What do you do when you need a connection to the Internet and the only thing in hand is an unsecured wireless network or hotspot? Do you realize the dangers involved? Would you trust this connection and send confidential data over it?
Of course VPN is the favorite method, but what if you don’t have such an option? Let’s say all you have is a DD-WRT router with no VPN (because you have a mini or generic firmware). Just for the sake of argument. How do you route your traffic through this router from the Internet?
Well, I spotted in my early days a way to secure the communication in such environments while looking for something else. I was actually looking for a way to access private IPs behind a Linux router without the use of a proxy and I figured that Putty can do both of this. For several reasons I use Windows in my daily work so the best tool in hand for SSH connections is by far Putty.
Start Putty and put your server name or IP address, select SSH for Connection Type (and the port if it’s different from 22, I know it’s a common thing to change the SSH daemon port for security through obscurity reasons), type a name for this connection in the Saved Sessions field and click Save.
Now go under Connection -> SSH -> Tunnels, set the Source Port to 8080 or whatever port you wish, click Add, and you should get something like this: