Downloading in Coffee Shops, Cafes, etc

I’m a newbie so please feel free to move this post if it belongs in the newbie forum.

Do most public places that offer free WIFI access use NAT? If so, is there a way to use port forwarding to open ports? What info would I need if it’s possible? I tried one local coffee shop and checked a web site that determines if a computer is using NAT. According to that site, my computer “appeared to be using NAT”. That site also gives some IP addresses. Does anyone here have any suggestions on downloading from peer to peer sites in places that offer WIFI?

I’m on a different PC now, and don’t have a link to that site. I will post it later if anyone requests it. Some of you probably already know what site I’m referring to.

Thanks for any help.


As far as I’m aware of, there is no way of opening ports at an Internet Café or most public Wi-Fi access points. Virtually all public Wi-Fi access points use a NAT to allow all computers on the network to access the Internet through a single public IP. Most, if not all, will have some sort of firewall in place to block incoming connections and in many cases I’ve seen, some also block all outgoing ports apart the common ones such as for HTTP, FTP and E-mail.

As many Internet Café’s offer public Wi-Fi access by simply sharing out their existing Internet connection, if they did offer port mapping for its users, all it would take would be two to three people with active transfers from a P2P network for the Internet at the place to become virtually unusable for browsing. I’m sure if you’ve downloaded some large files from P2P, you would have found browsing the Internet quite sluggish until the transfers completed or were cancelled.

As far as I’m aware of, the only way one can get a public IP address on the move is through a 3G wireless broadband provider, however, they usually charge more per month than regular fixed point providers and have a small monthly quota allowance. If you do decide to subscribe to a 3G broadband provider to download from file sharing networks on the move, I would recommend speaking with the provider first to ensure their 3G data service offers a public IP.

Try using BitComet or BitSpirit, they have protocol encryption, it might work.

Thanks Sean and awdrifter. I’m still learning.

Some of the sites I want to download from do not allow BitComet or BitSpirit. Somewhere I read that Azureus and utorrent also use protocol encryption (it’s possible that I misinterpreted). Can I use Azureus and utorrent behind a firewall without forwarding ports? According to some comments I’ve read, protocol encryption will allow that. Again, I might be misunderstanding something that I’ve read.

uTorrent does indeed have protocol encryption:
Options > BitTorrent > in protocol encryption box, check “Allow incoming legacy connections” and set “Outgoing:” to “Enabled”.

As for the rest of it, I’m no expert. :slight_smile:

Thanks, Woodenhead.

Well, could someone please tell me if using protocol encryption is taboo on bit torrent sites? Are there any dangers as far as vulnerabilities to viruses and spyware? I’ve read a few conflicting articles on that topic and am still not sure if I should use it behind a firewall.

Thank you

It’s not taboo at all - in fact it’s usually recommended, from my experience. As far as viruses etc goes, there’s always a danger there - you need to be careful & use common sense. I find that on private sites there’s a much lower risk due to dilligent community watchdogs, though. I’ve been using uTorrent with port forwarding on my ZoneAlarm firewall & have yet to have any issues. Just my personal experience.