How to surf anonymously using an SSH tunnel and Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon (7.10)
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Wireless hotspots are certainly convenient if you carry a laptop with you frequently. However, if a network is free and open for you, it is free and open for everyone else also. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could encrypt your web surfing and redirect your DNS requests to a safe server?
Well, you can if you use an SSH tunnel to encrypt your web browsing traffic. For this tutorial you will need a few things:
-You need access to an SSH server (I use my Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon computer at home).
-If you are using your home computer as the SSH server, you need to find out the external IP address of your home router or use DynDNS to map your external router IP to a hostname. You can find out the external IP address of your router by going to WhatsMyIP.org from a computer in your house.
-You need an ssh client on the computer you will be using to surf at the hotspot (Since I use Ubuntu, I just use the default ssh command-line client).
-It is preferable to use Firefox for the most anonymous surfing.
The following steps should get you surfing anonymously in no time. Please note that I am using Ubuntu, but these procedures could be altered to use any SSH server and any SSH client.
-Install the SSH server on your Ubuntu computer at home using the following command at the Terminal:
sudo apt-get install ssh
-Set up port-forwarding on your router to forward any external SSH traffic to your Ubuntu SSH server in your house. Consult your router manual for information on how to set this up.
-Make sure you leave your home SSH server running before you leave the house with your laptop.
-At the hotspot run the following command in the Terminal to establish the SSH tunnel:
ssh -ND 9999 username@home_router_ip_address
-Minimize the Terminal window.
-Configure Firefox to use the SSH tunnel as a proxy server by going to “Edit -> Preferences”, selecting the “Advanced” tab, selecting the “Network” tab and clicking on “Settings…” under the “Connection” section. Select “Manual Proxy Configuration” and set up a SOCKS Host for “localhost” and Port 9999. Also choose “SOCKS v5.”
-To also, encrypt DNS lookups in the tunnel go to “about:config” in your browser. Set network.proxy.socks_remote_dns = true .
Congratulations! Your DNS and Web traffic is now encrypted in an SSH tunnel. For those who would like to explore this further, you might like to know that this method can be used to tunnel through a firewall. Use this knowledge at your own risk .
Try this tutorial out and browse back to this entry in your shiny new SSH tunnel. Leave a comment when you do, will ya?
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