When I take my laptop out to a unknown wireless network I can never be sure how secure it is. Well after a little bit of a fiddle with ssh and a couple searches on Google I found a way to set up a simple proxy using my own personal server so long as it supported SSH.
It is actually quite a simple principle. SSH will connect you to your server on an encrypted connection. Your server then forwards on your requests for you. What I will do is go through how to setup your mail client using a dynamic SSH tunnel.
The first thing you want to do is to set up your mail client to use a proxy url: “localhost” on port “1081”. (you use that setting for anything you want to secure like messengers, browsers and any any application that will allow u to connect to the Internet via a proxy) Leave the rest of your settings as they are.
The next thing u want to do is to setup the proxy with your server there are many FREE third party apps that will allow u to do this like PUTTY(windows) or SSH Tunnel Manager(OS X). If you are not familiar with a command line then i recommend you use a third party app as apposed to the command line. i will right another post on one of the apps soon. Since I got a mac I have really gotten into the terminal so I will also show you a nice and easy way do it with one shell command see bellow:
ssh -D 1081 yourUsername@yourDomain.co.uk
ssh – is the base for any ssh comunication
-D – sets up the tunnel so that it will DYNAMICALLY forward on the ports as specified in the original applications.
1081 – is the port the proxy listens to on your localhost you can change it as u see fit
yourUsername@yourDomain.co.uk – this is where you specify your user-name to your site and your your server url.
Then it prompts you for your for a password. Enter it and your done. Now as long as that terminal window stays open then your proxy connection will stay up and all your connection will run through it.
Now if you are anything like me you will probably want to go on line to see how u can customize the connection and boy are there loads of things out there. 1 thing I thought I would mention just in-case 😉 if u need to end the connection due to the fact u set the proxy to run in the background in a terminal wind type “kill ” and the connection id you find the connection id by typing “ps” in the command line that will list it. Take the id from there say it was 475 and type “kill 475” and the proxy connection is gone. This may only be relevant if you customize the ssh command I gave you.