How to get around the watchguard proxy

Written by chad anderson
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WatchGuard is a common application-layer proxy that is designed to filter Web and media content on a host machine. While proxies serve their purpose to protect most users, they can be overly restrictive, since most of their filtering is done through automation. To work around a proxy, you can use a method that is known as SSH local port forwarding -- commonly referred to as tunnelling. This method forwards all of your connections over an encrypted tunnel to a secure relay.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Shell account

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Download and install an SSH client for your operating system. If you are using Linux or Mac OS X, you already have an SSH client installed. If you are using Microsoft Windows, you can find a list of Windows alternatives on the OpenSSH web site (see "Resources" below).

  2. 2

    Launch a command prompt or terminal window. Type "ssh -L server" into your terminal window. This command runs "ssh," specifies the local port forwarding option with "-L" and sets up port "8080" as a connection point for the tunnel to "" at port "80" through the "server" address, where our shell account is located.

  3. 3

    Recompose the command for the web site to which you wish to tunnel and with your server's domain name or IP address instead of the "server" tag. Port "80" specifies Web traffic, but you can just as easily make that port "25" for outgoing e-mail traffic or port "413" for incoming e-mail traffic. You can also specify multiple forwards to a single "server" by adding an additional "-L" tag with more port and domain data.

  4. 4

    Press "Enter" to execute the command and then use your log in credentials to complete the tunnel set-up. Launch your Web browser, enter the address "http://localhost:8080" and press the "Enter" key. If you followed our example, this address would access the local tunnel on port "8080" to "" on port "80" for Web traffic.

Tips and warnings

  • SSH tunnels are not only useful for bypassing restrictive firewalls: Setting up an encrypted tunnel is a great way to keep your information secure when using public hot spots, as well. SSH also offers a dynamic forwarding option using the "-D" tag that will forward any and all connections to a secure relay.

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