If you work at a large company, or go to just about any school, you’ve probably tried to browse to a favorite website only to find that it’s been blocked from your view. It may be annoying, but network administrators usually do this for perfectly valid reasons; it may be to lower their ISP bills due to bandwidth-wasting sites, or to block social networking sites at a place of business keep employees more productive.
Even though these restrictions are in place there may be times that you have a perfectly valid reason to access one of these sites, like when you need to find a phone number of a contact. This is a quick and simple guide to bypassing your organization’s blocking methods. Use at your own risk and be aware if your company deals with flagship merchant services that you might still be monitored.
Anonymous Web Proxy
This is probably the quickest way to get to a blocked site, but a downfall is that you’re forever browsing back to the proxy’s web page to navigate to another web page. This extra overhead may be acceptable for the one-off use, but if you’re browsing several web sites it can get pretty annoying. It’s also likely that network administrators may be blocking these sites if they’re already blocking other types of sites.
I should also mention that simply because a proxy is “anonymous” it doesn’t mean that they don’t log information about you; you never know what information might be stored about you.
If you want to take the risk, here are a few sites that offer web proxies. Some are better than others, but you never know which ones might already be blocked.
Anonymous Web Proxy List:
- Hide My Ass
- A Large list of other Web Proxies out there
Anonymous HTTP proxy
All popular browsers support using a HTTP Proxy, but one down-fall is that you simply cannot rely on these anonymous servers to work; they are hosted by a third party which may go up and down, not to mention that most servers limit the bandwidth that passes through them. Aside from these issues, this is method is equally quick as using an anonymous web proxy if you know what you’re doing.
HTTP proxies are best suited for accessing several websites at one time through a proxy, as the functionality is integrated into your browser. This method also allows you to forgo the overhead of using the web interface of web proxies.
Below are several sites that have updated lists of active anonymous proxies that anyone can use. The listings are normally in the form of <ip-address>:<port> where <ip-address> is the Host/Address of the server, and <port> is obviously the port you connect to. If you’re not sure what to do with the server information, read down the page a bit.
Anonymous HTTP Proxy Server Links:
- Proxy server list courtesy of samair.ru
- Proxy server list courtesy of Steganos Privacy Software
- Another proxy server list from Digital Cyber Soft
If this is your first time setting up a proxy server, you can take a look the guides below for help to configure your browser to use a proxy server.
Configuring your browser to use an HTTP proxy:
Even though it’s a bit beyond the scope of this article, you can also configure your operating system itself to use a proxy for all connections, not just your browser. There’s a handy guide for Mac OSX (10.3), however Windows is complicated to configure. You’re best off simply setting up the proxy connection in Internet Explorer’s Internet Options, and that should suffice for most applications.
Set up your own proxy server
If you’re the adventurous type, you might want to look into setting up your own proxy server at home (or elsewhere). This is probably the most secure and reliable way to access blocked websites via a proxy server.
You have several options for setting up your own proxy server; you may install a web proxy such as php proxy and set it up on your website, or run an server daemon on an operating system of your choice.
Windows, Mac OSX and Linux users have the option to set up one of the best HTTP Proxy servers out there, Squid. But,m even though it’s said that Squid is very easy to set up, you may want to try out the open-source web proxy Privoxy, which also supports a plethora of platforms, and may be more suited for you.
Self-Install Proxy Server Links:
- php proxy - A PHP-based web proxy that you can host on most web spaces
- Squid - the most widely used and robust HTTP proxy server out there.
- Privoxy - A proxy server tailor-made for Web browsing, and allows advanced options for filtering cookies, ads, banners, pop-ups and other obnoxious Internet junk.
I hope this information helps out those of you who are stuck without access to a required site, but please keep in mind that even though you might have a perfectly valid reason to access a certain website, your network administrators might not be very happy with you bypassing their security measures.
If you know of any other web proxy servers, or would like to add your input, please comment below.