Andy Green's Blog

A web-workers world…

Unblock Social Websites With Web Proxies

We’ve all experienced it. You’re bored at school or at work, and just want to take a quick peek at our FaceBook page, or watch a quick video or two on YouTube… only to find that those sites have been blocked by your administration or employer. It’s frustrating. It’s a little insulting. And there are ways around it.

Two, in fact. The first way is fairly simple: use a different browser. Many computer networks use Windows and Internet Explorer, so the network administrators only block sites for Internet Explorer. Perhaps you’ve got a particularly clever (or bored) network admin who blocks Firefox too and Safari for the Macintosh users. But there’s always a chance that by simply using a different browser, you can access your favorite social networking sites. There are literally dozens of alternative browsers out there (Netscape, Opera, Avant, and Google Chrome, to name just a very few) that you can download from software sites like Download.com or Softpedia.com free.

On the other hand, schools and workplaces lock down their computers so tightly these days that the average user isn’t allowed to install new software. You’re not out of luck quite yet… when they installed Windows on this computer, did they leave MSN Explorer on it? If so, give that a try. If not… well, there’s always proxy servers.

Which brings us to the second way around a blocked website: proxy servers. A “proxy server” is basically a website that displays another website. So… how exactly does that help you? Well, when you type a web address (URL) into your browser at school or work, the network checks the address entered against a list of banned URLs, such as http://www.facebook.com. However, the URL of the proxy server website is probably not blocked, so the network lets the traffic through. The proxy server simply acts as a transfer point. Your school computer isn’t going to Facebook. Your computer is going to another computer that is going to Facebook!

So where do you find a proxy server? Anywhere. There are literally hundreds of them across the globe. Just type “proxy server” or “web proxy” into Google and take your pick. There are even entire websites devoted to maintaining lists of proxy servers. Actually, if you can find one of those sites, use it. Here’s why: network administrators aren’t stupid. Proxy servers eat up a lot of system resources and bandwidth, and network admins notice such things. When you use the same proxy server day in and day out, they’ll eventually notice all the traffic going to that website, take a look, realize it’s a proxy server, and block that web site, too. To avoid this, use a different proxy server each time-or at the very least, a different one each day. Websites that maintain lists of hundreds of proxy servers are ideal for this. Some even have a button you can click to choose a proxy server at random. That’ll keep the network admins guessing!

I’ll leave you with a little trivia on the nobler side of proxy servers. Although it’s easy think of them as sleazy, sneaky little things that allow you to misbehave and waste your company’s time, but they actually serve a very important purpose. There are many countries in the world, such as China, that try to limit the information their citizens can access by maintaining huge lists of banned URLs. Proxy servers sidestep this and let the people find out what’s really going. Sure, such nations try to block the proxy servers, too, but they’re always one step behind. When anyone can set up a proxy server in their garage, a dozen new proxy servers can (and do) pop up every day-and repressive governments will never be able to keep up with them all.

Advertisements

December 5, 2008 - Posted by | Social Networking | , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. The best and most secure are hide ip software and VPNs. I prefer IP Privacy because has premium proxies that are not slowing down your Internet connection.

    Comment by Anelly | November 10, 2009 | Reply


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: