Here's another article on SSH. Whilst it is often used for , it can be used for a whole lot of other functions. The article provides ways in using SSH, particularly OpenSSH, to copy files to and from remote servers and to automatically logging in to remote servers using public keys. You can have it encrypt your web traffic, too. :)
One tip I have for you is logging in with the '-X' or '-x' to have your X11 automatically forwarded to your local computer. Just be sure that "ForwardX11" is enabled, of course. And oh, you need to be running X11 on your local computer, too. Doing so will allow you to run any X11 application and have it displayed locally – this is what I usually do to run MS IE on Crossover Office running on a remote Ubuntu machine.