Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'll be moving to mainland China soon. I have a vps with a 1gbit connection in Amsterdam that is running CentOS. I'm not an expert on servers but would it be possible to connect to my vps from China and use the VPS's ip to visit websites?

I.e turn my vps into a proxy OR simply somehow connect with a GUI to the vps and use firefox directly from the vps. However at the moment i only know how to connect to my Centos5 vps via SSH. Thanks for any help.

share|improve this question
This would be better on SuperUser. – MrStatic Dec 3 '10 at 2:19

A quick possible answer (since I'm in a hurry right now): SSH tunneling!

Assuming your workstation is running Windows and you're using FireFox for your browser (because that's what I'm familiar with):

  • Install OpenSSH on your server
  • Install PuTTY on your PC
  • Configure PuTTY (under Connection/SSH/Tunnels, select Dynamic/Auto and a Source Port of 1080, then add).
  • Open FireFox, configure proxies under Tools/Options/Advanced/Network/Settings. Set SOCKS host to, port 1080, SOCKS v5 (v5 tunnels UDP including DNS data).
  • Type "about:config" into your location bar and heed the warning; in the search box below the location bar, type "socks"; on the "network.proxy.socks_remote_dns" item, set it to "true" by double-clicking it. This sends all DNS data over the proxy so it can't be blocked/tweaked.
  • Hit a site like, ensure you're seeing the IP of your VPS


share|improve this answer
Excellent instructions for (a) configuring ssh to tunnel a local connection to a remote socks proxy server, and (b) configuring firefox to use the tunnelled connection, but surely this requires that a socks proxy is actually running on the remote VPS server? – MadHatter Dec 3 '10 at 7:27
MadHatter: nope, none required on the VPS. The proxy is actually a feature of the SSH client, which then tunnels all of the data to the server. Really useful trick when wanting to encrypt your data when on an insecure wireless AP (hotel, airport, etc.). :) – Kameron Dec 3 '10 at 19:05
Elegant, thanks for the clarification. I see it does it for Linux clients as well, using -D (I don't want to paste the man page for ssh in here, but if you want to try this at home, readers, look for the -D option: ssh/sshd acts as a SOCKS proxy with no further effort). Kudos to Kameron! – MadHatter Dec 3 '10 at 20:03

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.