Using an SSH server as a SOCKS proxy

2nd October 2013 (8 years ago)

SSH has support for SOCKS built in. If you have a remote SSH server you can use it as a proxy for web and other traffic.

Connect to the server with the following command and after a few seconds you will have a SOCKS proxy at port 8080.

ssh -C2qTnN -D 8080 <user@remotehost>

The options set Compression, SSH2 only, Quiet, Force pseudo-tty allocation, Redirect stdin from /dev/null, and Place the ssh client into "master" mode for connection sharing.

In Firefox go to Preferences > Advanced > Network > Settings...

Choose the Manual proxy configuration option and on the SOCKS Host line add and 8080. Leave HTTP Proxy and the others blank. SOCKS v5 is the preferred version.

In about:config in Firefox it's best to set network.proxy.socks_remote_dns to true so that DNS queries also go via the SSH connection.

You can also configure this system-wide depending on your platform.