What are Proxy sites : Finding and using Proxy Servers

  Finding and using Proxy Servers

If you spend time on the web, you occasionally come across the term “proxy”. Perhaps you’ve noticed that the administrator of your favorite website has rules against proxies. Or maybe you hear rumors about how proxies allow people to cheat while playing online games. Despite their unsavory reputation, proxies can be a useful tool for those who know how to use them.

What is a proxy
Proxies are computers that are placed between your computer and the server you are communicating with on the web; they affect the transmitted data in various ways. Other people can use proxies to help or hinder you, or you can use proxies to accomplish certain goals that would otherwise be impossible.
For instance, your ISP or your employer may decide to install a proxy between you and the wider internet. This proxy is designed to filter the content on the web, removing information that is illegal or otherwise troubling. On the other hand, your ISP can use a proxy to reduce the load on distant servers by caching information that you request frequently, thereby speeding up your web browsing.
You can use proxies in several ways. Http – or web proxies – allow you to surf anonymously by hiding your computer’s unique IP address from the servers with which you are interacting.  SOCKS proxies are used by programs other than your browser – such as IRC or online game clients – and can anonymize or otherwise alter your requests to the server. You can even find FTP proxies to use for anonymous downloading.

Proxy Server Sites

Proxy Servers
In order to use a proxy, you have to access a proxy server. Sometimes, you have no choice in using a proxy server, such as when your ISP requires you to surf the web through a proxy. Usually, however, you have to search for a proxy server.
It can be tempting to engage in illegal behavior while protected by a web proxy. However, this is ill-advised. Despite the facade of anonymity provided by proxy server, the server owner undoubtedly maintains user logs. Law enforcement agencies can, and do, request this information during the course of their investigations.
Additionally, many proxy owners are rumored to traffic in information. Don’t be tempted to use proxies to transmit sensitive information over the internet. Proxy sites can easily harvest your passwords and logon information for any websites you visit during your web session.

Finding proxies using Google or proxy websites
 Using Google, you can easily find lists of proxy servers in the form of IP addresses and ports. In the case of web proxy lists, they are usually further categorized into several groups: transparent, anonymous, and high anonymous. To bypass content filtering, you can use a transparent proxy. To remain completely anonymous while you surf the web, use a high anonymous proxy.
Many proxy websites exist to provide you with lists of working proxy servers. Some are pay services promising the most up-to-date lists, others have been on the web for years. Obviously, if a proxy is listed on the web, most system administrators know about its existence; they often filter known proxies if it benefits them to do so. Truly unknown proxies are usually available only to paid customers of various anonymizing services.

Using a proxy server
By way of example, we’ll set up and use a simple web proxy.
Most modern browsers, including Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, and Safari, can easily be set up to surf the web through a proxy. We’ll use Internet Explorer in this example.
First, use Google or a proxy website to find a list of web proxies. Many of the proxies in most of these lists are either prohibitively slow, or no longer working. You may have to experiment for a while before you find one that works well. For instance, here is a proxy/port that seems to work acceptably well:

In this example, is the IP address of the proxy, and 80 is the port number that your browser will use to communicate with the server.
Using MS’s Internet Explorer, open the following dialogue box from the menu bar:
Tools>Internet Options>Connections>LAN Settings
Check the “Use a proxy server…” checkbox, then type the IP address and port into the respective boxes. Now, when you connect to a website, it will see the IP address of the proxy server, rather than your computer’s IP address. Use a site such as “whatismyip.com” to test this.

[Free Proxy]
Proxy servers are a useful tool for those who wish to use the internet without exposing themselves to unwanted attention. Used responsibly, they are often the difference between being free to use the web as you see fit, or being arbitrarily restricted.