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Proxy Servers – Information and Instructions
08/11/2011Posted by on
DO NOT DOWNLOAD ANY SOFTWARE PROMISING PROXY SERVER USAGE!
IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO DOWNLOAD ANY SOFTWARE TO USE A PROXY SERVER TO BROWSE THE INTERNET!
DOING SO WOULD LIKELY CREATE UNECESSARY VULNERABILITIES TO THE LOCAL NETWORK(S) YOU USE!
Proxy Servers – Information
What is a Proxy Server?
“A proxy server is a kind of buffer between your computer and the Internet resources you are accessing (Web sites, FTP archives etc.). The data you request come to the proxy first, and only then it transmits the data to you.” – freeproxy.ru
In the simplest terms, using a proxy server forces your internet browser to use a different IP address for web browsing. This IP address could be one from across town, across the country, or across the world. This is useful because of web restrictions imposed on an IP-location based basis. For example, this was popular during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, when U.S. citizens wanted to view live online video feeds of the games, which were being blocked to all U.S. IP addresses. Americans simply used a proxy server located in an unblocked location, then they could access the video feeds because they were no longer using a U.S. IP address.
In the picture below, the green line depicts normal/secure internet browsing, where your IP address (184.108.40.206) is used for internet requests from the WWW server. The red line is an example of using a proxy server – your internet requests come from your proxy server’s IP address. For this reason, the WWW server doesn’t know your real IP address, and therefore thinks your location is in whichever area the proxy server is located. If the proxy server was located in Russia, the WWW server would think you are located in Russia.
Warnings about using a proxy server:
Since you are no longer accessing the internet directly from your network, internet page requests are going through another network first, so it’s easily possible that your internet activity can be monitored and/or logged. For this reason, it is a VERY good idea to NOT use any personal information or logins while using a proxy server.
Personally, if you plan on using a proxy server, I would recommend using an alternative browser (other than your main browser of choice) ONLY for using a proxy server. In other words, if you use Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Chrome as your main browser of choice, then download and use Opera solely for browsing the internet from a proxy server. This way you could still browse the internet normally with your browser of choice, you won’t need to enter any information that can be compromised in the alternative browser (usernames, passwords, etc), and you could leave the proxy server details in the alternative browser – rather than changing back and forth for foreign-IP-based browsing in your primary browser. If you ever want to browse the internet using a proxy server, you just open Opera – the proxy server settings will still be set in it upon startup.
Internet Explorer and Chrome don’t have proxy server settings built-in, so you’ll need to change your PC’s network settings to use a proxy server with them. THIS IS NOT RECOMMENDED, since then every application on your computer will be using the proxy server rather than just the alternative browser. For this reason, I recommend using Firefox (or Internet Explorer or Chrome) as your primary browser, and Opera as your alternative browser. If Opera is your primary browser of choice, then I recommend using Firefox as your alternative browser.
The two main things you need to set up a proxy server connection is the proxy server’s IP address and port number. You get these from proxy server lists found on the internet, below are links to a few examples.
Examples of proxy server lists:
- proxy servers FAQ: http://www.freeproxy.ru/en/free_proxy/faq/index.htm
- risks of using a proxy server: http://whatismyipaddress.com/proxy-risks
Proxy Servers – Instructions
Please read information above before continuing.
It is recommended to use an alternative browser for using a proxy server.
Remember, I recommend using Opera as the alternative browser for using a proxy server, but if Opera is already your primary browser, then I recommend using Firefox as your alternate browser.
- Menu > Settings > Preferences > Advanced > Network > Proxy Servers…
- Enter IP address or hostname of the proxy server, as well as the port, in the boxes for HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, and Gopher.
- Make sure those four checkboxes are checked.
- Make sure “Use proxy for local servers” in unchecked.
- Tools > Options > Advanced > Network > Settings…
- Select “Manual proxy configuration:”
- Enter the IP address or hostname of the proxy server, as well as the port.
- Checking “Use this proxy server for all protocols” isn’t always necessary, but it’s probably a good idea.
Using a proxy server can speed up or slow down connection speed and bandwith when browsing the internet. This can be because of quality of service settings for the many proxy connections they administer, or just because of the distance of the proxy server’s location, or some other reason.
There are MANY MANY MANY proxy servers worldwide, easily hundreds of thousands. Its common to test different proxy server IP addresses until you find one you’re content with. It is also common for proxy servers to go down randomly, in which case you would need to go back online and find a new proxy server IP address to use.