How-to: Secure your Traffic using an SSH Tunnel with PuTTY

Here is the quick and simple way to encrypt and protect what you are sending and receiving over the network whether you are at home or at a wifi hotspot. This is a simple proxy over an SSH connection. You will need the following to do this (works for any platform):

That’s it! First set up PuTTY to connect to your SSH server but also set the following Tunnel settings:

PuTTY SSH Tunnel Configuration

  • Source Port: 7070 (this number can be pretty much anything)
  • Destination: localhost
  • Select Dynamic and Auto

Then click Add and it should show up as D7070. Select Open and log-in. Your traffic can now be forwarded once you configure your applications to use the proxy.

In Firefox (all major version), go to Tools->Options->Advanced->Network->Settings and set the following proxy configuration:

  • Manual proxy config
  • SOCKS Host: localhost
  • Port: 7070

Then hit OK and you’re done. To make sure the proxy is working, you can go to http://www.whatismyip.org/.

An easy way to switch proxy settings in Firefox is to install the QuickProxy add-on — change proxy settings with just a click.