So why new proxies and not very old ones? The phrase refers to the desperate search people have for the free proxies that can be found online, which they hope will make them surf like a web ninja. The problem with these is that a few hours after they appear online, they become completely overloaded and unusable. So if you’re after a proxy for free it has to be a very new one, all the others are useless. But first of all it’s best to define what exactly is a proxy server. For many people have a completely false idea of what it entails.
In a practical context a proxy server is a computer that acts as an intermediary between a workstation and the internet. So instead of a request for a web page going directly to the site, the request first goes to the proxy server which downloads the web page and forwards it back to the client.
This has two main implications -
- The Web server has no record of the workstation’s IP address.
- The proxy server handles all web requests for the client.
These are the main reasons, proxies are used to enhance your online privacy. They effectively add a layer of anonymity to your web browsing ensuring the web site you visit has no record of your location.
Unfortunately it’s not that clear cut and the main issue that many people forget is that in some senses you are actually adding a layer of risk to your browsing. The reason is that although your IP address is not logged on the web site you visit (which should only see the proxy) it is logged on the proxy server itself. In fact the proxy server potentially holds a complete and total list of your entire browsing history.
There is a reason that hackers and cyber criminals set up free proxies online and let anyone use them. It’s not some sense of free spirit or egalitarian ideals, it’s because the owner of a proxy is potentially able to intercept all the user’s web transactions. So they become a handy source of usernames, account details and passwords from the unsuspecting users of the proxy.
Of course not all the free proxies available online are run by hackers and thieves, some are just accidentally left open or occasionally even set up for no gain. These however soon get flooded with users and hence people find themselves locked into this constant search for the latest free proxies which have not yet been overloaded.
When a new proxy server initially appears online, it is pretty quickly well known and very well used – within hours it will be overloaded and too slow to use. Hence the search, if you find a proxy quickly you can get a few hours use of it. What’s worse the scourge of geo-targeting means that people will often need a server in a specific location, perhaps a US one or a German proxy site dependent on what they want to access and their current location.
Personally I’d never use one, it is a huge risk with your personal details and ironically most of these users have less privacy not more. People do use proxies for other reasons for example bypass geotargeting which sites like the BBC Iplayer, Hulu and Youtube use to block access to viewers in different countries. There’s less privacy issues using proxies just for this sort of browsing but unfortunately you need speed to stream video.
So why would anyone want such a thing, why would anyone need a German proxy server? The reason is that if you have access to such a server then you are able to change your computer to have a different IP address. This basically ensures that any website you visit will consider your location to be in Germany, and for many sites this makes a huge difference in what you can see.
Here’s a simple demonstration of how your IP address will affect what you see online. When I’m in the United Kingdom and using a British IP address, this is the version of Google that I see when I fire up a web browser.
Now I am going to use a program called Overplay to change my IP address to a German one, like this – simply by selecting one of the German based proxies from their list.
From this point I now appear to be somewhere in Germany, simply because of the IP address I have been assigned. You can see now if I start up my browser and go to Google it will redirect me to the German version of the search engine. This is because while I am connected to the German proxy server then all my traffic is routed through this server – Google doesn’t speak directly to my PC any more. The relative speeds to different countries will vary greatly depending on your location – you should use the fastest one available in the country you require.
It’s really that straight forward and in my opinion, having the ability to switch and mask your IP address is becoming more and more important. We’ve mentioned Overplay here, but there’s another extremely sophisticated program called Identity Cloaker which has a vast array of features including the ability to encrypt individual applications and even specific browsers. Here is a video uploaded to Youtube demonstrating how to use German Proxy Server
So Why Would I Want a German Proxy Address?
Which is great, but why would I specifically want the ability to switch to an address in a different country like this? Well the main reason is that many German based sites are only accessible to those people based in Germany itself. Many TV stations, big media channels like Zattoo, Das Erste, Arte or even Sky TV can only be viewed by people with a German IP address. It’s kind of like requiring you have a Berlin postal code, before allowing you access, it would never bother someone actually living in Germany.
However imagine you are a businessman from Berlin travelling abroad or perhaps a student studying in a different country – all your familiar home channels would be blocked to you by default. Perhaps you are an Expat living away from Germany and wanted to access the German DSF channel. There are loads of reasons and by using a proxy server like this then you can gain access from anywhere.
If you do need to get yourself a German IP address, I can definitely recommend the company Overplay, they have a huge range of different servers across the world all included in the same subscription – useful for watching different sites in the USA and UK for example. The software is very easy to use and the cost is much cheaper than most other proxy/VPN servers.
Updated – 19/11/2013
Do you need to access a Polish only TV site? Where I live in the UK there’s a large Polish community, which was established in the second world war. Consequently I have lots of Polish friends and acquaintances, who live nearby. Wherever you go you’ll see specialized satellite dishes on houses which people use to access TV stations in Poland. However most of these stations are also available online also. Unfortunately there is a problem, just like the majority of media sites – most stations are only accessible online when you’re in the same country. So if you try and access TVN Player, a popular Polish TV station over the internet you’ll get blocked.
Anyway it’s quite simple to circumvent this problem if you have the right tools! Here’s a video showing the process of bypassing TVN Player’s blocks by using a Polish proxy server.
As you can see it only takes seconds to switch your location using Identity Cloaker, which effectively frees up the internet from filters, blocks and restrictions. If you do use it, remember to turn on the encryption when using any unknown connection such as a hotel, airport or cafe wireless connection. It’s especially important when connecting to important sites like banking,paypal and webmail for example.
A few practical precautions can help minimise the possibilities of a CryptoLocker attack. What exactly are our top tips?
Don’t leave it linked to your own PC if you’re not backing up, if you are using an external hard drive. If you’re uncertain check with your own supplier.
– Create files within the Cloud and upload photographs to on-line accounts like Flickr or Picasa (although NSA and MI5 will copy all your stuff!)
– Change to your spam- and virus filtered email service. (It also doesn’t enable you to really send them).
– Do not go to on-line porn sites, which are generally the source of many malware downloads. When clicking on adverts; never open Twitter website links and attachments from those that you do not understand or trust take care. Heh but really this is the internet – go find porn, it’s fine
- – Install the most recent versions of upgrade addons and the internet browsers including Java and Adobe Flash.
– Get reputable antivirus software and make certain you update it often.
– Act fast. Bear in mind it’s likely to take a little time for the encryption to occur, should you inadvertently download a dodgy attachment. Before all of your files are encrypted should you instantly download and run an antivirus programme, like the complimentary antivirus toolkit available from Sophos, it might destroy the CryptoLocker – nevertheless, you’ll forever lose affected files.
– Encrypt the files you specially need to stay private, including records including your passwords or private information, to prevent criminals from reading what is in them. Read this useful “Ask Jack” post to the Guardian technology site to discover more about encrypting your files.
Completely unrelated and about 30 years old – but you might remember it and raise a smile…….
Outside the UK – it will probably seem odd…..
Over the years, many of us have laughed and poured scorn on the rise of the surveillance societies. We have made fun of those countries like North Korea, Iran and Thailand who go to great lengths to monitor and intercept communications made over the internet. How we giggled at the stupid Chinese internet police who appear on posters in internet cafes reminding people that they’re being watched and telling citizens how to report suspicious or subversive behaviour online.
EU nations regularly criticize countries like Turkey about their levels of content filtering and human rights issues like accessing the internet.
Yet lately the revelations from Edward Snowden are starting to reveal a much broader scope of surveillance particular in North America and Europe. The Western democracies of course have strict privacy and data protection laws to protect their citizens from intrusive monitoring, however intelligence agencies like the NSA and GCHQ have discovered a route around this – they simply ignore legislation and ‘Carry on Spying’.
The latest revelation is that in the NSA spying table, Germany actually come in pretty highly. The figures come in at an amazing half a billion German telephone calls, emails, web and text messages recorded every month by the American Intelligence services.
This level of surveillance means that the US monitors German citizens on a similar level to China, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. A huge invasion of privacy on a country which is not only and ally but has some of the most strict data protection and privacy laws in the world. This legislation however seems to count for pretty much nothing if you’re a secret service wanting to keep tabs on electronic communication.
Just as the revelations have revealed that the UK intelligence service have set up a surveillance section based in the middle east, the level of snooping that is being conducted by projects like Prism and Tempora is literally breathtaking.
Of course all this surveillance is justified using terms like national security and terrorism. The huge loss of privacy is therefore deemed a ‘price worth paying’, although the results and effectiveness of this mass surveillance is never identified.
Many advocate international laws being put in place to try and protect people’s privacy, yet it looks unlikely that even these would ever be respected by the NSA, GCHQ and the other security services across the globe. Their attitude would seem to match something the Stasi would have come up with to deal with electronic communications. It seems wrong on many levels that the NSA feels it has the wholesale right to spy on the German citizens simply to protect itself.
Most people who use proxies wonder how much it’s going to slow down their connection. They’re probably trying to visit a website without being logged or downloading from a website that’s blocked in their country and just need a British IP address. Most people also associate proxies with the free overloaded ones you can get online – so they presume all proxy servers run at one speed – very, very slow.
But this isn’t always the case, a well configured, well maintained and secure proxy running on a fast server will rarely slow your connection down at all. In fact some of the more sophisticated security programs can actually speed up your connection considerably.
Here’s the feature in my favorite security program – Identity Cloaker -
As I hope you can see all you need to do is to enable the ‘optimize speed in non-enc mode‘. Non-enc refers to when Identity Cloaker is running in Non-encrypted mode which you can enable/disable from the main screen here.
To disable encryption you merely slide the button down to the left hand side and select ‘None’. This means that your connection is still routed through the server and country you select but Identity Cloaker doesn’t encrypt your data by default.
When the connection is decrypted and the above setting selected, the program will attempt to open multiple connections and stream your data across all of them.
Why Would I Use Non-Encrypted Mode?
Well if you’re using something like Identity Cloaker in a benign environment – perhaps a UK resident trying to access Hulu, or somebody just wanting to watch the BBC Iplayer from outside the UK to download and watch videos then there’s no real need to encrypt all your data. There’s little need to encrypt a video stream of the latest episode of The Simpsons and as encryption has some slight overhead it makes sense to turn it off in these situations. In this mode Identity Cloaker is able to focus on optimizing the speed of your connection, which will be important if streaming video especially in HD.
The result in some situations can be very dramatic with very substantial speed boosts – however there are a lot of variables to this scenario. Some people see incredible speed increases using the ‘optimize mode’ whilst others alas barely notice the difference. There are also some ISPs who block this behavior in order to limit your download speed – BT seem to be doing this at the moment as if you browse using this optimize mode – you’ll get the message – “maximum number of connections reached”
If you need to boost the speed of your internet connection, want to access sites like Hulu, Pandora, Netflix and such like this mode is perfect. However I urge you to try out the 10 day trial version first as the speed boost won’t work for you if your ISP is blocking multiple connections from the same device -
There is actually quite a demand for proxies and VPNs from the former Soviet Union countries and it can be quite a task to find one. Although some of the demand is probably from natives who have left countries like Ukraine and want to connect back using a IP address. The majority of demand is from people who value their privacy and would rather not have their personal data and web history logged at their local ISP.
The idea is that if you route your connection through a proxy or VPN server, then you gain some level of anonymity. This is true to some extent, for a start the web site you visit will have no record of your real address only that of the proxy server. Also in your ISP logs your connection will only list the proxy server and not the actual web site you visit. This of course all depends on the proxy server being correctly configured and the logs being deleted instantly otherwise it’s actually a pointless exercise.
So How Can I Find a Ukraine Proxy
With some countries, you can occasionally find a free VPN or proxy server for a few hours, it’s not that easy with Ukraine though. If you do find a free one floating about on the internet I would strongly avoid it !! There are quite a few Carders, identity thieves and hackers operating out of Ukraine for obvious reasons – they set up servers to catch account names, passwords etc from the cheap, stupid or gullible!
There are of course lots of commercial VPN and proxy providers but not that many with Ukrainian servers. Of the popular, trusted providers I’ve used only one can supply a Ukrainian IP address and proxy and that’s Overplay.
There are servers in 48 different countries everywhere from the US, German proxies, a couple of Turkish proxies and one is based in Ukraine as you can see from the drop down list. Their subscription (starts from $4.95/£3.20/EUR3.80 a month) all include every one of the servers so you can switch from one to another whenever you like.
Of course, many use the Ukranian based proxy/VPN servers for privacy – so it’s also important to know that Overplay don’t keep any logs at all of sites visited, transactions, downloads etc.
Here’s what happens when I connect to Google using their Ukranian proxy -
I get the Ukranian version with all the search in Russian, if i look for a local plumber then I’ll find one in Ukraine not my real location So obviously you have to remember this, that your surfing is often customized to your location i.e. in this case Ukraine. Of course there are benefits as well including being able to switch at will to watch the BBC with a British IP address or an American only site like Hulu using a US server.
The company is run by some networking professionals based in North West, England – they really know what they’re doing and have the largest network of secure proxies and VPNs anywhere on the net. Try them – Overplay, you won’t be disappointed.
Turkey has for many years shown a very strong desire to heavily censor the internet. They have frequently blocked access to many of the major social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and WordPress. Normally these blocks have been short lived due to public and international pressure.
The recent protests in Turkey though have perhaps given as an insight into the views of their government – with the Prime Minister, Recep Erodogan making this ridiculous quote -
“Social media is the worst menace to society”
Of course if you’re incredibly unpopular and are trying to forcefully implement a religious agenda into a secular country then social media is not likely to be your best friend. The reality is social media is merely a form of communication nothing more and nothing less.
I fear that if the Prime Minister in Turkey continues in power, his aggressive mobilisation of the police against peaceful protesters will be followed soon by some serious ramp up in internet censorship. Two years ago a plan was proposed to impose huge restrictions on Turkish internet users.
The idea was that all users would have to select one of four content filtering packages. These were labelled – family, children, domestic or standard – so basically you chose which amount of filtering was applied to your web browsing. The very worst part was that you would never know to what extent you had agreed as the blocked web sites in each list would not be made public. The web sites would be assigned by the Prime Ministry’s Information Technology Board (BTK) and you can be assured that there would be many thousands of sites in these blocked lists.
Update – There are reports that both Twitter and Facebook have been blocked (03rd June), am going to verify this using my Turkish proxy server.
The internet used to be one big happy family, where we could all go to the same websites and see exactly the same. However this is not the case anymore and many web sites block or restrict access based on your location – here’s how you can use a Turkish proxy to access web sites restricted to people in Turkey only.
You might not think there are many sites which only allow access from Turkey like this but you may be surprised, many Turkish banks, TV stations, online newspapers and YouTube videos are accessible only if you have a Turkish IP address. Of course there’s only two ways this can happen -
- You’re in Turkey
- Using a Turkish Proxy or VPN to hide your real address
Now you can find free proxy servers online, but you’ll be struggling to find a Turkish one that isn’t going to infect your PC with malware and allow the administrator to run off with your account details if you try and log in to anything. So you’ll be left with one of the paid VPN or proxy providers, although there’s not many that supply a Turkish server.
The one I use is called Overplay and they have been around for many years. Here’s the interface of the connection program -
All you do is scroll down the list and select the desired country, in this case Turkey then press connect. From this point in all your traffic will be encrypted and routed through the Turkish server and you will appear to be connecting from Istanbul (where the server is located).
You can see from this screen shot now when I visit Google I actually get redirected to the Turkish version -
When you have finished you merely select deselect, or if you need to access content in another country then connect through a different server. For example if you’re in Turkey and want to access the BBC Iplayer you would choose a UK server. If you needed to access some American only sites like Hulu then choose one of the US servers.
It can be a challenge finding Turkish proxies to use however, you won’t find any free ones and some sites charge a lot of money for them. Fortunately for anyone looking for specific proxies like ones from Turkey, then Overplay have the biggest proxy/VPN server network anywhere and they only a charge a small subscription fee to cover all their servers which you can cancel at any time instantly.
I can thoroughly recommend them – Overplay VPN Service.
Here’s a new lucrative, money making profession that could be creating a few millionaires across the globe over the next few years. It goes under various names like internet scrubbers, online reputation management or image repair – and firms are making lots of money especially in China.
Firms and wealthy individuals are paying specialists to ensure that any mentions that appear online are all positive and that any negative comments are removed from view. In China one of the biggest firms of this sort are called Yage Times and are fronted by Gu Genda a 30 year old entrepreneur from Beijing.
In China the number of firms like this are growing. They work something like this, a big company or person may be receiving bad publicity online – perhaps a rumor or potential scandal is being talked about online. Of course this is perfectly natural but in a very connected online society like China this can have a huge impact on a company or individual’s reputation.
So they hire someone like Yage Times to ensure that negative content and discussions are removed or at least fade from view rapidly. This can be very complicated and extremely costly but many firms are willing to pay the price.
Unfortunately it’s not always easy to do this. There are of course ways to make online pages and posts slowly disappear from view by affecting their ranking in the search engines. But if a negative story appears on a popular and high ranking news site or block it’s not going to fade away easily – at least not until it’s been viewed by millions of people.
So what can you do? Well apparently the initial attempts to remove unwanted stories involves bribing the publishers to remove or modify the items. For bigger sites this wouldn’t always work so Yage Times consultants would then forge Government documents enforcing the removal of specific content from their site.
As the Chinese government actively censor huge sections of the web this would rarely come as a big surprise. In fact many Chinese people routinely connect via a US or UK IP address to avoid these filters.
These tactics have ensured some big profits for companies like these, but not surprisingly the Chinese Government were not impressed – Gu Genda and about 10 others are now in custody awaiting trial for various charges including bribery.
Censorship of the internet is rife in China, but it seems the state would rather keep the monopoly. The story was raised by a Chinese magazine called Caixin.
It is not without irony that many comments and responses to the Caixin story have been deleted or censored shortly after publication!