Posts tagged ‘proxies’
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.
Using a Polish Proxy Server
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.
What happens is that instead of the website seeing a British IP address when you use a Poland proxy server then you will have a Polish IP address instead. When you switch off the application you’ll revert to the UK (or whichever country you’re connecting from)
There’s much more to this tool, simply because it offers much more than access to a single Polish proxy site. There are servers located all over the world so you can use any of these wherever you are, it opens up a lot more than just TVN player or the other major Polish sites. You can use it to access lots of US only content, plus when travelling switch to a UK server to access the BBC and other UK TV channels.
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.
The servers are very fast and use a compression algorithm so it’s unlikely you’ll see much of a performance impact. If you do, try turning off the encryption as it does add a slight overhead and it’s not that important when you’re streaming video for security.
Sometimes you don’t care what IP address you have as long as it’s different, a quick IP address changer is all you need. Many people who run websites and online businesses need to check things like rankings online using various tools. Unfortunately these tools usually need to make multiple requests to the search engines in order to work. There are some very professional research tools like Market Samurai, which have their own built in proxy servers which allow the tool to switch between different IP addresses when making these queries.
However these are invariably the exception rather than the rule, and mostly you have to try and switch your addresses yourself. Most people then usually plod down the proxies route either free ones scraped using a simple tool, or a subscription that gives you a few proxies to use privately. The free ones are more trouble than they’re worth. You can scrape a list of a few hundred supposedly working, fast proxies then ten minutes later 20% of them stop working, another 20% slow to a crawl, a few hours later and you’ve got to start all over again. Believe me life is too short to spend it searching for these, using them provides little benefit and it you think they genuinely keep you anonymous then you’re mistaken – read this blog – http://www.anonymous-proxies.org/
The private ones also can be hard work simply because you don’t have enough of them – invariably you need hundreds of proxies to run these programs like SEO checkers for any length of time. But buying hundreds of proxies can get very expensive and you’ll quickly burn these out with some of the SEO tools especially ones designed to be run 24/7.
A Quick IP Address Changer
So What you need is something that can quickly and simply rotate the IP addresses at your disposal. This means that you can still use fast proxies and you don’t need so many IP addresses to allow these programs to function. Here’s the feature in Identity Cloaker that allows you to do this –
This is extremely useful, it means that you can switch between IP address every minute you like which allows all these tools and queries to work perfectly. The change happens in the background and used on a windows server, a VPS or a desktop computer there will be no interruption. But of course the option you choose is dependent on your requirements – this video explains some others ;
The decision is also dependent on locations, which can usually affect the price and availability of any proxies. The US and the UK are probably the cheapest, where as places like South Africa and Australia tend to be more expensive simply because bandwidth costs are very much higher that mainland Europe. So we can see what is the best proxy program is not an easy question to answer, which is very much reliant on what you’re looking for.
One of the most annoying instances of where web sites customize your experience is when using the search engines. Most of the time it works quite well – here’s the basic sequence :
- The user loads up a search engine page
- Search engine checks your IP address
- Search engine looks up the physical location of that address
- Search engine customizes your search results based on your location.
So in practical terms it means that when you type in ‘cheap carpets’ in your search engine, you don’t receive a selection of carpet shops from across the world. Google (or other search engine) will assume that you want someone who sells carpets in your location – which is usually quite right. The chances are that most similar searches would be looking for someone local to your current location. You can skew the results of course, by modifying your search string – perhaps change to ‘cheap carpets Paris’ if you want to pick something up on a weekend away in the French capital but it does become some what of a guessing game.
There are times though when you wish you could turn off this personalization, times when it actually comes up with completely the wrong search results. For instance if I was in a Spanish airport travelling home, and I tried to search for a taxi firm to transfer me home when I returned. My ‘taxi’ searches would all focus on Spanish results simply because I was in Spain while searching, none of the search engines are smart enough to go one step further and assess my current situation properly. Which is why we have to append other descriptive terms such as ‘UK’, ‘Manchester’ or ‘England’ to ensure we don’t receive Spanish based results.
This is of course a fairly simple situation to rectify, but it’s not always that straight forward. Take my current situation, I want to take my family to the West Coast of USA next year and I’d been told there are lots of great local tour firms based in the USA that will take you around the sites. However if I type in local tours West USA – all my results are focused on my current location – i.e the United Kingdom.
Here’s what I get in my search, (click to enlarge) – as you can see all the results are UK companies offering tours of the West Coast of the USA. Even though I’m looking for a service physically located in the USA, the search engine will give me results of companies who are based in the UK.
Do you see the problem ? I can’t find those local companies specializing in US tours easily, all I get is big UK companies who probably buy in those trips and resell to people in the United Kingdom (presumably with a significant mark up in price too!). I’ll have to play around with search terms and delve into the later pages of my search results to have any hope of finding a local US company who doesn’t have offices and websites in the United Kingdom
Simply speaking Google in this situation doesn’t deliver what I want, it delivers a simplified, commercial based set of results. The only way I can modify this is by hiding my real location by using an online IP changer and then redoing the search. Here’s a quick video on how you can get an American IP address –
Using this program I am able to give myself an American IP address instead of a UK one. So lets repeat exactly the same search and see what results I get –
Here you can see that I get a completely different set of results to my previous search, all US based companies offering pretty much the same tours but often at much lower prices.
None of these web sites are US only, they are all happy to attract customers from all over the world – it’s just that mostly people can’t find them because of the way that the search engines personalise your search results. Unfortunately, to bypass these blocks you need to take control of your IP address, here’s another video called best VPN USA which demonstrates using a Virtual Private Network connection routed through the US to achieve the same results.
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, VPN or Smart DNS service, 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.
Well if it is banned then it could be time for a change. The simple truth is that your IP address is increasingly being used to control what you are allowed to access to on the web. Every time you visit a web site, a forum or social networking site your IP is registered, recorded and sometimes even blocked.
Have you ever clicked on a video on YouTube and been told – “I’m sorry that video is not available in your area” – it will be due to your location, or more specifically the location of your IP address. It might be that a video that is accessible in one country and blocked in others – the decision is made automatically , you may have a banned IP address for that video.
There are many other circumstances where your IP address may stop you accessing or viewing a web site. I have a friend who has an obsession with several computer games (mainly WOW and COD), when not playing the game he spends lots of times on various forums related to the games.
Unfortunately he has rather a big mouth, and also a tendency to logon to these forums late at night when he’s had a couple of drinks. This combination has led him to being banned from multiple forums due to a particular outburst and he gets quite upset about this.
Anyway after trying to create a few new accounts and failing, he realised that the ban was based on his IP address and asked me to help him change it. He knew I was very interested in security and online privacy and thought I could help him.
You may be able to change it simply by resetting your modem, some ISPs will assign you a new address each time you logon. Just check your IP address on your modem or router before resetting your connection, leave it off for a few minutes then reconnect. You might find you’ve been assigned a brand new address, it should be enough to get you passed a forum IP ban. However it won’t help with country address blocks like YouTube, Hulu or the BBC iPlayer I’m afraid, for those you’ll need an address in the specific country i.e. a British IP address for BBC, and American one for Hulu etc. The other option which may help is to use a method like this just using DNS – http://dnsproxy.co.uk/
If you need to reliably switch between different Ip addresses at will, the reality is that it’s very easy to do. In my friends case I merely pointed him at the security product I use called – Identity Cloaker. All he had to do was select a server to use and he connected through a private proxy/vpn server – the forum was unable to detect his real IP address and he was able to register a brand new account. Here’s an example screenshot – there are about hundreds of IP addresses to choose from spread across about a dozen countries.
Of course there are other methods of achieving this. You could ask your ISP for a new IP address, or perhaps swap ISPs altogether. If you’re getting lots of problems it might be worth doing this as sometimes IP addresses just get a bad name and get blocked in lots of situations.
It’s a pretty basic method but millions of people now use security products – the best proxy program I’ve used is Identity Cloaker to have complete control over their privacy and to enable them to switch IP addresses when they need to.
Many people use proxies for a variety of different reasons. Some use them for security, basically using the proxy server to hide their identity(and IP address) from the web site they are visiting. Others use them to bypass blocks which are based on IP addresses. these could include if your IP address is banned from a forum or site for some reason or when it’s blocked because of it’s location . This is surprisingly common and major sites like the BBC, Hulu, ABC and YouTube block access to millions based on their location.
So it’s not surprising that so many people use proxies for these reasons, but most people don’t have much of an idea of how they actually work. For instance if you start filtering all your traffic through a proxy then you are effectively expecting it to handle all sorts of different protocols. If you filter through a foreign country perhaps through a German or Turkish proxy or maybe a UK TV VPN then you’ll also appear to be located here.
So How Does A Proxy Handle all These Protocols?
Well to be honest some don’t, if you use any of the free ad financed web proxies you see online they’ll frequently fall over or fail to connect. But a well configured proxy should be able to handle most of the protocols you send through it. This is because the proxy operates at the Application Layer of the OSI Model.
This means that to some extent a proxy server can actually understand what is happening. The proxy has two basic ways of dealing with the traffic – it can either proxy or tunnel the protocol. If it understand the protocol you can do neat things like filter it, perform advanced logging and even operate access control to deny or allow access.
If the proxy doesn’t understand a protocol then it will just act as a dumb tunnel and forward and receive the data between the client and server. For instance you’ll find that the vast majority of web based proxies have no support for SSL as they don’t understand it.
Proxies will normally be able to handle protocols that also operate at the application level like HTTP, Gophur and FTP for instance. When using a proxy server though remember you are entrusting it with all your personal data that you are sending through your browser – take care using proxies that you know nothing about. The reality is that setting up a free proxy server is a great way of stealing peoples usernames, passwords and other identity related information.
Well don’t. Seriously think about it, do you honestly expect to find a nice up to date list complete with loads of totally free secure and high anonymity proxy servers? Is this the way the world works? Thousands of benefactors paying huge bandwidth charges for these proxies, whilst teams of highly skilled IT administrators work for free making sure they’re safe to use and all the data and logs are secure.
Of course you won’t, you will find lists with new proxies of course – some nicely formatted classifying open proxies as secure, highly anonymous and rubbish like that. These lists are all over the place, all they do is list open proxies – none of them are secure, not even close and I’ll tell you why.
So What Are all These Proxies – Do They Exist?
They do exist, but the vast majority are not left open intentionally. Many free proxies are badly configured servers which have accidentally been left open and accessible from the internet. They might be webs servers in colleges or Universities, PCs in companies or businesses that simply have been set up badly.
Many applications install web components like proxies automatically, administrators often have no idea that they are running proxies on their servers until they start to notice the bandwidth costs or see their application server running like a three legged dog.
Of course you might have no problem using a proxy server that some dozy administrator has left open accidentally (although I can assure you it is illegal in the UK at least – Computer Misuse Act 1990). But if it’s not been configured properly all your data and web traffic will be at risk.
Risk from anyone using the server and setting up a simple packet sniffer like the one below.
This could be run by anyone who gains or possesses access to the server. Remember in many cases the proxy has been left open accidentally – so it’s highly unlikely to be configured in a secure manner. One of the most insecure configurations you can run a proxy server in is by allowing the service itself to run in the context of the ”root” account. One little bug, vulnerability or configuration error then effectively puts the whole server and all data stored on it at risk.
Before you think there might not be much to see in your data logged on a proxy, think again – account names, passwords, email addresses and messages could all be visible. Even those encrypted with SSL can be intercepted if you have admin access to the server.
It’s quite simple if you need a safe, secure, highly anonymous proxy server then you have a few choices. Pay someone you trust to run it properly or set one up yourself and ensure it’s configured properly. There are some highly secure proxy and VPN services available for minimal cost, just search online. Whatever you do thought don’t risk the free proxies they’re just not worth it.
I’ve just finished installing a monitor and a few cameras in a friend’s takeway. He’s convinced that one of his staff have their hands in the till but it not sure who it is, so he rushed out and bought a few cameras and a monitor then had no idea how to set them up. So he called me….
I’m no expert on these things, but it wasn’t very difficult to set up and I even got the internet enabled bit working. Yep the camera’s he chose were also accessible from the internet. So the upshot is he spend half his time fueling his paranoia and watching these cameras looking for foul play. Seems to spoil most of his holidays looking at his shop and staff on his phone and laptop as well, so far no evidence of criminal behaviour detected!
Anyway it’s interesting, these are not expensive cameras but offer a very detailed video feed and you can even move them remotely over the net using the admin interface. It’s just another opportunity to be spied on….
The internet is becoming a digital heaven for all the stalkers, snoopers and more worryingly the identity thieves.
Here’s an example –
Fire up a Google session and type the following in the search bar
You’ll get returned a huge list of directories containing digital photographs. These have been dumped onto computers, servers, web space all which are accessible from the internet with no restrictions or security on the vast majority.
So here’s one I picked from a directory entitled ‘personal pictures of family – ok it’s just a duck with a weird hair do, I didn’t want to post their actual pictures even if they are easily accessible. The vast majority of the photos are just normal everyday stuff of a family based in France, but contained in their directories are lots of photos of the family, especially the kids. If you look through the other directories on this web site – just by clicking around (not hacking) then you can find out their address, occupation and all their names. This took five minutes – imagine what a professional identity thief could achieve in an hour with specialist tools.
But don’t take my word for it, try it out – click through the directories and the thousands of photos and ask yourself this question –
Did the owners intend for all these photos to be accessible to everyone on the internet?
I’m pretty sure they didn’t, just like my friend was altogether impressed when he found out that not only him but anyone could access his shop cameras online as well (the reason the admin password was blank by default).
Here’s some other searches which will show you online video cameras accessible on the internet.
camera – user login”
These are popular online cameras from Toshiba, Panasonic and Sony – have a click through the results and see what you think. Many of these cameras are intended to be public as a service or just promotional but do you think all of them? Many of them inside offices or back entrances of secure properties or residential houses.
People are simply unaware of how much of their lives ends up online – which is pretty scary. Often an online theft will start off from one of these little trails of information – combine this with all the other information sources the bad guys are using – yes I include the thousands of new proxies that arrive on the internet every day which are nothing more than hackers honey pots !
So why do people waste so much time looking for a new proxy site constantly? Often the reason is that they’ve heard that free proxies will make them surf like a web ninja and be able to bypass all the blocks and filters that currently exist online. Alas both of these are very far from the truth.
The problem with these proxies is that firstly many of them are extremely insecure (lots are actually run by criminals who want to steal usernames and passwords), the other is that they are slow and unreliable simply because they’re overloaded and not configured correctly. Free proxies sound good, but nobody who know anything about the risks would ever use them.
But first of all it’s best to define what exactly is a proxy server. Often 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.
So a New Proxy Site is Safer?
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.
This is the 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. The bigger countries usually have lots of servers and options available but if you’re looking for something like a Polish proxy that can sometimes be a little more challenging.
The reality is now that basic proxies aren’t enough any more, even commercial ones. Many of the big media sites can detect the use of simple proxy sites. To stay secure and to bypass geotargeting on the BBC Iplayer, Hulu, Netflix and Youtube you need to include a level of encryption too. So you’d be best moving on from simple proxies with all their inherent risks and look at security products like Identity Cloaker which offer a secure VPN solution which keeps all your browsing private and encrypted whilst allowing access to all the world’s top media channels.