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I'm getting my email by SMTP/POP3 to my local ISP provider like that :

email client <--- unencrypted cx ---> POP/SMTP server

"cx" stands for connection.

That provider doesn't support TLS/SSL neither for SMTP nor for POP3.

That doesn't bother me when I'm at home (because capturing packet between me and the ISP is not so easy) but I'm pretty concerned sending my credentials on a open/public wifi.

I do not want to use any other email provider.

I'm thinking setting up a kind of proxy on a server at my home to avoid sending credentials in clear when outside home, like that :

my email client <--- encrypted cx --> Home server <--- unencrypted cx ---> ISP POP/SMTP server

How may I achieve that ?

Will SSH tunneling do the work ?

PS : Server is on Debian/Linux and client on Ubuntu/Linux

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4 Answers 4

Yes, you could open a VPN tunnel as a “Road Warrior” to your VPN Endpoint at “home”. The communication between you (The road warrior) and your “Home” (VPN end point) will be tunneled and encrypted (if correctly set up).

You’ll then have access to your local LAN at Home and will have to configure your traffic to go trough there.

Unless you’re transmitting really sensitive information (in which case I’d rather look at PGP or similar), I think it’s too much hassle.

Better to use VNC or Terminal Services or similar and connect to your home server, use the mail from there, than to set up this mess.

In any case, have a look at OpenVPN if you still want to go the crazy route.

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VPN is possible, but a bit overkill for this scenario. A simple tunnel would be sufficient... –  sleske Jul 7 '10 at 8:45
    
VPN (in Windows XP at least) is alot easier to setup than SSH through Cygwin –  TheLQ Jul 17 '10 at 17:11

SSH tunneling with a SOCKS proxy will work. You don't mention which operating system you are using on the desktop or what mail program you are using, but I've had success with this scenario on a Mac using the Mail.app application.

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A slightly different idea from the others, could you set up your current mail server to forward mail to eg. gmail, and use a secured connection to that server (just while out of the office)?

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+1 for thinking out of the box –  sleske Jul 7 '10 at 8:45

My solution here is to open a SSH connection at my home server. There is a GNU screen session. Inside the session I open my mail client (mutt) and read/answer all mails.

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Wow, I would of never thought of forwarding the whole mail client. +1 –  TheLQ Jul 17 '10 at 17:11

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