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I am currently using SSH tunneling to connect to the internet via a remote computer using the -D ssh argument. I've recently run across a problem with this solution -- the SSH protocol decreases the MTU significantly. I'm not at all worried about security, and am just looking for the most light weight way of creating a similar dynamic application-level port forwarding solution.

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How significantly? The MTU has to drop a bit to fit the packets inside the tunnel.. It shouldn't be drastically, what are you seeing? – Paul Oct 20 '11 at 23:16
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The question does not make much sense, since the -D or -L tunneling feature SSH doesn't involve "transmission units" at all – it works with byte streams, not individual IP or TCP packets. At "application level" it doesn't have access to those, after all.

If you meant the overhead of SSH, however, you can use a plain SOCKS proxy to avoid it. This is in fact the same protocol that ssh -D emulates, so it will work with programs the same way. There are a few SOCKS server implementations for Linux, including dante, ss5, and 3proxy.

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