Iodine and Paid-Access Hotspot Situations

I travel a lot and find myself in many situations where I’m connected to a hotspot but have to pay to get access to the Internet.

If you haven’t heard about iodine yet, it’s a solution that lets you tunnel IP packets over valid DNS requests. This is a solution just for these problems, as most paid-access hotspots allow valid DNS-requests and responses to go through.

There are many guides on setting up an iodine setup, including this one for example. The problem is – the established connection is usually too slow to actually do something with it, from my experience.

iodine lets you SSH into the installed iodine server (over DNS requests/responses). Usually people setup an SSH tunnel and use their personal computer regularly.

If that is too slow for you (like it is for me) – I recommend installing a bunch of utilities on the server itself so the server does all massive Internet traffic, and you just get the output through the SSH shell.

My setup is a cheap $10-a-month DigitalOcean server with the following programs installed:

Since I installed these I don’t need to create the SSH tunnel anymore, I just run them from the SSH shell and enjoy a relatively fast way of communicating for free.