Create a SOCKS proxy with SSH in Leopard

I love bypassing content filters. Here’s a fast and easy way you can use your computer at home (Running an OpenSSH server) to get past  web content filters at work or school.

Here’s what we need

  1. A computer at home running an SSH server.
  2. SSH port (22) open on your router to your SSH Server
  3. A computer running Linux or Leopard

To get started you need to prep your computer at home. You need to make sure you have an SSH server running and that it’s accessible from the Internet. Also if your computer at home doesn’t have a static IP address I’d strongly suggest using a Dynamic DNS service so you have a nice friendly hostname to SSH to.

Once you have that all working you’re ready to bust through that content filter.

Open a command line terminal and type the following command

ssh -D localhost:1080 user@mysshserver

Replace “user” with your username and “mysshserver” with the IP address or hostname of your SSH server

That’s it we’ve started our SOCKS proxy we just need to configure the web browser to use it.

If you’re using Safari

Open Safari then click on “Safari” in the menu bar and go to the “Advanced” tab. From there click on the “Change Settings” button next to “Proxies”.

This will take you to the proxies configuration in System Preferences.

Change “Configure Proxies” to manually. and tic off the “SOCKS Proxy” under “Select a protocol to configure” Also make sure that all the other items are unchecked.

If you’ve followed all the steps in this tutorial so far you can enter the SOCKS Proxy Server as localhost and the port as 1080. Also make sure “Proxy Server requires a password” is unchecked. So your window should look like this

If it looks good click on “OK” Then “Apply”. That’s it. Head over to or and you should see the IP address of your computer at home and even better you should be completely unhindered by any content filters.

Now if you’re using Firefox or another similar browser you can configure it this way. Open Firefox and go to the preferences (or Options) screen which is under the “Firefox” menu as “Preferences” in OS X and Linux and under “tools” as “Options” in Windows. Move to the Advanced tab and click on the “Network” section. From the network section click on the “Settings” button, this will show us the proxy configuration screen. Click the “Manual Proxy Configuration” radio button, make sure that HTTP proxy, SSL proxy, FTP proxy and Gopher proxy are all empty and then under SOCKS Host enter localhost and 1080 as the Port.

The screen should look like this

Now click OK and close the “Preferences” or “Options” window.

That’s it now test it out by going to or again you should see the IP address of your home computer show up instead of the IP of the computer you’re on.

As always if you have any questions, comments or suggestions please post them in the comment section below.

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I'm a self labeled Nerd who enjoys Playing Video Games, restoring classic muscle cars (i have a 65' Mustang in the works) , Running Big Data Clusters, Tattoos, Working on System Automation, Riding and customizing Motorcycles, and writing python Code. I'm an SRE with DemonWare/Activision Specializing in Big Data/Hadoop operations but all opinions and views expressed on this site are solely my own.