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I'm on a bit of a travel binge at the moment, and unfortunately that finds me using some of the worse WI-FI connections I've ever seen; periodic disappearance and reappearance, highly variable throughput, etc.

I can deal with that on the web-browser side, but a lot of my work is done over ssh. I already use screen to maintain persistent processes once I make the first hop, and can quickly resume work after the first-hop connection dies, but is there anything I can do with this first hop ssh connection to let it cope more gracefully with spotty connections?

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If it is only the link-layer of the connection that is sloppy, you could disable KeepAlive and give your connection a better chance to recover from long stalls. This may not work well if you are behind NAT or get assigned changing addresses.

In the generic case, I find it simpler to just use a VPN such as OpenVPN. All the applications running on the static internal address become oblivious to disconnection problems.

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