Programming: ezTunnel SSH – Port Forwarding Made Easy
Posted by llemarie on November 25, 2007
Update: Windows and Linux binaries, as well as open-source code under GPL are available here.
The freeware “ezTunnel SSH” is a GUI application for Windows and Linux that makes it easy to manage multiple SSH tunnels in the background. The interface is simple: creating a tunnel takes a few seconds, connecting to an existing tunnel is instant!
“Why would I want to do that?” you might ask… To make a secure connection to your home or to your office of course! If you wanted to control your home computer via Remote Desktop from work for example, you certainly don’t want to open port 3389 on your home firewall! Instead you set-up an SSH server at home (with a Linux box, or using cygwin under Windows, it’s easy either way) then you “tunnel” your connection via the port 22 (default for SSH) and you don’t have to open any other ports on your firewall. With one SSH server on your home network, you can access any computer on your network simply by creating a tunnel to it.
Now imagine you want to securely control your home PC from anywhere in the world, stream your home MP3s (using Jinzora, it’s brilliant), occasionally connect to a secure server at work, punch a hole through a local firewall administrated by somebody else, etc… That will take a few tunnels to set-up. No worries: with ezTunnel SSH it only take minutes and it all sits in one icon in the system tray.
Simply put, a tunnel works this way:
- Tell it where the SSH server is (this is your home address, probably a static IP from your ISP or a dyndns address).
- Tell it which computer you want to access on your home network (this is the internal IP, probably 192.168.0… ).
- Specify the remote port (for remote desktop that’s 3389, for a web server it’s 80, etc…).
- Choose a local port (that’s your choice, I tend to use ports in the 5000-6000 range).
- Start the tunnel and connect to “localhost:5000” (if you chose 5000 as the local port).
That’s it, now you can access all your home computers from anywhere completely securely!
Get “ezTunnelSSH” for free here.