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For the past 4 or 5 years I've been using SSH tunneling. I set up a location in OS X network preferences using the exact technique described in this comment http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1828631. I usually tunnel through my router at home which runs DD-WRT. I use SSH Tunnel manager to manage the tunnel http://projects.tynsoe.org/en/stm/.

Once it's set up, all you need to do is switch your network location to the tunnel location before you leave the house, then when you want to get online, press the button for the appropriate tunnel in SSH Tunnel Manager.

I've got a similar setup using SSH Tunnel Manager to tunnel to a co-located Linux machine running squid proxy. All my applications used the proxy connection via the tunnel (browsers, IM clients, etc.).

Took some initial configuration time to get things setup but now its just one click in the SSH Tunnel Manager widget to get things going anytime I'm working remote.

VPN may be easier but an SSH tunnel gets it done.

You don't need to run squid to use an SSH tunnel as a proxy. If you set up a dynamic tunnel (not sure how to do this in SSH Tunnel Manager but it's fairly straightforward in putty) you point your clients at the local side and use it as a SOCKS proxy.

Thanks - I'd missed that comment you mentioned. Any thoughts on the pros and cons of using this vs a dedicated VPN ?

This is much easier to set up and works well. The router or server you are tunneling to needs no extra configuration beyond having ssh set up. On a VPS it will already be running and with router firmware like DD-WRT or Tomato it's just a checkbox in the settings.

VPN makes more sense if you need to access things on another network, like shared drives, and can be difficult to configure.

I've been working completely mobile and using tunneling for years. It works well. Set sshd on the router/server to use port 443 and you won't have issues with port restrictions.

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