DEV Community

Mark Sta Ana
Mark Sta Ana

Posted on • Originally published at on

Tunnelling TCP over DNS in 2018

I wrote this article after seeing that no one had written anything about tunnelling tcp traffic over dns since 2016.

A common use of this type of tunnelling is to gain free Internet access by tunneling through a WiFi captive portal.

I'd also say it's probably a good idea to get some practice before similar types of network restriction are imposed by your ISP or the state.

Just like stateful packet inspection will reveal ssh tunneling over https, this is by no means a method of concealment so caveat emptor!

My choice of tunneling tool is iodine. The code can be found on GitHub, the site is hosted on

The setup hasn't changed along with the current version (0.7.0). Important thing to note here is that you should always have parity with the client and server version of iodine.

Setting up iodine:

Provision a server (via DigitalOcean et al).

  • install iodine (ubuntu/debian) apt-get install iodine
  • run as a service iodined -f -c -P f00b44 t1.yourdomain.tld

note 1: f00b44 is your shared secret between client and server

note 2: just as you would with a vpn, you create a private network for your tunnel, in our case we're using the

note 3: here's my DigitalOcean referral link if you're feeling particularly generous.

Create DNS records to point to your server

t1ns A your_vps_ip
t1 NS t1ns.yourdomain.tld

tip: I use cloudflare to manage my dns, which means my DNS records propagate fairly quickly across the Internet.

Install the client (mac OS)

git clone
cd iodine/
PREFIX=/usr/local make install

Connect the client to the server

sudo /usr/local/sbin/iodine -d utunX -f -P f00b44 t1.yourdomain.tld

note: you need sudo to use the tunnelling network adaptor.

Setup verification

To verify setup we'll setup a ssh as a SOCKS proxy ssh -D 9999

note: we're setting up the the SOCKS proxy via our server's ip address.

And then use httpbin to verify our ip address curl --socks5-hostname -L

When tunnelling you got expect a considerable loss of bandwidth, I'd only recommend using ssh over this type of tunnelling, it's just too slow to do anything else useful.

random-tip: <enter> ~. to escape hung ssh sessions

Top comments (1)

qm3ster profile image
Mihail Malo

would mosh work?