I'm a student, and currently the Wi-Fi connection at my school is very slow (dead slow). I have an 8Gb 4G data-plan, but even with that, I'm running short at the end of the month.

I have set up a Debian headless at home (which has a 400 Mbps connection), and I'm already using it as an automated Seedbox, an L2TP-IPSec VPN, a BTSync server, and an Apache server. I started building two months ago — knowing I wouldn't get blazing fast internet connection — so I'm rather new to Debian

Here is my question:

Is it possible to efficiently compress data over a private VPN? I know some iPhone and Android apps like Onavo Extend can achieve that, and I was wondering how I could put this kind of system in place (if it is indeed effective enough) so that my 4G-data usage would be lighter. If I ever come to installing/building such VPN, it should be compatible with:

  • Debian (the server),
  • Mac OS (my computer),
  • and iOS (my phone).

If you have any other suggestion on how I could speed up my school's WiFi. I did some tests on it; ping www.google.com times out, arp -a takes a long time, but eventually displays a few peers, and any speedtest (when the bad connection gives me Internet access) return 0.28 Mbps Down-Speeds.


What I found to be a good solution for me was Ziproxy.

It's an http compression proxy that is able to compress big html assets, like images, so that webpages are lighter. As it's a proxy, it works with or without a VPN. It's also very easy to configure.


As an alternative to Ziproxy, there is https://github.com/barnacs/compy, which seems to be more alive as a projct.


You can create a poor man's SSL tunnel from a local port with ssh:

ssh -D <local_port> -C <user>@<server>

Then you can browse via that proxy with Chrome/Chromium:

chromium --proxy-server=socks5://localhost:<local_port>

Things to keep in mind:

  • Port forwarding of the server's TCP 22 port (SSH) is required
    • However, this also means you do not trust a third party to gatekeep your server or peep at your traffic metadata.
  • The reasons I mention "poor man's" are:
    • The connection might drop, in which case the SSH client will be unresponsive.
    • You have to configure and trust applications to use the proxy, and they might have bugs making them misbehave in privacy-endangering ways.
    • it does not cost you any money, but it costs you time to remember/create a shortcut with the command line and server address.
    • I have not tried it on iThings.
  • 1
    In addition? What? The suspense is killing me... – M Granja May 8 at 13:23
  • @MGranja I don't remember exactly what the last point was, but I added plenty and rephrased the answer. Do you want even more? Thanks for the heads-up! – danuker May 9 at 15:18
  • It`s fine, thanks! – M Granja May 10 at 17:17

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