It’s not news: China blocks a myriad of web sites which are deemed unsuitable for its citizen. But I’m not its citizen. On the occasional trips to China I suffer withdrawal symptoms from the lack of facebook, youtube and other random sites. Not to mention the epic distress suffered from keywords/URL filtering and strange results for things related to Tibet/Tiananmen (oops!).
VPN is a fine solution, but me being lazy, I prefer using softwares already present on my systems. SSH tunneling seems to fit the bill just nice. OpenSSH outside China (checked), Putty on laptop (checked), ready!
- Under Session, enter hostname.
- Under Connection > SSH > Tunnels, enter source port, select ‘Dynamic’ and click ‘Add’.
- Select ‘Open’ and log in with username and password.
- Halfway done; leave the window open.
OpenSSH (for *nix only)
ssh -C2qTnN -D source_port_number username@remote_host.com
Browser (edit: only Firefox at the moment)
- Generally, look under options/preference > network > proxy to enter the address ‘localhost’ for SOCKS5 proxy using the source port number chosen.
- edit: (For Firefox) Enter
about:configin the address bar, go (and promise you’ll be careful), enter
network.proxy.socks_remote_dnsin the filter bar and set the value to
- Surf on past the Great Firewall of China!
China happens to be the unfortunate example; insert country-that-does-funky-things-to-network-traffic here.
edit: Among the mainstream browsers, only Firefox allows remote DNS resolution via SOCKS proxy right now.
edit: Empirically, setting
keepalive to 2 seconds on client-side seems to improve connectivity (China).