Use SSH as a VPN
This page summarizes how to utilize ssh to create a "poor man's" VPN. This can typically be done using any default install of ssh on a Linux system but this tutorial was written using a default install of CentOS 5 and utilizes Windows 7 as the client (Notes for Linux mentioned). This example creates a SOCKS proxy, which isn't a full VPN connection like OpenVPN.
This tutorial is geared more towards home users. A full VPN tunnel is possible with sshd but it cannot be accomplished easily in Windows and therefore isn't easily used on multiple OSs.
If you notice a problem with this How-To or would like to provide feedback, please email Matt.
Linux server with sshd installed
PuTTY installed (if Windows)
Create the SOCKS Proxy
If you are using Linux, this is very easy. Just connect to your ssh server with the
-D flag and a high port.
ssh -D PORT server.address.com
If you are using Windows, it is still fairly easy but requires a bit more work.
Open up putty and enter in your server address
Choose Connection -> SSH in the Category menu. It isn't necessary but choosing to enable compression can be beneficial.
Choose Connection -> SSH -> Tunnels in the Category menu. Enter in a high source port (such as 50000), choose Dynamic, choose Auto, and click Add.
Finally, click Open and login to the server.