Bypass port restrictions on cPanel and WHM

cPanel and WHM are nice friendly systems that allow one to configure much of a web/ftp/email server with ease using nothing but your web browser. It is commonly made available by web servers that offer shared hosting packages, and includes a webmail package to allow you to access your personal email remotely. Just right for those boring office hours where you need a few hundred hours break from doing what you're paid for.

The only problem is it exposes the cPanel, WHM configuration and webmail service on ports 2082, 2086 and 2095 respectively. This is normally fine, but sometimes - especially in the office workplace - you might find that these ports are blocked for "security" (aka stopping skiving) purposes. A day in the office without the ability to play on your personal email is an horrific thought, and most corporate network admins are unlikely to comply with a request to unblock the ports for you unless the extremely rare co-incidence occurs that you have an particularly good excuse and they actually know what a port is.

There is of course a few solutions. The most convenient the Poorhouse has discovered yet is a script called cPanelProxy. Through clever manipulation of subdomains, php.ini, .htaccess and a php script it exposes the services on port 80 - the standard http web port - which you almost certainly will be able to access. By default, you will find your webmail at the webmail subdomain of your site (e.g. http://webmail.yourserver.co.uk) and cPanel and WHM at the cpanel and whm subdomains respectively. These subdomain names are however configurable by editing lines 18 to 20 in the PHP script.

In the Poorhouse's (limited) experience, it doesn’t quite work perfectly under all circumstances - using the cPanel install of Horde a few of the links don't appear to do anything and the screen is a little screwed up. Nonetheless it is easily usable enough to bypass your censorious workplace firewall and allow judicious personal email reading.


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