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.

Changing Your IP Address Quickly

For those who work or spend a lot of time online, having one IP address is always enough. The problem is that the way the internet has developed the single address which is assigned to your internet connection is often at best inconvenient but often extremely limiting. The problem is that you have absolutely no control over the address which is assigned to you, yet it is used to control your access to many of the world’s biggest websites.

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Take for example YouTube, when someone uploads a video they have the option to control which countries it is accessible from. So major publishers will often release in specific countries and deny access to others, your IP address is used to enforce these controls. Ever wanted to check the news or a TV show broadcast from a TV station based in a different country? Well most of the time you can’t because the vast majority of media streaming on these sites is restricted to the country they are based in. Want to watch the French News on a Parisian TV channel to improve your language skills? Sounds a sensible use of the internet, yet you’ll get blocked unless you get on a plane and take your laptop to France, crazy huh!

So that’s it the reality is that region locking alone will effectively block huge parts of the internet from every single one of us. I think my most frustrating experience of this was when I tried to listen to the cricket on holiday, I thought that I would be able to watch BBC iPlayer outside the UK yet alas I was very wrong – you can only watch/listen to the BBC online from the UK.

Which is why people are starting to get fed up of this, after all the internet wasn’t designed to be segmented and blocked on all these levels. The solution is actually very simple, you just need the ability to switch your internet address when required – a quick IP changer to bypass the thousands of blocks and filters applied across the web.

How does This Work? Well it’s actually quite simple although you cannot change your real IP address, unless you happen to own an ISP – you can effectively hide your address by using proxies or VPN servers. All you do is to connect to a VPN server in a different country and then browse the internet as normal. Instead of seeing your real address the only visible IP address will be that of the VPN server, so by using a network of these servers across the world you can view any website you wish and effectively bypass any blocks based on location.

Realistically this could be a very difficult procedure continually reconnecting to different VPN servers but many companies have made this much simpler. They have implemented simple software programs which allow you to point and click to switch servers and effectively changing your IP address

Classification of IP Addresses

If you’re looking for a VPN or proxy solution to switch your IP address, then there’s certain information you should be aware of regarding the classification of these addresses.   Most people who use VPNs to change their addresses are normally concerned with only one factor – the country that the IP address is registered too.

This is because many of these services are used specifically to bypass the growing trend of region locking operated media sites.  Sites like Hulu, BBC, NBC and in reality most of the major entertainment sites usually restrict access to their home countries – so for example you would have to be in the UK to watch all the British TV channels, whereas the US stations like ABC are only accessible to American IP addresses.   So people will use a US VPN to watch US sites, and UK ones to watch UK channels and so on.   In fact this is so important that most services provide servers located in most larger countries to allow their users the most flexibility in their web browsing.   Not all companies do this, but if you want to access a particular website you should determine that they have a server in the same country if you want to access it.

The above video demonstrates some of the options available and how region locking can be accessed, but it has recently become even more complicated. The problem lies not in the location of the IP address but in the classification. Most IP addresses are listed as either being commercial or residential. Commercial ones are used mostly by companies and run from datacentres or corporate networks whereas residential addresses are assigned usually from ISPs to home computers. Increasingly media sites are choosing to block all access from commercial IP addresses primarily to try and enforce their region locking attempts.

Netflix where the latest company to do this, and overnight nearly all commercial VPN services stopped working with this website much to the annoyance of thousands of users who access Netflix with a VPN. Now you need to use a residential VPN to access any of the Netflix global sites. That is the IP address assigned to the VPN server you connect to must be classified as a residential one or it simply won’t work.

A few of the VPN services have adapted to this change and offer residential IP addresses although they are more expensive to obtain that the more plentiful commercial addresses. If you want to access something like Netflix though it is essential they have these classified addresses or they just won’t work.