have actually done this to an open WAP that someone plugged into my network...Watching them try to complain about it was delicious).

Your best policy is to go to your boss and sell them on your peripheral. Then have them go to the guy who is over both your department and IT, and sell them, and then have them dump it Wrath-of-God style on the IT people, who will then cite chapter and verse on why allowing your device onto the network will end civilization as we know it. Depending on which boss sells it better, it will/won't get done, and, either way, eventually, the admins may take you off of their shit list.

What I would do, wise as I am in the ways of networks, is ask for an external WAP. If you pitch one that is outside the internal, protected network, you can probably sell it because of all the execs who have Crackberries and iPhones, who will appreciate the wifi. And it's the sort of thing that doesn't cost very much, and soothes a lot of employees, that IT bosses like to do.

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