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On public spots like school, library or train, it is very easy to intercept the data sent/received. Because of that, I want to create a secure connection (through my home router).

I am aware of setting up SOCKS over SSH for Internet browsers, but would like a method which encrypts all data sent over the network. It should work for wireless connections and, if possible, wired connections too.

Security and performance often don't glue together, I can live with a small performance loss for better security.

What are the possibilities on achieving this secure connection, with a low performance hit?

I am using Kubuntu 10.10.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

OpenVPN can allow you to tunnel all your traffic through your home machine, but does require some extensive knowledge of SSL to set up. OpenVPN would use a TUN/TAP adapter (a virtual ethernet card, as it were), then you would merely need to set a host route to your home machine though the unencrypted connection, and your default route through the tunnel. Just like that, it's just as though you were plugged in to your home network using a very slow ethernet cable.

This does require leaving a machine on at home (or a router that supports OpenVPN) and the ability to set up bridging or routing to connect the OpenVPN adapter to your network on the machine running the OpenVPN server.

A number of organizations also offer OpenVPN connections to users for a small fee. Googling "OpenVPN provider" comes up with a good number of results for that, and while that would cost, it would also avoid needing to set up your home network for the VPN in question.

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To give a specific recommendation, iPredator (operated by the same folks as The Pirate Bay) is very popular. Note that iPredator is (currently) PPTP based, so it is somewhat vulnerable to attack (but still miles more secure than an uncencrypted connection, cracking a PPTP connection requires more effort than a casual attacker will go to). iPredator traffic runs through Sweden, but even as such it seems to be among the fastest, and certainly among the cheapest (EUR20 per 3 months, iirc) around. Others will likely have other opinions as to which services are worth looking in to. – jcrawfordor Jan 27 '11 at 23:17
I've a Speedtouch 780 with telnet access and have server-level knowledge of SSL, which should be good I guess? I also have a VPS which I can use for this purpose. The idea of "VPN" sounds bloated, I just need a secure channel from the client to the server, which forwards the packets (un)encrypted to the Internet. What are the other options, and the advantages / drawbacks? – Lekensteyn Jan 28 '11 at 8:29
A secure channel from a single client to a single server, you might simply want to use SSL on whatever system you're connecting to. stunnel ( ) can handle this on both ends if your service doesn't natively support SSL. A VPN is a little bloated, but when you want a full internet connection over a secure channel, that's exactly what a VPN can provide. – Jeremy Sturdivant Jan 28 '11 at 9:44
Seriously.. OpenVPN does not require knowledge of any kind today. There are easy to follow guides for all operating systems and if you are not a complete idiot you will make it run in no-time. – matthias krull Jan 28 '11 at 13:18
Jeremy Sturdivant, I do not want a connection to a single server, but a full internet connection, like you say in your last sentence. mugen kenichi, I know how to set up a VPN, just want to be sure that it's the fastest method to get a full secured connection. – Lekensteyn Jan 28 '11 at 13:48

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