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Posts tagged ‘VPN’

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Quick IP Address Changer

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 –

IP Address Switcher

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. ┬áBut 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.

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Why do you Need a UK Proxy ? For the BBC of course.

My first realization of the extent of internet filtering, came in a hotel located on the edge of an industrial estate about 20 kms outside Stockholm. It was boring, I can’t remember the hotel chain but it was like a British Travel Lodge. Nice enough to sleep in, but absolutely nothing to do if you a) couldn’t speak Swedish b) didn’t know anyone. There were indeed some gorgeous looking Swedish women in the bar, unfortunately all of them appeared about 3 inches taller than me – so I slunk back to the hotel room with my laptop like any self respecting geek would do.

Now I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Sweden, it’s a great place, the people are friendly, everything is clean but it can be expensive. For a very mean, self expensed traveller that can be a bit tough, some of the internet charges would make your eyes water! However when you’re really bored, a bit fed up and lonely then internet access promises a lot of things – World of Warcraft, Online poker and of course UK Television at least I thought it did. It was a Saturday night and I thought Doctor Who, followed by Match of the Day – cheered me up no end.

Unfortunately that was until I tried to access any of these sites, only WoW worked and it kept dumping me on a Swedish server. My main focus was British TV of course, and that was when I discovered that even a fee paying, UK citizen is denied access to the Beeb if he’s sitting in a box hotel in Stockholm. In fact this is true any where outside the UK, you just get blocked with a little apology.

It’s true I didn’t take this well, but fortunately I have many friends who are cleverer than me and who travelled more. Ten minutes late I was redirected to this video which showed me how to reassert my nationality. The video is still on Youtube and you can find it here – or watch now.

That’s all there is to it, at least on a PC to access on a iPad or similar you need to do some other stuff but again it’s not hard. Here’s a video I found later that shows the steps you need for that using the same service.

Further Information on this technique can be found at the following –

http://www.theninjaproxy.org/tv/how-to-use-a-bbc-iplayer-proxy/

 

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Choosing a VPN Service

When I first looked for a VPN (virtual private network) service online about 8 or 9 years ago, there wasn’t much to choose from. There were only a couple of services available, and to be honest they weren’t very good. In fact I never really used either for very long, they were slow, always breaking and not really worth the bother. As was usual in those days it was easier to set something up for yourself either using a rented server or through your home PC. VPNs were common enough but normally linked to a company or academic server, if you worked for a large company and travelled to any extent you’d almost certainly use a VPN to download documents or access the company email account.

These days both the demand and the choice available have grown exponentially. Over the years, those one or two providers have multiplied and now there are literally thousands of companies providing VPN/Proxy services usually on a subscription basis. Unfortunately the quality has not increased, the vast majority of these VPN providers are little more than an IT guy with a website and a dedicated server hosted somewhere obscure. This is fine if the only users are him and a dozen customers, but if you start taking in lots of new customers – you need some serious infrastructure and knowledge to cope with it – which normally doesn’t happen!

This is the sad reality, that the vast majority of these services are hopeless – something you’ll probably be aware of if you’ve tried any number of them. There’s normally two real issues with these servers – firstly they are badly set up and configured, the other is they’re overloaded. Both are serious issues for variety of reasons.

It’s important to remember that when you use a VPN or a proxy, you are in fact trusting the provider with all your web traffic. Your connection consists of an encrypted tunnel (well hopefully) back to the VPN server down which all your web and application traffic will flow. It’s therefore essential that this server is secure and well configured in order to protect your data there’s more to this than just something to change your ip address – read this.

The other issue is of course – speed, it wasn’t such a problem years ago but nowadays most of our online activity consists of video, multimedia and hi resolution images – browsing the web on a slow connection is a painful experience. It is of course why many people use VPNs in order to access content on sites like BBC iPlayer, ITV player or Hulu which are normally restricted to their home countries. This is a useful demonstration of how a high speed VPN should work.

The video demonstrates that the VPN connection has virtually no effect on the speed of the internet connection. It should be noted that in that video the user is based in the UK and using a UK VPN but it’s still a worthwhile check. The speed will almost certainly diminish slightly when routed through a US, Australian or German proxy server for example, but should still be reasonably fast. As alawyas the only true test is the one you run your self, so if you subscribe to Identity Cloaker or another VPN solution then make sure you test it using a short term trial/subscription first.