Notes on Web Tunneling While Traveling

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I’m currently traveling in Germany, and I need to use the internet.  I’m able to find internet hotspots almost everywhere, but I’m not interested in paying 3-5 euro to access each hotspot.  The curious thing is that many of these hotspots are setup such that port 80 is closed (i.e. HTTP traffic) for non-paying customers, but all other ports are open.  This means that without paying, I’m able to get an IP address with DHCP, SSH into my remote server (on port 22), and send email (on ports 25 and 587, depending on the mail server).  So, that’s useful, but what about viewing web pages on port 80?  The solution to this problem is to use SSH tunneling.  It’s rather simple.  I found these instructions to be useful: https://www.pcworld.com/article/197725/how_to_set_up_a_secure_web_tunnel.html?page=1

Basically, I setup SSH tunneling and then modified my Safari SOCKS proxy to use the tunnel.  The instructions in the URL (above) are accurate, except for one point that needs clarification: the “ssh” command to setup the tunnel requires sudo, like this:

sudo ssh -ND 8888 username@host

After launching ssh, I modified my SOCKS proxy:

Preferences > Network > Proxies > click box next to SOCKS proxy, then list “localhost” and “8888” for the SOCKS proxy server.

. . . and now I’m online!

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