How to route all your network traffic through an SSH Tunnel

I’ve recently been visiting China and have been caught out by their Firewall.  This hasn’t be too bad but Google Mail and Google Drive is really slow or intermittent.  Also you can’t access YouTube or the BBC IPlayer.   The final straw for me was for some reason they have blocked the Ubuntu Dropbox repository – so you can’t install Dropbox either.

I don’t have VPN account but we do have some servers.  Therefore, I decided to route all the network traffic through one of our server.

I tried various options and final settled on sshuttle because I needed to route everything and not just Firefox. Sshuttle is a transparent proxy server that forwards over a SSH connection and sets up a proxy by running Python scripts on the remote server.  I’m assuming your are running Ubuntu on both the client and the remote server.  You will need administrative privileges on the client.

sudo apt-get install sshuttle

To route all traffic through sshuttle (except DNS):

sshuttle -r username@sshserver:port 0/0

You will then need to enter your password on your client and then the password for the remote machine.  To help debug run sshuttle in verbose mode with the -v flag.  The -r flag is  the remote host (and username).   The port 0/0 is short for that represents the subnets to route over the VPN.  The usage of 0/0 routes all the traffic except DNS requests to the remote server.  If you need to tunnel your DNS too then add the -H flag.

The project website is

Happy Tunnelling.

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