SSH Tunneling is very good for network administrators or even home users concerned about the security. If a connection is not encrypted, then the information transmitted will usually be via plain text which can be intercepted / read exposing your network to a risk of hacking.
It is extremely important to take care of the security aspect especially when you are using a public network such as at the Airports, Coffee Shops etc. You are at a EXTREMELY HIGH RISK!
To learn more about security stuff, take a look at Backtrack which is a linux distribution and can run on VM – comes compiled with a numerous tools packed inside – I will not name the tools, i let you do the exploration. The aim of this guide is not to promote it but to defend it. Ideally, if you are not that techie, then it would be best to purchase a VPN i use my own created on an Amazon EC3 instance, with a single click i am connected to a secure network via VPN.
But if you are not into it, then you can create a SSH Tunnel. For this, you need a linux server that can be accessed remotely. This server will encrypt the data, and act as mediator for information transmission by passing it over to the internet. SSH is easy to install, check this guide out http://www.cyberciti.biz/f
You can also config a proxy on your server but for this you will need squid which is simple and there are tons of guides available. PuTTy can be downloaded from http://www.chiark.greenend
Add in the IP (or hostname of your server) and save it with a name. If you don’t save it, you will have to type it in every time you want to connect.
From the left pane, click CONNECTION and SSH and TUNNELS, then select Dynamic and set source port to 7070 and hit ADD. Select Local, Source Port 8080 (or your port) or whatever the port is and the destination 127.0.0.1:port and click add again.
Click Session on the left pane (top) and save this setup. Now when you’ll ssh into the server, you will be taken to the terminal window.
Now when you open it you get a terminal window. If you do not wish to use this at all there is an option ‘dont start a shall or command at all’ under SSH on the menu.
While it is running you can run any application that works with a proxy. If it allows Socks 5 or 4 proxy then point it to 127.0.0.1 on port 7070 and it will now tunnel and the data will come out from your linux server. If it only supports HTTP proxy then use 127.0.0.1 port 8080.
Traffic sent over this system can not be grabbed out of the air (sniffed) by hackers as it is encrypted.