Using Proxies to Maximize IP Addresses

The use of proxies has changed greatly since I started in IT about 25 years ago.  Then most company networks in medium sized companies usually managed with a single proxy running something very simple or annoying like Microsoft ISA server.  Of course most corporate networks still use proxies, however now they’re needed to cope with internet access on the desktop and adding an extra layer of Anti-virus protection to the client PCs.

However it’s outside the world of IT support that I’ve seen proxies change the most. Nowadays you’ll see all sorts of people using them, for all sort of reasons ranging from privacy to online businesses.  You’ll also see big corporations and marketing companies investing in proxies in order to analyse and support their online businesses.

One of the problems of the internet as far as international companies goes is that it’s sometimes difficult to assess what your advertising or web presence is like in another country.  A large company will often spend to create a presence in lots of different countries but it’s difficult to assess how those efforts are working sometimes.   For example a US company will find it difficult to assess how they look in South Africa if they’re sitting in an office in New York.

It’s because so many components of the internet are becoming localized.  Search engines and advertising sites will tailor their results based on the location of the user and it’s difficult to bypass this effectively. The only certain way is to use an IP address in your target country, however to do this you need someway to deliver that experience to your computer.

Also IP addresses are expensive and often abused so decent residential based IP addresses are even more costly and difficult to obtain.   To accomplish lots of task especially marketing and research you need an awful lot of them too.  Fortunately there are now solutions which offer the facility to gain access to lots of these addresses without huge costs previously involved.

The solution to this issue is to stop the actual assignment of individual addresses to specific proxy servers.  Instead a concept has been developed called residential backconnect proxies, which focus on providing address pools to proxies which can be switched easily.   The IP addresses are stored and allocated through a central database which assigns to individual connection request either randomly or sequentially.

So when a request comes from the client to visit a certain website, the proxy is then allocated an IP address from it’s pool.  It’s at this point the type and location of the IP address can be determined, so a French address could be assigned if the client requested a French resource for instance.  Also other important factors can be assigned – perhaps a residential address or one allocated for use on a specific social platform.  This means that many people can gain access to a huge pool of IP addresses without concurrent connections.  This is important especially with social networks, where many concurrent connections from individual IP addresses can raise red flags.

It also ensures that the expensive addresses like residential ones are not abused or end up getting blocked or banned.  Having central control over which addresses are used is much more efficient than selling access to them individually to different people.  Also being able to maintain a list of residential addresses and a list of Netflix addresses means that the resources are not misused by mistake.

 

Can We Trust Dynamic Optimization

Dynamic Compiling, Dynamic Optimization and Code Morphing are some of the buzz words you’ll find used often in programming circles especially online.  Yet for anyone who’s released a piece of code or an update that’s gone wrong, they are phrases that can make you very nervous.   So what do these phrases actually mean and what is their impact on today’s technology?

Dynamic Compiling and Dynamic Optimization are the most common names for it. “Code Morphing”, the most hip term so far, was coined by David Ditzel of Transmeta. The Tao Group prefers the name Dynamic Binding. However, there are still people who use another name altogether: Binary Translation (because translation is such an essential aspect of the technology). But don’t worry. I will use the nice simple abbreviation CF (Code on the Fly) to prevent ourselves from getting all tongue-twisted.

Yet our technology is everywhere now and in some senses it’s impossible to keep up with all the improvements and updates that are necessary.   Even applying security patches to code can be a huge job and many organisations struggle to cope with even this basic requirements.  Imagine the thousands of servers and proxies in most corporate network which need constant updates without even considering normal efficiency based code changes.  This becomes even more important when you have critical roles for specific servers although the volume is obviously reduced.  The ‘point of entry’ server for large backconnect databases you find for people trying to access bulk shared proxies such as these potentially affect thousands of individual connections.

Like most technologies, CF is really a simple concept disguised by big fancy words. An example is the best way of understanding what it’s all about.

We will use Java as our example because it is so popular these days. Java programs are really “pretend-programs” written for a “pretend-computer” called the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). To run a Java program, a “real-program” is needed that pretends to be the JVM by emulating it. Now emulation is very slow. So to speed things up a Just-In-Time (JIT) compiler is used. The JIT compiler converts the Java program into a “real-program” by generating code for the “real-computer” while the JVM program is running (or in other words, on the fly). JIT compilers are faster than emulators because they execute Java programs more directly than the emulator’s slow interpretive layer. A JIT compiler is an example of Dynamic Compiling. Pretty straight forward, uh? Traditional compilers don’t fall into the CF category because they generate code before the software is delivered.

Even microprocessors use Dynamic Compiling. Instruction level parallelism (ILP) (also known as Out-Of-Order [OOO] Execution) is attained by re-arranging instructions, which is essentially a form of Dynamic Compiling. The entire Pentium line translates the horribly complex x86 opcodes into the micro-ops actually understood by their underlying RISC engines. Similarly, Transmeta’s Crusoe and the Elbrus 2000 translate x86 and IA-64 instructions into those actually used by their respective VLIW processors.

There is a whole spectrum of opportunities available for optimization. Static optimization at compile time is one point on this spectrum. Dynamic optimization at runtime is another. Dynamic Optimization is a more advanced form of CF. It aims to improve the performance of (already) native programs. This task is done by determining the hottest bits of code and laying them out next to each other. Since the code is no longer spread out all over memory, there is less trashing in the instruction cache. These straight lines of code are then optimized using traditional techniques such as loop unrolling, constant propagation and dead code elimination.

They are particularly useful in the role of e-commerce servers where dynamic updates mean that downtime is minimized.  Many of these sites costs lots of money to update particularly when you consider the volumes of sales involved.  However the upgrades are essential because they are frequently the target of abuse, either criminal or people trying to abuse the systems.  Once example is where people use so called ‘sneaker proxies’, read about them here, to bypass restrictions and create resell markets.

A technique unique to Dynamic Optimization is the removal of each method’s entry and exit code, thus effectively inlining the entire function on the fly. These optimizations address the inability of compilers to optimize across method boundaries, virtual function calls, DLLs and components. Compilers can not see past these boundaries because they don’t know which calls will be made at runtime. They also don’t know what the user input or targets of dynamic linking will be. Thus Dynamic Optimization fills a niche that compilers cannot.

Need Lot’s of Proxies? Here’s a Solution

For many online activities particularly those crucial money making operations, scale is important. Although making a few dollars from reselling a pair of in demand sneakers is great, it’s not going to pay all your bills. The key to many methods to making money on the internet is to increase volume and you can’t do that with a single digital identity.

Take for example a method using an social media site like Instagram. You may have found that you can advertise your product and promote it using pictures and posts, making a few sales each time you do so. Unfortunately when you try and do this multiple times you’re going to get filtered, blocked or even banned. Most of these websites try and discourage commercial activity unless your paying them directly to advertise of course. So the secret is to spread out the activities using multiple accounts and to do this you need multiple identities.

If you’ve ever tried to open a bunch of social media accounts from the same location, you’ll know it doesn’t work. The first one or two might but then your accounts will get rejected. The same if you try posting to different accounts from the same address, they’ll get flagged and blacklisted at a minimum or more likely deleted completely. If you’ve ever see the pain of someone losing a valuable and popular Instagram account, you’ll know how traumatic that can be.

The solution to running multiple accounts, posting multiple ads or basically to scale anything up is to run multiple identities. Proxies used to be the normal solution to this problem and to some extent they still are. However the complexities are growing and the days of just grabbing a free online proxy to hide your identity are long gone at least as far as most modern websites go. There are many problems with this method but the most blatant one is that you won;t be the only one doing this.

For example if you search online and find a free proxy which you want to use for posting your Instagram profile, there will almost certainly be loads of people doing this already. To access any website while possibly hundreds of people are doing this concurrently is very bad news for those profiles. The profiles will at the very minimum be flagged for suspicious activity and could very well be deleted very soon after.

The same goes for accessing any sort of website, multiple connections from a single IP address is easy to detect and will always mean trouble. Of course the risk is there with paid proxies too, the problem is that IP addresses are expensive and it costs a lot to have them dedicated primarily to you. A dedicated proxy server with reserved IP addresses is great but it comes at a cost. If you need loads of addresses then you’re talking serious money.

There is also a need for proxies with specific purposes, whether for certain sites or particular roles. For some speed will be important and there are some providers who offer specialised video proxy servers with high bandwidth and throughput.

To remedy this issue and make sure that the costs don’t spiral out of control, there’s a new concept called rotating or backconnect proxies.  These work in a very similar way to traditional proxies but with a slight difference.  Instead of having a handful of different IP addresses assigned to the proxy itself, after every connection request it connects using an IP from a central database.  There can be literally thousands of IP addresses in this database all reserved for each proxy and these will be rotated equally.

This means there’s no risk of concurrent connections from the same address and they can be equally shared among a lot more users yet still remain ‘unique’ to each specific connection.  The practically advantage is that the cost is hugely reduced.  Compare this with something like this UK VPN service free trial system which offers a few addresses.  However there is little guarantee that you won’t be sharing those same addresses with hundreds of other users at the same time.

Hiding Your IP Address to Watch the BBC

Every single device which is connected to the internet has an IP address.  That little network number is something that you literally cannot do without if you want to access anything on the internet.  The reason is that to communicate over the web you need to use something called TCP/IP which requires every device to have a network number in order to work.

That number might look rather generic or made up, but in fact it’s unique on the internet.  No other device anywhere on the planet has the same address as you and it’s the nearest thing to a digital identity that we all have.   Unfortunately, it is also used against us in a variety of ways ranging from the annoying to the sinister.

Now we’ve probably all seen those spy or crime solving dramas where the ‘IP address is traced’ and of course this is perfectly feasible.  Most IP addresses can be traced back fairly easily to the exact device which is using it.  However more problematic is the increasing way that this address is used to filter or make more money from us.

Your IP address is also an indicator of your nationality, at least your current national location.  If I try and access my Hulu account while travelling, I’ll get blocked because it’s decided I’m not in the USA.  However the real tribulation is losing access to the BBC the minute I’m not in the UK, this is a major loss!

Now the reasons for these restriction vary from channel to channel. Hulu places restrictions probably because it has the broadcasting rights for a specific country and if you move outside this area they’re not covered.  The BBC used to be quite relaxed about allowing it’s content to be visible from anywhere but they got very strict a couple of years ago.  Yet there’s no need to worry although these channels use our IP address against us, you can actually take back control and watch whatever you want irrespective of your location.

As you can see in this video, it is possible to watch all the BBC programmes online from anywhere including Australia. You can do this by hiding your real IP address and showing a false one instead. There are many methods of doing this, however most of them involve hiding your true location by routing your connection through a server based in the correct country.

These server are called proxies or VPN servers and there are two main requirements for them to work properly. Firstly they must be undetectable, and secondly they need to be based in the location your pretending to be from. So if you want to watch the BBC then you need a UK server, for US channels you need one somewhere in the USA. There are variants of course, and a new system called Smart DNS is one of them which is becoming increasingly popular.

If you’re outside the UK, missing the BBC and want to see it in action then check out this post – Watch BBC Abroad for Free – Trial Offer which gives you 14 days to try it out. Unlike the normal VPN solutions it’s actually very simple to set up as all you need to do is modify your DNS servers. On most devices this is relatively straight forward and even means you can set this up on smart TV and phones.

One things for sure, when you take control of your IP address you regain a huge element of control when you’re online.

So What are Ticketmaster Proxies?

Have you ever rushed over to a ticket site eager to grab some a chance to see your favorite bands only to find 90 seconds after they’ve gone on sale every decent ticket has gone?  You’re left deciding between some restricted view seat quarter of a mile from the stage or paying some shark four times the cover price on eBay.

You can’t understand it because you sat in front of your computer with a credit card in one hand and your mouse poised over the buy button.  How could so many human beings have beaten you to the tickets, how is it possible for you to be that slow!   Well don’t worry you’re not alone and if it makes you feel any better the odds were stacked against you from the beginning.

how to make residential proxies

There are lots of variables that are involved when trying to grab hotly contested tickets.  Things like the speed of your connection, the distance between you and the ticket site are all relevant and largely out of your hands.  Yet the major issue is that you’re not competing with other human beings but computer software with response times in milliseconds.  Not terribly fair is it!!

The computer software is designed to select and purchase tickets as fast as possible.  Indeed it’s likely thousands were already checked out before you managed to move your mouse or click a button.  In essence you were already doomed to competing for the secondary tickets before the sales window opened.

Nobody likes this of course, apart from the individuals who snap up these tickets.  The ‘scalpers’ as they’re commonly called though can make serious money from reselling these tickets on sites all across the internet.

So how do they do this and is it possible to beat them at their own games?  It is possible and not actually that difficult but if you’re just looking for the odd ticket then it’s probably not worth the hassle.  However if you club together for friends and family and you go to a few concerts (or would like to) then it’s possible to join the scalpers in a morally superior way.

Brief Look at the  Ticketmaster Beating Technology

The easy bit, but often quite expensive is the software.  There are custom bots around which work perfectly especially those designed around specific platforms like Ticketmaster.  The technology isn’t difficult to create a Bot, however the problem is that the ticket companies are forever instigating technology to block and ban people who make multiple applications.  This means that the software is always needing updating to make sure it still works.

ticketmaster proxies

They’re not actually rocket science as you can see from the relatively crude graphical screen, but there’s a lot of work that goes into these Bots in order to keep them working hence they’re not that cheap. The best ones change a lot so you’re probably best googling for the latest Ticketmaster bots try and get a trial if you possibly can but that’s not always possible.

Ticketmaster Proxies are Essential

Unfortunately a one time payment for the bot is not going to be enough, because there’s one crucial component missing.  If you sat at your home PC and just  ran the software, your career as a concert ticket baron would be relatively short lived.

One of the major focuses for the Ticket sites is to detect multiple and duplicate connections.  They check browsers, meta data and most importantly IP addresses to ensure that people aren’t trying to make multiple applications.  the only thing that would happen if you ran any sort of Ticket Bot on your home connection is that your IP address would be blocked and blacklisted very quickly indeed.

The other essential component are proxies, servers that sit between you and the ticket site hiding your IP address and connection details.  You need the proxy to effectively create alternative personas so that the bot can legitimately buy lots and lots of tickets.   The number you require obviously depends on the scale of your purchases – if you’re just buying a few for friends and family you only need a handful of different addresses.

Now don’t think you can grab a few free proxies from the internet because they won’t work.  Most will be blocked already and anyhow they will be far too slow to effectively grab tickets quickly.  The requirements are fairly specific – you’ll find the best proxies for ticketmaster have the following qualities:

  • Residential IP addresses – although quite difficult to get these make you look like a genuine home user.
  • Not blocked by Ticketmaster – there’s little point using them if they’re already blocked.
  • Fast – speed is essential, slow proxies can completely defeat the point of using a fast bot.
  • IP switching – you need to switch addresses after each attempted purchase.

Normally these sort of requirements could be extremely expensive – as you would requite private residential proxies dedicated to you only.   However systems have been developed based on vast pools of IP addresses which proxies can rotate through automatically.  This massively reduces the price and automatic rotation ensures the IP addresses are not abused and blacklisted.

So that’s it the shopping cart if you want to move into the illicit world of concert ticket arbitrage or too throw all your scruples out of the window and make a ton of money by ticket scalping.  It doesn’t need a technological genius, just a half way decent computer, a reasonable internet connection and an investment in the software and proxies.

If you’re still keen, these are two of the best suppliers of specific ticket proxies which work and don’t cost the earth.  If you do this, try on a small scale first and then ramp up, whatever you do don’t skimp on the proxies though

Both these companies have great support and decent prices, ask them questions they’re very helpful.

Storm Proxies – Trial Accounts Available
Rotating Proxies

Best of luck.