World Wide Web Proxies – Web Proxy List

In the earliest days of the web in 1990, web proxy servers were usually referred to as gateways.  In fact the very first web gateway was created at CERN by the original WWW team , headed by Tim Berners-Lee.

Gateways are effectively devices which are used to forward packets between different networks. These devices can vary in complexity from simple pass through devices to complex system which are able to understand and convert different protocols.   It was in 1993 that the name Web Proxy Server was chosen as a standard term to describe the different types of Web gateways.

Web Proxy Server

These can be further classified into two distinct categories:

Proxy Server – internet/firewall gateways which act in response to client/PC requests.

Information Gateway – gateways which act in response to server requests.

However these are quite broad specification and below you will find some details of the key properties of the proxy servers and associated gateways.  Remember that these classifications can be affected by any application software which is installed on the proxies so they are not necessarily just the simple servers you find on web proxy lists – which are normally just basic Glype installations.   Particularly you may find that destinations and transparency may sometimes  be modified.

Proxy Server Properties

These are the general properties which can be applied to any specific proxy server, there are variations which will affect these.

Transparency: these proxies do not modify the data passing through them. They will perform any filtering specified by rules but this will not affect the end result. The connection will be the same if it was direct or through the proxy server.

Control: the client will determine whether it is uses the proxy or not.  This is typically controlled on the client by specifying the address of the proxy or through client based software.

Destination: the final destination of any request is not affected by any intermediate proxy.  In fact a client or user will often be completely unaware of the existence of the proxy.

Proxies can provide all sorts of features some of which might affect these properties.   They can be used to provide specific access controls, filtering, logging and even simply to speed up access to remote web resources through caching features.

It is in corporate environments that the transparency properties of proxies has usually been modified.  Frequently these firewall proxy servers will sit in the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) and control both inbound and outbound traffic.  They will accept network requests from clients and forward them out to the internet if approved, then relay the replies back to the clients.   Most of these will also operate caching services to ensure that duplicate requests don’t generate more network traffic and bandwidth charges.  This is especially important for servers with high utilization such as a video proxy or firewall.

The other advantage of the dual role proxies is that it can act as a single entry point for internet access.   This means that all requests can be logged and monitored allowing an element of control to web access through the company infrastructure.  It also allows replies to be monitored for harmful code such as malware and viruses, this is an important extra layer of security to protect the internal network.

Rise in Residential IP Providers

If you’re looking for an online, potential boom market then providing residential IP addresses could be the one you’re looking for.   A few years this simply didn’t exist and indeed most people (even IT professionals) probably couldn’t tell you what a residential IP address is and what you might need one for.

In the past it wasn’t actually that important, after all as long as you had an IP address then that’s all you needed.  Where it came from, what it was had no real importance as long as the address was valid and you could go online with it.  However this has pretty much changed, the IP address is taking on much more of a significance often in ways that are invisible to the end user.

Residential IP Providers

Consider that the vast majority of websites now will record your IP address in some way.  Everything from the huge international web presence to the two page geeky blog from your favorite online author.   Some will have installed complex systems to do this but more commonly it will be available through Google Webmaster or Analytic tools.   Potentially any web site can glean lots of information about you the very moment you visit the site.

This might be disconcerting to some, who probably still think that there’s a default level of privacy available online as long as you don’t start filling in forms or posting under your real name.  The reality is that there’s virtually none, unless you take some concerted effort there’s no privacy at all.  Your IP address is the key to your location, your identity and the link that allows webmasters to make all sorts of assumptions and decisions about you.

One of the most important factors that people are beginning to look at is the classification of the IP address.  For the home user who’s logging in from a connection to an internet service provider then that’s almost certainly going to be classified as a ‘home or residential’ user.   Believe it or not that’s a very powerful and important indicator for many websites – it marks you as being a potential customer.

Look at this video about using private proxies for Instagram, and you’ll get an idea of why many people value these IP addresses so much.

A residential IP address is a normal user who is probably accessing their website from home. As opposed to a user from a commercial address who could be at work or worse using a VPN or proxy to hide their true identity. What’s more this ‘residential address’ can also be located much more easily to a specific location. Imagine how important it is to an e-commerce website that they can determine that a visitor is a normal home user from the US or Europe. Indeed many e-commerce websites are only really interested in specific users, i.e. those who are potential customer as opposed to informational websites which have a much broader brief.

Why the Need for Residential IP Providers

There is obviously a temptation for the webmasters to focus on the people that who will potentially buy from them. After all a local store in downtown Chicago is going to prize residential addresses located in the Chicago area. Whereas visitors from commercial addresses or those located on the other side of the world are much less likely to become paying customers. There are many options the web site can take even with this fairly basic pieces of information – route them through to special areas, make special offers and so on. Indeed many web sites will use it to filter out potentially ‘bad traffic’ – e.g fraudulent transactions are much likely to come from a remote IP address or one diverted from a commercial data center through a proxy.

It’s following this logic that some companies have used this to help block entire sections of IP addresses based on location and classification. It’s most common in the entertainment industry where movies and shows are often licensed on a ‘per country’ basis. For example you can’t watch the BBC online unless you have a British IP address and you can’t access Hulu without an American IP address and so on. The country based restrictions are extremely common and are usually referred to as geo-targeting. People are generally able to bypass these restrictions and blocks fairly easily by using VPNs and proxies with servers based in the required countries.

Netflix however has introduced a very restrictive filter which blocks many of these servers. It’s not enough to have an IP address based in a specific country, you also have to have am address which is classified as ‘residential’ too. A normal VPN or proxy won’t work anymore as these have addresses usually allocated from commercial datacentres. There’s an interesting article about the concept here – Why You Need a VPN with Residential IP for Netflix, which explains what the media giant has done. For many VPN companies this meant the end of selling to potential Netflix users simply because the required addresses are so difficult to obtain.

You can still  get access to Netflix and indeed there are some companies who offer residential IPs with proxy servers and even a residential VPN.   However there’s not many of them and you should check carefully especially if you need to access a service like Netflix which only works with them.   Other companies also restrict access based on the classification – for example many social media sites like Instagram and Facebook check the origin of IP addresses.   As such many internet marketers or online businesses invest in static residential proxies in order to operate multiple accounts for marketing purposes.

You can buy residential proxies yet remember they can be expensive simply because the IP addresses are very difficult to obtain.   Where you buy them from very much depends on what purpose they are needed for.   If you’re looking to access social media or e-commerce sites then you should look for specific location – i.e to buy multiple items from the Adidas web store the best residential proxies would be those based in the US.  You’d also need many more addresses if you’re operating multiple accounts or making lots of purchases,

For accessing resources like Netflix all you need is an address based in the US, there are a couple of VPN solutions which have a selection of residential US proxies.  These can  be used to access the US version of Netflix – here’s the best options and you can test it for 14 day for free.

Smart DNS Proxy

If you’re looking for cheap residential proxies for building Instagram accounts or building a Sneaker business then you’ll need a lot more.  The following is one of the few residential IP providers who actually own the servers that their addresses sit on.

Storm Proxies

Why People Change Their IP Addresses

If you want to access the internet then you’ll need an IP address, otherwise you won’t be able to connect to anything.  That funny little network address is essential in order for you to do anything online simply because no computer would ever be able to find you.

streaming UK TV

For most us that address is assigned directly from our ISP when we connect up to the internet.  Each device is allocated an address from a range and it will use it to communicate online.  For many of us that address will not change for weeks on end and forms the basis of  our digital profile while we use the internet.

So why would we want to change this address? Why isn’t the IP address we’re assigned good enough?  Well the simple fact is that although you have little say in how your IP address is assigned, it does actually affect what you can do online quite significantly.   Your address is also used to determine your location which can also have an impact on your online experience.

Take a look at this brief video entitled Online IP changer and you can see some of the situations where it’s actually useful to have the ability to change your own IP address,

As you can see from the demonstration, your address is actually used to block and filter what you access online. SO for example many of the world’s best media site only allow access to their domestic markets. So to watch Hulu or HBO you have to be physically based in the US for example. Even if you are from the US and travel abroad, suddenly you’ll lose access to resources that you were previously able to access without issue. This is because you cannot take your IP address with you when you travel, well at least under normal circumstances.
As soon as you travel to France for instance, you’ll be consider a French person as you’ll have an IP address registered there. Which means you will get blocked if you access a US only website.

This is why proxies and VPNs are so important now as they give people some control over their digital identities. Anyone can use an intermediate server based in a different country in order to hide their location. So a US traveller could connect through a US proxy and enjoy the same access to US media sites that he had previously.

Proxies and IP Cloaking

Many people think  that all IP addresses are pretty much the same.  Of course, the numbers change but fundamentally one address is very much like another.  To some extent if we roll back the clock a couple of decades that would be true but in the new era of the internet – your IP address says quite a bit about you.

IT’s difficult to imaging that those random looking numbers in the format 192.168.1.1 have any real significance, but i’s actually become more important.  For example if you have the IP address – 23.248.183.211 I could easily determine a few facts including your location and who you use as an internet provider.

ip cloaking proxies

The specified address for example comes from a range assigned to Nigeria, so anyone using it is based in Nigeria or relaying through a server based there.  As it’s unlikely anyone would get any real advantage from using a Nigerian IP address then it’s probably that’s their real location.  Although some people do use Nigerian proxies for various semi-legal or criminal activities simply because law enforcement standards are fairly low there.

Websites will use this information for all sorts of reasons, although commonly marketing is the main driver.  Although IP addresses are also used extensively to restrict access.  For example if you try and post an advert on a US Craigslist site with a Nigerian IP address then you’ll simply get blocked.

Our IP addresses control what we can access and to some extent our online experience.  A digital entrepreneur from somewhere like India or Nigeria will have a much harder time than one from Chicago for example.  Access to marketing sites, advertising and payment processors will be much more difficult.  Nigeria’s reputation for online scams and fraud unfortunately makes life much more difficult for all their honest entrepreneurs too.

Which is why many such people use proxies in order to hide their true IP address and take advantage of a new one.  Our digital marketer in Nigeria may for example want to buy lots of trendy US merchandise to import and resell online, he won’t have much luck with a Nigerian address.  However by renting a proxy he can operate online with a UK or European address quite easily.  He may get to a more advanced level and use rotating residential proxies to buy stock from restricted releases like concert tickets or sneakers.

This in just one example but it illustrates the growing market in private proxies and VPNs designed to allow people to operate without these restrictions online.  Business people aren’t the only ones which use these services to hide their location.  There’s an even bigger market for ordinary people who just want to access movies, films and videos which are also blocked based on your location.  This post illustrates how a special method using name resolution and proxies can be used to access the BBC online – check it out it’s called BBC iPlayer DNS.  The method involves routing selected packets through a UK proxy based on specific DNS requests.  So the DNS server would wait until it sees a request for a geo-restricted site like the BBC only then route through a UK server so it worked properly.

 

DNS Considerations When Migrating Hosts

When migrating web host to a different hosting service’s server or modifying the server’s IP address, the most important factor to consider to guarantee to maintain schedule of the sites hosted on the server, decrease the downtime of the website, prevent strange difficulties such as emails get delivered to either server randomly, or browsing at old server, is how fast DNS (Domain Name System) will be able to check out or fix hostname or domain into your brand-new IP address, instead of the old IP address. Unfortunately, webmasters have actually limited ability to control or bypass the DNS propagation process. Nevertheless, there are still a few ideas, techniques and workarounds that guarantee DNS cache will refresh the new IP addresses as soon as possible.

DNS acts in such as aside that when an ask for IP address received by DNS resolver, it will then query the root hosts to discover the authorized server with comprehensive understanding of the specific domain name. If a legitimate IP address for the domain is returned by the reliable server, the DNS resolver will cache the DNS proliferation for a provided time period called TTL (Time To Live) after an effective reply, in what called DNS caching in order to decrease the load on specific DNS server. DNS caching provides resolution of domain to IP to happen locally using the cached info rather than querying the remote server for subsequent requests, till the TTL period expires.

The Time-To-Live (TTL) timer is the trick to ensure that the DNS cache ends immediately and all of the time remains fresh. TTL is specified by domain administrator in the authoritative DNS server for the zone wherever information stems, and its worths inform DNS caching resolvers to end and get rid of the DNS records after TTL seconds. Lowering the TTL value will make it possible for quick expiration and revitalizing of DNS records, making the new records to propagate faster across the world. Still, the technique demands the name resolvers comply the RFC standards, which most do. Alongside, you must have complete control to alter the name server reliable for your domains.

The tweaking of TTL in DNS records need to be done a number of days prior to it will alter (date of server moving or IP change) to guarantee that all DNS caching resolvers picks up the fresh TTL value and expires the old longer worth. The trick will cut down the TTL in anticipation of the alteration to reduce disparity during the modification, inning accordance with RCF 1034.

TTL is defined by Minimum field in SOA (Start of Authority) type as default TTL, or individually at each record as TTL. RCF 1912 explains the Minimum field in details as listed below:

Minimum: The default TTL (time-to-live) for resource records (RR)– for how long information will remain in other nameservers’ cache. ([ RFC 1035] specifies this to be the minimum value, but servers seem to always execute this as the default worth) This is by far the most essential timer. Set this as large as is comfortable provided how typically you update your nameserver. Remember if you’re routing your connection through any other intermediary then name resolution can be effected.  For example if you’re using something like a VPN or ATC proxy then the DNS servers may change from the client configuration.

If you plan to make major modifications, it’s a smart idea to turn this value down temporarily ahead of time. Then wait the previous minimum worth, make your modifications, confirm their correctness, and turn this worth back up. 1-5 days are typical values. Remember this value can be bypassed on individual resource records.  Which is the way some Smart DNS solutions create specific records to bypass region blocks, you can see an example in this post about accessing US Netflix.

If you are utilizing a web-based or GUI to manage your domain’s DNS records, and after that visit to the system, and edit the SOA records. Inside you’ll see a field called Minimum, change the value to as low as possible (in seconds), such as 300 for timeout every 5 minutes. Then alter the TTL for all the A, MX, CNAME, TXT, SOA, PTR and other records, if appropriate.

If you are using cPanel WebHost Manager (WHM), log-in and choose Edit DNS Zone under DNS Functions section. Pick the suitable zone (domain). You’ll be given with a list of records. Modify the minimum ttl in SOA, and TTL column of A, MX, CNAME and other records specified.

For those by hand set up the authoritative nameserver for a domain zone using BIND, modification has to be done in the zone file. For example, so domain zone example.com, you will see the following resource records in the zone file.

Wireless Security Initial Concepts

Wireless security is an important part of your wireless network Without even getting Wireless Security into wired Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) there are certain things you can do to make your network secure and shut down the easy avenue for the hacker attacks.

An acronym for Wired Equivalent Privacy, WEP is an encryption scheme used to protect your wireless data communications.

WEP uses a combination of 40-bit keys to provide access control to your network and encryption security for every data transmission. To decode a data transmission, each wireless client on the network must use an identical 64 or 128-bit key.

Securing Wireless Networks

Ever since 2001, the use of wireless networks has exploded both in home and corporate environments. By 2006, more than 80 millions wireless local area network (WLAN) nodes should be in the hands of residential and business users combined.

Securing WLANs has been a concern almost since their inception and while much progress has been made with the introduction of WEP and WPA, both have been shown to have their own weaknesses or implementation issues.

While 802.11i is said to improve upon WEP and WPA, it is not yet commercially available and it may prove over time to have its own weaknesses as well.

There are wireless security steps that network administrators and home users alike may take to augment the security of their wireless networks, and discussing some of these steps is the purpose of this site.

None of these steps is intended as a replacement to WEP or WPA, but rather as a complement. Many of these steps do not apply to public hot spots, however, as it is generally the intent of the spot’s owner or operator to make access as easy and convenient as possible.  After all we use our networks for an increasing amount of our lives from entertainment to household and financial management.

Just have a look at this video which demonstrates how an ex-pat has turned their wireless network into a home entertainment portal. Although the channels listed are not accessible outside the uK by relaying through a third party server you can hide your location. It’s doesn’t always work but there are solutions you can see – Netflix America in UK. It’s an example why a fast, secure wireless network has become something of a necessity in the modern world.

Please remember that computer security is a complex issue and it would take volumes just to explain all of the ins and outs, but if you take some precaution to secure your wireless home network, you’ll have a basic understanding of this technology and a excellent start.

Quick Tip: All wireless devices must use the same WEP key!

Adapters and access point and other equipment all come with a default password and other settings – You should quickly change these values. Leaving these default values unchanged, just invites trouble, remember this is your private network, but the airwaves are public and the door is open to anyone that’s up to no good.

The most important values to change are the SSID, make sure this setting is the same for all devices in your wireless network.
A few things you can do to make your SSID more secure

  • Make it unique
  • Change it regularly
  • Disable SSID Broadcast

The SSID (Short for service set identifier) also referred to as a network name because essentially it is a name that identifies a wireless network.

Is the unique name shared among all devices in a wireless network. The SSID must be identical for all devices in the wireless network. It is case-sensitive and must not exceed 32 alphanumeric characters, which may be any keyboard character.

Quick Tip: It is important to note, however, that using the manufacturer’s default SSID, makes it easier for hackers or individuals to identify the access point’s manufacturer and look for specific weaknesses that may be used to gain unauthorized access or deny others access.

Make sure this setting is the same for all devices in your wireless network to insure Wireless security, I recommend that you change the default SSID to a unique name of your choice.

Disabling SSID broadcasting can be a useful security feature. However, when SSID broadcasting is disabled, Wireless site survey tools such as Windows XP’s Zero Configuration utility will not function.

It is best to disable the SSID broadcast until you have configured all of your wireless network clients.

Additional Reading: British TV Abroad, James Collins.

Wireless Network Traffic -The Basics

For 802.11b and 802.11g products use the radio frequency in the 2.4Gz band the band used by cordless phones, The 802.11a products use the 5.8Gh band used by the less common group of phones The 11Mps and 54Mps are not what you actually get.

Typical wireless speeds for 802.11b products is about 4-5 Mbps and the 802.11g have an capacity of about 20Mbps and the 802.11a are about 22Mbps.

Just about enough speed for modern applications for example watching BBC TV abroad like in this video.

It’s not uncommon in the computer industry to exaggerate a little about the speed of their devices, after all is a 17-inch monitor really 17 inches, a 80GB disk drive 80 Gigs and I know that modem of yours doesn’t deliver 56Kbps bits to your computer.

The main reason for the wireless speeds inflated rating is that some of it is taken by overhead, and even these lower capacities can be limited by distance-walls and other environmental conditions.

Dual-Band

54 Mbps and 11 Mbps, 8+3 non-overlapping channels, 64 users per access point, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Dual-band products – Linksys – WPC55AG – 54Mbps 802.11g/b/a Wireless Cardbus Adapter are a good choice in environments that are just getting started with 802.11b networks but expect that faster speeds will soon be needed.

Dual-band products offer both 802.11b and 802.11a functionality, in both PC Cards USB ports and AP products, enabling WLANs that can accept both types of clients. Dual-band clients automatically search for the best connection as users roam throughout the office or campus environment. Dual-band offers the best of both worlds.

Benefits

Simultaneous operation: Both 802.11a and 802.11b technologies operate side-by-side, without interference. Users can select either band, or both.

Enhanced roaming

The same WLAN adapter can be used in more places, such as home, work, and public hot spots, without configuration changes. Highest density: Up to 11 channels from both protocols are available, supporting more users.

Protects WLAN investment, supports both high- and low-speed network devices. Easier administration: Dual-band units combine two technologies into one, easing administration and support costs in environments where both types of devices are needed. Less interference: Devices have more channel options available.

Many dual-band products feature improved security capabilities, enhancing the WEP standard and offering additional functions such as MAC address filtering.

Where It Should Be Used

Dual-band products offer the best of both worlds

Anywhere there is an existing WLAN infrastructure that may need to accommodate both 802.11a and 802.11b USB devices. Will also support 802.11g devices. Density: Wherever maximum density is needed, dual-band is the right solution. Dual-band products have more channels (11), so they can support more users. This can result in a lower deployment costs.

Flexibility

Dual-band offers maximum wireless speed and maximum range. A single configuration can support both network protocols, reducing the need to support multiple environments or reconfigure client devices as users move between them. This results in lower support costs.

Examples

Include businesses where offices are co-located with warehouses, large campus environments, people traveling between multiple WLAN network types, or any organization that wants to extend existing WLAN to support the other protocol.

Further Reading:
Presentation Tools: Create Videos Quickly

Confused About Wireless Speeds – Standards Archive

Confused about wireless speeds, on your wireless home computer let me explain. All of the important standards are know by Wi-Fi the standards are themselves maintained by a association called Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance (WECA) interoperability among the various products is a good thing.

One of the first standard to hit the market and still the most popular is called 802.11b with a rated speed of 11 Mbps – mega bits per second A standard for 802.11a, it is rated at 54Mbps – 25 Mbps – when .11b is not present and yes, “b” came before “a”

The newest product on the block with an increase in wireless speed 802.11g which is rated at 54Mbp unless you install a 802.11b card (11Mbps) , then the speed drops to the slowest device 802.11b, but they are compatible with 802.11b network interface (NIC) cards.

They should also have no problems or issues with using standard protocols such as TCP/IP which has a reliable connection and delivery protocol.  You can use them on servers and multihomed devices such as rotating proxies

Because of backward compatibility, older and slower 802.11b radio cards can interface directly with an 802.11g access point and vice versa at 11Mbps or lower wireless speeds , depending upon the range.

Quick Tip: The wireless speed gold standard is*802.11g – – the newest, fastest and most powerful kid on the block 802.11 radio technology that broadens bandwidths to 54 Mbps within the 2.4 GHz band.

In other words the two standards work together fine. But if I where installing a new wireless network or adding new wireless pc’s I would use the *802.11g for all of my computers.

We all like speed and no matter how fast we can go, on line or off , we still want to do it faster. When I moved my ISP account from the basic dial up modem (56Kbs) and replaced it with Cable I was one happy computer guy.  Let’s be honest those days are long gone and little basic modems wouldn’t keep up with even a very basic static web site now.

Most people now expect to be able to stream directly irrespective of which device they’re on.  How many of us have sat in a cafe or on a bus streaming HD quality video to the small phone in our hand, this takes a serious amount of bandwidth even if you have access to a 4G network.  I know for a fact that many people on my early morning train sit and watch the BBC on a VPN (we’re outside UK) using the wireless access point provided on the train.

Quick Tip: Troubleshooting cabling performance If you’re experiencing connection problems- check the following

So as far as wireless speed and wired networks are concerned…

    • Look for sources of interference, such as power outlets, fluorescent lights, power supplies, and coiled or extra-long cables.
    • Make sure all cable connections are secure. Check the link light on the network card – Nic – the devices you are connecting with each cable.
    • Make sure you have used the correct type of cables, either straight-through or crossover. Check hardware setup instructions to verify which cable you might need.
    • Be sure that you have not used a telephone cable in an Ethernet cable port.

The speed chain of command goes like this…

  • Fiber optic cable Uses light 186,000 MilesPsec, that’s fast The speed of light depends on the material that the light moves through – for example: light moves slower in water – glass and through the atmosphere than in a vacuum
  • Coaxial cable uses shielding to keep the signal focused and RG-6 & Cat. 5E 350MHz Dual Cableuses shielding to keep the signal focusedl reduces interference
  • Twisted pair Most commonly used in wired networks – UTP Cat 5e twists the pairs around each other to reduce interference and reinforce the signal

How to Activate Hotstar in UK or USA

For those of us who grew up with the internet or should I say grew with the internet then the increasing amount of filtering and censorship is somewhat worrying. I remember it wasn’t always the same. A memory comes to mind of about 1997 firing up my 486 computer, clicking on that connect button and listening to my 14.4k modem beep and click as it made my internet connection. There was still that excitement and wonder of connecting to a different world, a little device which enabled free communication with people from across the planet.

I was looking for information about ailments on elephants for one of my students in my internet class. They worked in a local zoo and were worried about one of their elderly elephants. The world was nowhere near as connected as it is today and it was thought that the internet may help. We first logged in using a telnet session to the University of Wales online database, no real restrictions or passwords as I remember. Just free open access to a useful information portal. Then we found email addresses and even a newsgroups frequented by vets, biologists and various Zoo type people. In all we found the help he needed, and boy did it feel good.

Although now it’s arguably easier to find your way around the internet, it’s also becoming increasingly frustrating. In the last few years it seems I’m forever getting redirected or messages telling me that something’s not available due to my location. In the Internet I remember, location didn’t matter – this was a virtual, digital world where everyone is equal.

Wherever you go online you seem to be confronted with barriers now – take this screen which you receive if you try and visit the Hotstar site, a wonderful Indian media broadcaster.
Activate Hotstar in UK

I went there mainly for the sport, there’s a huge cricket session including the IPL coverage.  Also if  you want to watch Premiership football without being conned into a massive Sky or BT package, the Hotstar has rights at least it did last season.  Yet again I was frustrated as the whole site is only accessible if you have an Indian IP address,

Now I’d normally use Identity Cloaker to bypass these blocks but they don’t actually have any Indian VPN servers so it wouldn’t work.   However there are other options and I thought I’d try out a Smart DNS solution instead, to be more specific the 14 day free trial from Smart DNS Proxy .  It worked wonderfully as you can see in the following video which is hosted currently on YouTube.

As you can see it’s pretty much transparent after you set it up, certainly more so than using a VPN which needs to be connected while you’re accessing the Hotstar site. The other big advantage is that because you don’t stream the entire connection through the VPN server you don’t have that extra hop to slow you down. The other speed boost over a VPN is that there is no layer of encryption to slow the stream down either. Now obviously this means that it adds no security at all, but it could be argued that it’s not really needed if you’re just streaming video.

There’s another post about accessing the site here – How to Watch Hotstar in the UK. As you can see it works perfectly and seamlessly in the background. I am starting to see the benefits of using these Smart DNS systems too as I was able to quickly configure my NVidia Shield with the same DNS settings so I could watch using that.

Works a treat, and Hotstar is brilliant fun – it’s also worth checking out the various documentaries and news programmes many of them are in English. Gives you a whole new perspective of the world to be honest.

Why Travellers Should Always use a VPN

Most of us now consider a VPN service as an essential tool for doing anything online.  If you travel and use access points in places like hotels, cafes and airports – using a VPN is pretty much essential.   If you don’t then it’s almost inevitable that at some point you’ll be the victim of some sort of cyber crime.

One of the main issues with these free Wifi points is that they are nearly always installed and configured with someone with no comprehension of computer security.  Indeed many surveys have found a huge proportion of these devices are installed with default settings. Only the larger chain organisations are likely to have some dedicated staff able to configure these properly and even then this isn’t often the case.

Think of all the places you use free internet access, who supports the connection do you think?  Who would you call if there was a problem?  In most cases the information would be very hard to find as they are probably installed in flying visit then some vague telephone support at the end of the phone.  In smaller organisations it’s often the dreaded – ‘friend who knows computers’.

It’s why all these access points are so tempting to identity thieves and cyber criminals.  Here’s just a small selection of the major issues:

  • Central Access Points used often by hundreds of people to check secure sites like email, banking, paypal etc.
  • Often poorly configured with low security.
  • Allow access to intercept all sorts of data using Man in the Middle style attacks.
  • Allows anonymity for attackers who don’t even have to present if they hack into the router.

They’re certainly a huge attraction for organised identity thieves for example who can steal all sorts of data if they are able to hack into the router. The other popular method is to simply set up a free internal access point in the same location and give it a similar name. Setting up this somewhere near a hotel lobby or coffee shop means you can steal peoples details while they browse. This attack is often known as the “evil Twin” attack using a bogus access point.

If someone compromises an access point or gets you to connect to a fake one then your data is in real trouble. Forget about SSL or HTTPS all these can be bypassed if they have control of the access point you’re using. Pretty soon the cyber criminals can have emails accounts, banking details and all sorts of personal details.

Your only hope is to add your own personal layer of encryption which protects account names and details – for this you need a VPN. Now over the years many people have been using proxies and VPNs for a variety of reasons. However for people travelling then the overriding priority should be security. The best VPN for BBC iPlayer might not be the best VPN to keep your internet connection secure for example.

Many people use Smart DNS systems to bypass geo-blocks on popular media sites however these should be avoided. Although they can work for bypassing blocks they offer no security whatsoever and there is no encryption layer added to any of the connections. The Smart DNS services are not secure nor where they designed to offer any online protection.

The same could be said for all the specialised proxies you see for sale too. Although a proxy will hide your identity to some extent from the website you are visiting and your ISP. It will offer virtually no protection against any other sort of middle man attacks. Even some of the highly specialized ones used for merchandising bots don’t really help. You can invest hundreds of dollars in the best rotating proxies you can buy, yet without an encryption layer you are still vulnerable.

Fortunately there are some VPN services which offer the best of both worlds. Firstly avoid those who sell themselves as TV watching services, they won’t take the security side seriously. They’ll also likely have slower servers as all the users will be constantly streaming video through them. Look for companies who stress the security of their system, make sure they don’t keep logs and have proper grown up responses to privacy issues.

Overview of Parsed Mail Headers

Overview of parsed mail headers

The following is a list of a lot of the most popular mail headers, you can use this information to identify the origins and build these into scripts.
General Mail Details

Header Matching RegExExplanation
From|^from:(.*)|miThe From-address, the person who (allegedly) sent this e-mail.
To|^to:(.*)|miThe To-address, to whom the mail was addressed.
Subject|^subject:(.*)|miThe subject of the e-mail, as shown in the mailclient.
Carbon Copy|^cc:(.*)|miCarbon Copy list of e-mail addresses
MIME Version|^mime\-version:(.*)|miMIME
Return Path|^Return\-Path:(.*)|mReturn Path to which mails would bounce
Reply to|^Reply\-To:(.*)|miA reply to this e-mail would be sent to this address, which is not necessarily the same as the From-address.
Originating IP|^X\-Originating\-IP:(.*)|miThe IP address of the computer on which the email originated.
Originating e-mail|^X\-Originating\-Email:(.*)|mi Another representation of the sender of the email. Some mailers add this as a precaution against those who spoof the "From:" line.
Delivered to|^Delivered\-To:(.*)|miThe account to which the e-mail was finally delivered to.
In reply to|^In\-Reply\-To:(.*)|miThis e-mail message was sent as a reply to this address.
Forwarded to|^X\-Forwarded\-To:(.*)|miThis message was forwarded from another account (probably automatic).
Forwarded for|^X\-Forwarded\-For:(.*)|mi The account which forwarded this e-mail.
References|^References:(.*)|mi
Message Id|^Message\-ID:(.*)|miA unique identifier for this e-mail (at least, in the sending MTA).
HeaderMatching RegExExplanation
Received SPF|^received\-spf:(.*)|miThe received SPF record
Authentication Results|^Authentication\-Results:(.*)|miAuthentication Results (usually SPF related)
Spamcheck Version|^X\-Spam\-Checker\-Version:(.*)|mX-Spam-Checker-Version: which software was used
Spam Status|^X\-Spam\-Status:(.*)|miX-Spam-Status: was this spam?
Scanned by|^X\-Scanned\-By:(.*)|miSoftware used to scan this message.
Virus scanned|^X\-Virus\-Scanned:(.*)|miScanned for virusses.
HeaderMatching RegExExplanation
Accept Language|^Accept\-Language:(.*)|miIndicates the preference with regard to language.
Content Language|^Content\-Language:(.*)|miIndicates the language of the content.
Accept Language|^acceptlanguage:(.*)|mSee: 'Accept-Language'

The following can be traced including if they’re using residential proxies.

HeaderMatching RegExExplanation
MailScanner Information|^X\-NUCLEUS\-MailScanner\-Information:(.*)|miAdditional information on the MailScanner.
Mailscanner ID|^X\-NUCLEUS\-MailScanner\-ID:(.*)|miInternal ID used in MailScanner software.
Mailscanner result|^X\-NUCLEUS\-MailScanner:(.*)|mi Result of the MailScanner process, whether it was spam or not.
Mailscanner spamcheck|^X\-NUCLEUS\-MailScanner\-SpamCheck:(.*)|mi
Mailscanner from|^X\-NUCLEUS\-MailScanner\-From:(.*)|miFrom-header received by MailScanner.
Spamscore|^X\-NUCLEUS\-MailScanner\-SpamScore:(.*)|miIf mail was marked as spam, this will hold the spamscore.
HeaderMatching RegExExplanation
Date Sent|^date:(.*)|miDate at which the e-mail was sent.
Original Arrival Time|^X\-OriginalArrivalTime:(.*)|miThis is a time stamp placed on the message when it first passes through a Microsoft Exchange server.
HeaderMatching RegExExplanation
Content Type|^Content\-Type:(.*)|miThe type of content that is being sent via mail.
Transfer Encoding|^Content\-Transfer\-Encoding:(.*)|miThe encoding used to send the message.
Content class|^Content\-class:(.*)|miAnother MIME header, telling MIME-compliant mail programs what type of content to expect in the message.
Content disposition|^Content\-Disposition:(.*)|miHow the content of the mail should be handled (inline, attachment, ...).
HeaderMatching RegExExplanation
Mailer software |^X\-Mailer:(.*)|miThe mailclient or mailing software used to send out the e-mail.
User Agent |^User\-Agent:(.*)|mi The mailing software that the client has identified himself as.
Mail Priority |^X\-Priority:(.*)|miThe priority with which this e-mail was sent.
Sender |^X\-Sender:(.*)|miA custom header, to show the real sender e-mail address.
Microsoft Mail Priority|^X\-Msmail\-Priority:(.*)|miThe priority as entered in Microsoft Mail.
User Agent|^X\-User\-Agent:(.*)|mi User Agent used to send the e-mail.
Header Matching RegExExplanation
Mime OLE|^X\-MimeOLE:(.*)|mi Mime OLE software used by the sender.
Thread index \-Index:(.*)|miIs used for associating multiple messages to a similar thread. For example, in Outlook the conversation view would use this information to find messages in one conversation thread.
TNEF Correlator|^X\-MS\-TNEF\-Correlator:(.*)|miThe Transport Neutral Encapsulation Format is Microsoft Exchange/Outlook specific, used when sending messages formatted as Rich Text Format (RTF).
Has attachment |^X\-MS\-Has\-Attach:(.*)|miInforms that the client is ready to send attachments and it also informs whether or not the e-mail contains any attachments. If the e-mail contains attachments the information header X-MS-Has-Attach: will say "yes" after colon.
Thread topic |^Thread\-Topic:(.*)|miUsually the original subject, used as the readable version of Thread-Index.
     

Additional@ Using Proxies to watch Match of the Day Stream