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Using a PuTTY terminal as a SOCKS proxy through a remote host

A useful thing I would like to share with you is how to set up PuTTY to use a remote server as a proxy server. This can for example be helpful to bypass a firewall or ban or you can use it to test services that are locked on one or multiple IP addresses. The added bonus off course is that SSH uses encryption up to the server you specify.

The first step is to download a suitable PuTTY binary for your platform at http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/download.html.

The second step is filling in your servers hostname or IP address.
1Next up is specifying the ¬†source port that you will use for the local connection. Go to Connection->SSH->Tunnels in the left pane. Fill in 8080 as the source port, and select dynamic as destination. Click the “Add” button.
2That’s it for the PuTTY part. If you want you can go back to the Session settings and give the connection a name, and save it for later use.
Now connect to the server by clicking “Open”. Fill in your servers username and password.

The last thing to do now is configure your proxy settings on your browser or other software. I’ll show you how to configure FireFox 3, but the settings are the same for every browser.
Go to Tools->Options->Advanced tab on your firefox browser. Click on the connection “Settings” button. Fill in the details like shown on the image below.
3Now you can browse to any website. You can check a website like http://www.watismijnip.nl to verify you have the same IP address as your server.

That’s it!

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