WHAT IS A PROXY?
According to Wikipedia:
“In computer networks, a proxy server is a server (a computer system or an application program) which services the requests of its clients by making requests to other servers. A client connects to the proxy server, requesting a file, connection, web page, or other resource available from a different server. A proxy server provides the resource by connecting to the specified server, with some exceptions: A proxy server may alter the client’s request or the server’s response. A proxy server may service the request without contacting the specified server.”
What does that mean? lol, lets just say some geek wrote it without considering really newbie users.
In simple words, a proxy (proxy server) is a working computer connected to the internet located somewhere in the world, it is acting as a server allowing you to connect your application (eg: internet browser) through it.
Now when you see a proxy you must know what everything is, a proxy normally looks like this:
So the first part of the proxy before the two dots is “126.96.36.199”, this is the IP address of the computer that is acting as a proxy server, the second part after the two dots is the “80”, this is the open port of the proxy server computer that lets you connect inside of it.
Proxies don’t always look the same, sometimes proxies come in a form like this:
It’s basically the same but instead of the IP address number, you are getting the whole ISP (internet service provider) address, and instead of connecting through the 80 port, you will connect through the 3128. But I strongly suggest you only use proxies with the 80 port for now, the other ones get more connection problems.
Other things to consider.
Now that you know the basics of proxies, theres some other things to take in consideration.Not all proxies work (the computer proxy servers might have been taken offline or run out of ISP bandwith), the speed of the proxies varies a lot so you always have to try and choose the fastest.Normally proxy listing sites tell you most details about a proxy like it’s “Average Response Time(ms)”, the lower the time it takes to respond the better.
There’s also different types of proxies, theirs transparent ones that will show your IP address so its useless, then theirs anonymous ones which are the ones you want.Then if your a really hardcore proxy fan theirs programs that scan the level of anonymity from 1 to 5, 1 being the most anonymous.Well and theirs plenty more but I don’t think we need to go into that right now.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
It’s pretty simple, you find a good, fast working proxy and you change the settings of an application lets say your Mozilla Firefox to use a proxy connection. Every time your browser wants to access the internet it will go to the proxies IP address first through the open port and use that computer to act as a shield, now when your IP is detected by websites, they will detect the IP of the proxies computer and not yours.
WHY USE A PROXY?
A proxy is normally used to keep the privacy of your computer, so nobody can detect who your Internet Service Provider is, or what location your coming from.
Of course there is many different uses for proxies, crackers (not hackers) use them in programs called Brute Forcers to send thousands of login attempts with specially configured username/password lists to try and steal user accounts from pay websites.
WHERE TO FIND PROXIES?
I have compiled a small list of good sites to get started with, but I suggest you search google for terms like “fresh proxies”, “daily proxy lists” ect…
» AtomInterSoft – AtomInterSoft is one of my favorite sites, they update theirs list very often and have alot of different advance search options to choose from.
» DigitalCyberSoft – Digital Cyber Soft is quite new to me but seems to have a good selection of scanned proxies to choose from.
» HideMyAss – This site is run by one of my personal friends, the not only offers fresh daily proxies but is also an anonymous surf service which I’ll explain below.
ANONYMOUS SURFING WEBSITES
If you want to save yourself the hassle of having to find and use proxies, theirs websites that offer a free anonymity surfing facility.All you do is enter the URL of the website you want to visit using a proxy and and the website automatically hides your IP and replaces it with a proxy.I personally don’t like them cause you don’t have control over which proxies they use and a lot of websites blacklist referrals from such sites.
Here are a few you can try:
» Proxify – I have used this one a few times, it’s not all that bad.It has a good variety of options and the proxies they choose seem to be quite fast and anonymous.
» HideMyAss – Is another good one to use, but I would stick with Proxify.
» Proxy.org – Proxy[dot]org has a huge list of browsing services you can choose from, it is daily updated to remove any anonymous browsing sites that have been taken offline.
USEFUL SOFTWARE & PLUGINS:
» Tor – Tor is a great FREE application I’m very supportive of, it is a community that helps users keep safe and private online.They offer an application that allows you to select programs which you would like to stay anonymous (Browser,Download Manager) and by using their own private servers, they do not rely on unknown proxies.I really suggest you give it a try since it saves you the hassle of finding proxies ect… just use it in conjunction with the Torbutton Firefox plugin.
» Charon – This one is a bit more for advance users, it’s a proxy scanning tool that allows you to scan big proxy lists and remove any non working,slow,inferior to level 3 proxies.
» SwitchProxy and ProxyTex are a couple of good Firefox add-ons, Switch Proxy lets you switch your proxy configuration with the click of a button to a pre made proxy setting configuration made by you.ProxyTex is a bit more basic and just lets you easily set and reset the proxy settings of your browser.
» Some proxy list are updated every couple of minutes, and will remove proxies that are no longer working.
» To check if your proxy is working anonymously you can test it at WhatIsMyProxy.com.
» Not all proxies on the proxy list you find will work. If you try to surf the web after configuring a proxy and get a connection error, that means the proxy you picked no longer works, or their server is down. If this happens, pick a different proxy.
» Your web surfing may slow down just a bit when connecting through proxies. That’s because any document or file your browser is trying to download must first go to the proxy server, and then to your computer.
» In using a proxy server, all data sent to the service being used must pass through the proxy server before being sent to the service, mostly in unencrypted form. It is therefore possible, and has been demonstrated, for a malicious proxy server to record everything sent to the proxy: including unencrypted logins and passwords.