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Or is there a more generic way to tunnel my HTTP traffic (via PuTTY) through this SSH connection?

Thanks in advance!

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Perhaps you're supposed to use the SOCKS proxy capability of SSH? Read the man page and look for the "-D" option. What happens is that SSH binds to a local port (much like port forwarding), you configure your browser to use SOCKS on that port, and SSH forwards through the SSH connection directly to the web sites you visit.

See here for details.

EDIT: If it's anonymity you're after, mind your DNS leakage (which is addressed in the last post on that link) and JavaScript leakage. There are lots of ways your anonymity can be compromised, even with a proxy. In other words, unless you really know what you're doing, don't trust a simple proxy for anything really important.

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it is a SOCKS proxy. the configuration element i was missing was the "dynamic" radio button in PuTTY. i added a source port (which i use in the browser config) and clicked dynamic, then "Add". i have since tried it with several different ports, and it seems to work on any open port. anonymity is not my concern in this application, but what would you suggest if it was paramount? – gr33d Dec 1 '09 at 15:37
Well, for one, a single "normal" proxy just isn't really anonymous. The service can have logs (either through policy or court order) or through traffic analysis of the proxy. TOR and similar are as strong an anonymity you can get, short of clandestine use of someone else's internet connection (such as open wifi). Even then, you still have potential leaks, such as DNS, and blocking all outbound traffic except for the proxy traffic is required. Too many nuances to get into here, but it takes some effort. – Geoff Fritz Dec 1 '09 at 16:22

You need to change some configuration, but it works quite well as a proxy.

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all of those methods require an HTTP server and its listening port--which I don't have. I am guessing the HTTP server is running on the box I'm connected to, but there are tons of open ports. – gr33d Dec 1 '09 at 13:40

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