Using SSH as VPN replacement

I played around with VPN for personal use for a long time. Since I set up a VPN using IPSEC for a company before I know how to do it but it seems just way to overpowered for personal use. On the other hand, I like the Option to encrypt my traffic if I’m on open WiFi or something like this, so what came to mind was using SSH Socks Proxy.

SSH Socks Proxy opens a Tunnel to a specific Server using SSH and then sents all the traffic through the tunnel if you configure your local machine to use this proxy. Setting it up is easy and for everybody in fear of the Terminal on MacOS, you won’t need it. For me SSHKeychain and the MacOS Proxy Settings do the trick.

So first just to check if everything is workin later go to: MyIP

Now to setup SOCKS Proxy in a couple easy steps:

  • Start SSHKeychain and go to Preferences and Tunnel
  • Click the Plus, to add a new Tunnel
  • Name it unter General to something descriptive
  • Enter your SSH credentials for any Computer you got SSH Access
  • Go to Dynamic Ports and add a Port (ie 9999)

Now you can active the Tunnel via the Tunnel Menu. All you gotta do now is, to tell Safari to use it

  • Go to Safari Preferences and to the Advanced Tab
  • Click on Change Settings next to Proxies
  • Activate SOCKS Proxy and Enter localhost and port (ie 9999)
  • Click OK and Apply

Now to check if everything is working reload your MyIP and it shoud give you the IP of the Server you connected to.

Those Proxy Settings also affect Mail and other Apple Programs so you are form now on using a safe encrypted connection even though your on a open WiFi or any other untrusted Network.

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