Browsing the Internet through an SSH Tunnel (Windows)

Published on: February 5, 2014
Difficulty: Medium

You may think you want to use VPN software on your server to route all your browser traffic through the server. This would certainly work, but is overkill for simply routing your traffic through the server. On a linux server, you can simply use SSH and configure your browser to browse the internet as if connecting from your server.

How to configure an SSH tunnel in PuTTY

  1. Download PuTTY from []
  2. Open PuTTY and enter “” for the Host Name and your SSH Port ( works too, if you do not have root access, but can still access SSH on another user)
  3. On the left pane, scroll down and navigate to Connection > SSH > Tunnels
  4. On the “Options controlling SSH port forwarding” menu, enter “8888” in the Source Port and select Dynamic. Click Add
  5. After you click Add, “D8888” will be added to the list of “Forwarded ports:” above. Click Open
  6. After you click Open, a terminal window will pop up and prompt you for a password. You will copy your password and right click to paste (the text is hidden to protect you, but trust me, it pasted). Hit enter.
  7. You should now be logged into your server as the root user (it is actually best to create a non-root user for this just to be safe). If you followed the steps correctly, you should also now have a tunnel from your computer to your server.

How to configure the browser to use the tunnel

Then configure your browser. I recommend using Firefox with FoxyProxy:

  1. First, go get yourself hooked up with the FoxyProxy extension for Firefox. Once that is set up and installed, you will see a new link for FoxyProxy in the bottom-right part of Firefox’s status bar.
  2. Right-click that link and choose “Options”.
  3. Click “Add new proxy”. On the “General” tab, make sure all checks are enabled. You can give this new proxy connection a name if you want to.
  4. On the “Proxy Details” tab, check “Manual Proxy Configuration”.
  5. In “Host or IP” enter: localhost
  6. Choose a port number, such as 8888 for the Port field. Remember that number.
  7. Click the “SOCKS Proxy?” checkbox.
  8. Click OK to close the settings tab. If you receive a warning about URLs, click OK to accept it.

You can use any browser that supports SOCKS Proxy. You don’t need a program like FoxyProxy, it’s just easier to manage the connection.

Checking if it worked

To see if everything worked, navigate to

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