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

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

 

 

HTTP Authentication and Proxy Configurations

HTTP Authentication Since the reverse proxy server masquerades as a Web server, the authentication required by the reverse proxy is Web server authentication. That is, the challenge status code is 401, not 407. See elsewhere in this blog for HTTP authentication, and differences between Web server and proxy server authentication.

Dynamic Content and Reverse Proxying

Dynamic content poses a problem With reverse proxies. If the content is dynamically generated, it cannot be cached efficiently. Rather, each request must be forwarded to the origin server. This defeats the benefits of caching in the proxy server, and may in fact impede performance. A common misconception relates to the way CGI scripts are handled. CGI scripts are always executed by the origin server; they are never trans- ferred in their source code/program language form to the proxy server and executed there. Only the result of the CGI execution is passed to the proxy server, and, if marked cacheable, it may be cached by the proxy. As long as the number of dynamic pages is fairly small compared to the total number of requests, reverse proxying can be beneficial as in this case – http://bbciplayerabroad.co.uk/how-to-watch-bbc-iplayer-in-the-usa/. If there are many dynamic pages, they may be duplicated on multiple origin servers, and DNS round robin used to distribute the load among them. The static content may still be handled by reverse proxy servers.

Alternatives to Using Reverse Proxies:

There are a couple of alternatives to reverse proxies. One is the 3 05 Use Proxy status code in HTTP/ 1.1 that is intended for redirecting the client [or an intermediate (forward) proxy] that directly connects to the origin server to go through a proxy server. This releases the proxy in question from having to be a reverse proxy, since the client is now aware of the proxy’s existence in between. The 305 status code is intended as a mechanism for associating a one-site—only proxy server that will not be used for anything else. Note that if a (forward) proxy server is already used by the client, the client will not receive the 305 response. Instead, it is intercepted and handled by the last (forward) proxy in the proxy chain (that’s the proxy that attempted a direct connection to the origin server to begin with).

At the time of this writing, the support for the 305 status code is not widespread, either by client software or proxy servers. Once HTTP/1 becomes more widespread, the use of 305 proxy redirection may be viable option to reverse proxying. Another alternative to reverse proxying is to handle replication ~ ‘ server content by other means.

This can be accomplished by a plugin, the Web server, or by copying content between servers by other too such as FTP or secure rdist. At this time, copying content between servers using out-of-band mechanisms is the most common way of ting up large server pools. As reverse proxy server technology advance» may become an easier mechanism for setting up server pools. SUMMARY Reverse proxying provides an alternative to moving the server from ‘ internal network to the firewall. As the performance of proxy server \ ” ware increases, they may become a viable solution for synchronizing among multiple replicated servers in a large origin server pool.

Source: Guidance on Find a Fast UK Proxy

UK Proxy Buy – Some Tips

So what is a proxy, well the definition actually changes slightly depending on who you are talking to.  The origin of the term goes back to the beginning of the web in around 1990 when proxy servers were actually referred to as ‘gateways’.  These were simply devices which forwarded packets between different networks, sometimes even converting the different protocols that were being used.

However a simple up to date definition could be as follows:

A proxy server is a computer or system that acts as an intermediary between a client and a server.

They have all sorts of uses within corporate networks but in reality their real popularity has come outside that from ordinary computer users. You see the proxy sits between the computer you are using and the server you are contacting. It relays all information between the two sides and effectively protects the anonymity of the client computer.

This is the main benefit of using a proxy in this context, the proxy hides your location, your computer and identity from the web server you are using.

So Why all Secret Squirrel?  UK Proxy Buy or Not?

Most proxy users aren’t looking for total anonymity (although some are), but people have been using proxies for years in order to bypass the various blocks and filters that exist online. For example one of the most popular uses of a proxy server was in order to access British TV Online and blocked media sites  such as the BBC iPlayer or Hulu.

The BBC’s wonderful website and application is only accessible if you’re physically located in the United Kingdom – everyone else get’s blocked. However if you connect through a UK proxy first, then the BBC website only sees the location of the proxy and allows access.

It is how millions of people across the world could watch the BBC News or Match of the Day from outside the United Kingdom. As long as their proxy server was located in the UK, their actual location didn’t matter.  Exactly the same situation from US sites like Hulu, to access from outside the USA you needed to channel your connection through a proxy server based in the United States.

So does a UK Proxy Unlock Every UK TV site?

Unfortunately no, in fact the reality is that nowadays a proxy is pretty much useless as far as bypassing geographical blocks.  The reason is that the inbound connection from a proxy server is actually fairly easy to detect which is what most large scale media sites do.  If they detect a connection from a proxy server then access is blocked automatically.

Here’s a example of the message you get when trying to access Netflix through a proxy, it simply won’t let you use the site.

The reality is that there’s little point in buying a UK proxy or indeed one based anywhere in the world.  They can still obscure your identity a little, and they stop every website you visit being logged at your ISP but for watching UK TV you need something else.

That something else is a UK VPN service, which in many ways operates in a very similar way.  A VPN is a virtual private network connection between your computer and a VPN server.  Exactly like a proxy this server acts as an intermediary between you and the web resource you’re trying to access – relaying information both ways.  Yet there are important differences, firstly the entire connection is encrypted which means that no-one can access or intercept your data at any point.  The second is that a VPN connection is virtually impossible to detect, so none of the media sites are able to block or disconnect the connection.

Here we can see one such VPN service in action, it’s called Identity Cloaker.

As you can see it’s quite straight forward especially on a computer or laptop.  You merely click on the country you require and it establishes a connection to that specific VPN server. From that point any website you connect to will only the address of the VPN server not yours, which means that you can access whatever you like irrespective of your location.

Literally millions of people use these VPN services now to bypass blocks and filters of all descriptions.  Some use them to bypass state controlled filters such as in China and Turkey where the internet is heavily censored. While many others simply use them to access things like UK or US television, or to switch the version of Netflix they are using.

If you want to try the VPN service illustrated here, which is one of the few that still works with all the British TV sites it’s called Identity Cloaker.

You can try their 10 day trial here – Identity Cloaker

Primer on Protocol Verification

Depending on the environment and the purpose of a proxy then protocol verification is not always necessary. Indeed this was mostly ignored by earlier proxies and gateways as information was simply tunneled through transparently. Nowadays though there is normally some requirement to identify the protocol being transmitted through the proxy server.

Generic (circuit-level) tunneling, such as SOCKS and (SSL) tunneling, allows any protocol to be passed through the proxy server gateway. This implies that the proxy server does not necessarily understand the protocol and cannot verify what is happening at the protocol level. For example, the SSL tunneling protocol, despite its name, can tunnel /my TCP-based protocol, for example the telnet protocol.

A short-term solution to this is to allow only well-known ports to be tunneled, such as 445 for HTTPS, 563 for SNEWS, and 636 for secure LDAP. See Table 7-1 on page 135 for a list of well-known Web-related protocol ports. A longer-term solution is to be provided by proxy servers that verify the spoken protocol. More intelligence will need to be built into proxy servers to understand even protocols that are merely tunneled, not proxied. This enables proxies to notice misuse, such as exploiting the SSL tunneling to establish a telnet session.

Note that protocols that are proxied at the application level by the proxy server, such as HTTP, FTP, and Gopher, cannot be exploited as above because no direct “tunnel” is established through the proxy server. Instead, the proxy will fully re-perform the request on behalf of the client and then pass the response back.   This is important as it may be necessary for the function to be completed properly.  For example it’s common now to stream multimedia or video through  the servers and these need to function on the specific ports.  You won’t be able to stream things like the BBC TV output through this site without some sort of protocol verification taking place.

This ensures that the protocol is a legitimately allowed protocol. ‘ However, the Gopher protocol, or rather Gopher URLs, can be used to fool the proxy to make requests using other protocols by crafting special malicious URLs that convert to the language used by some other protocol.

Common Security Holes in Server Software can be read about on this blog and particularly there are Trojan horses disguised as Gopher URLs. If limiting to well-known ports is not acceptable (there are a number of servers out there running on non-standard ports), it is recommended to at least [9106/e ports that definitely should not be allowed an SSL tunnel to. Among these are ports known to be dedicated for other purposes, such as the telnet and SMTP ports (23, 25, respectively). Some proxy server software may in fact have a built-in filter for these ports and automatically disallow Gopher requests to them.

Loki – How ICMP Really Can be Dangerous

Overall ICMP has been viewed as quite a harmless and perhaps even trivial protocol. However that all changed with the rather nasty Loki.  In case you didn’t know Loki is from Norse mythology and he was the god of trickery and mischief.  The Loki exploit is well named and seeks to exploit the hither to benign ICMP protocol.  ICMP is intended mainly to inform users of error conditions and to make very simple requests.  It’s one of the reasons intrusion analysts and malware students tended to ignore the protocol.  Of course it could be used in rather obvious denial of service attacks but they were easily tracked and blocked.

However Loki changed that situation as it used ICMP as a tunneling protocol as a covert channel. The definition of a covert channel in these circumstances is a transport method used in either a secret or unexpected way. The transport vehicle is ICMP but Loki acts much more like a client/server application.  Any compromised host that gets a Loki server instance installed can respond to traffic and requests from a Loki client.   Which would also work if the client was spoofing their IP address to watch something like Netflix for instance – see this.  So for instance a Loki server could respond to a request to display the password file to screen or file. That could then be possibly captured and cracked by the owener of the Loki client application.

Many intrusion detection analysts would have simply ignored ICMP traffic passing through their logs.  Mainly because it’s such a common protocol but also an such an innocuous one.  Of course well read analysts will know treat such traffic with heightened suspicion, Loki really has changed the game for protocols like ICMP.

For those of us who spend many hours watching traffic Loki was a real eye opener.  You had to check those logs a little more carefully especially to watch out for those strange protocols being used in a different context.  There’s some more information on these attacks hidden on this technology blog – http://www.iplayerabroad.com/using-a-proxy-to-watch-the-bbc/.  It can take some finding though !!

 

Introduction to Kerberos Authentication

It’s one of the most widely used methods of authentication and this post will briefly introduce you to the subject. As well as being implemented into many operating systems you will find Kerberos is available in many industrial products too. Kerberos hasn’t been tested or verified. Kerberos has many crucial benefits. Kerberos has a few main flaws that system administrators want to take into consideration. Kerberos is the most frequently used example of this sort of authentication technology.

Encryption couldn’t be enabled. The encryption key is subsequently created. Transport layer encryption isn’t necessary if SPNEGO is used, but the customer’s browser has to be properly configured. This authentication is automatic in the event the domains are in the exact same forest. This sort of authentication is rather simple to understand, since it only involves two systems. There are lots of things that could fail with Kerberos authentication. If you’re failing to utilize Kerberos authentication utilizing the LocalSystem account, you’re more than likely failing to utilize Kerberos authentication when users are going to go to the remote system. It’s not only used for authenticating users, when your iPad connects through it’s VPN to watch British Channels online using your AD network it’s Kerberos that authenticates the machine.

In the event the password is incorrect, then you won’t have the ability to decrypt the message. It is extremely important that you don’t forget this password. You might be surprised how many users utilize a password that is just like their user name.

Your password isn’t a fantastic option for a password. When employing those services or those clients, you might have to put in your password, which is subsequently sent to the server. It’s very probable that this user has set the exact same password for the two principals for reasons of convenience. Ideally, you should simply have to type your password into your private computer, once, at the start of the day.

You won’t be able to administrate your server in case you do not keep in mind the master password. In case the server cannot automatically register the SPN, the SPN has to be registered manually. Its normal in order for it to take some opportunity to begin the admin server so be patient. The specified server cannot carry out the requested operation. A digital server simply suggests that it’s not a component of dedicated host. The RPC Server isn’t actively listening.

Server refused to negotiate authentication, which is needed for encryption. Before deploying Kerberos, a server has to be selected to accept the use of KDC. The network location server is a site that is utilised to detect whether DirectAccess clients are situated in the corporate network.

The client may be using an old Kerberos V5 protocol that doesn’t support initial connection support. If he is unable to get the ticket then you should see an error similar to one below. In Kerberos protocol, he authenticates against the server and also the server authenticates itself against the client. The RPC Client will send the very first packet, called the SYN packet.

If each client should happen to require a special key for each and every service, and if each service should happen to require an exceptional key for each client, key distribution could quickly come to be a challenging problem to fix. My client is not going to send the job unless it receives the right response. The client can’t decrypt the service ticket because only servers can do so, but nevertheless, it can send it on. Later he can use this ticket to get additional tickets for SS using the same shared secret. Both client and server may also be called security principals.

John Simmons
http://bbciplayerabroad.co.uk/uk-vpn-free-trial/

Filtering Authentication Credentials

When you use a proxy or VPN server there is a very important security consideration that you should be aware of that is sometimes overlooked.  Any connection should be very careful about how it handles any authentication credentials that are sent using that connection.  For example if you are using a proxy for all your web browsing, you will need to trust that server handling any user names and passwords that you supply to those websites.  Remember the proxy will forward all traffic to the origin server including those user credentials.

The other consideration is specific proxy server authentication credentials which also may be transmitted or passed on especially if the servers are chained.  It is common for proxy credentials to be forwarded as it’s reduces the need to authenticate multiple times against different servers.   In these situations the last proxy server in the chain should filter out the Proxy-Authorization: header if it is present.

One of the dangers is that a malicious server could intercept or capture these authentication credentials especially if they’re being passed in an insecure manner.    Any proxy involved in the route has the potential for intercepting usernames and passwords.  Many people forget this when using random free proxies they find online, they are implicitly trusting these servers and the unknown administrators with any personal details leaked whilst using these connections.  When you consider that often these free servers are merely misconfigured or ‘hacked’ servers it makes using them even more risky.

It is actually a difficult situation particularly with regards to proxies about how to deal with authentication details.  The situation with VPNs are slightly more straightforward, the details are protected during the majority of the transmission because most VPNs are encrypted.  However that last step to the target server will rely on any in built in security to the connection, although this can be effected as in this article – BBC block VPN connection.

Any server can filter out and protect authentication credentials but obviously those intended for the target can’t be removed.  It is a real risk and does highlight one of the important security considerations of using any intermediate server such as a proxy.    It is important that these servers are in themselves secure and do not introduce additional security risks into the connection.  Sending credentials particularly over a normal HTTP session are already potentially insecure without a badly configured or administered proxy server as well.

Most websites which accept usernames now at least use something like SSL to protect credentials.  However although VPN sessions will transport these connections effectively many proxies are unable to support the tunneling of SSL connections properly.  Man in the middle attacks are also common against these sort of protections and using a poorly configured proxy makes this much easier than a direct connection.  Ultimately there are several points where web security and protecting the data is a concern, it’s best to ensure that a VPN or proxy doesn’t introduce additional security risks into the connection though.

Additional Reading on UK VPN Trial

 

 

Video Proxy Site – How to Unlock the World’s Best Media

When you read about the internet, it’s usually about how it’s constantly expanding and growing but that’s not strictly true.   Although new information is being added all the time, the reality is that much of this is often inaccessible in particular when you’re looking at videos website.

For instance take the example of one of the world’s most popular websites the BBC iPlayer. Even if you remove page titles , it contains thousands of programmes, videos and radio broadcasts and indeed is updated every single day.   It’s a wonderful resource which is continually refreshed, yet unfortunately the site is not accessible when you are located outside the United Kingdom unless you use something like a video proxy to help you. So why is so difficult to access these sites, why do people who happen to be away from home, perhaps in France Roubaix or a seaside town in Spain be constantly search for ways to unblock video pages on YouTube and the big media sites?

It’s an incredible situation, yet one that is becoming increasingly common – the internet is becoming compartmentalised, split into geographical sectors controlled by the internet’s big players.   The method used is something called geo-blocking or locking and the majority of large web sites use it to some extent. You’ll find that a particular site will remove objects based on your location, in fact some countries it’s almost impossible to watch videos on any of the major platforms.   Now the method has been criticised from all sorts of civil liberty organisations. Indeed the EU itself has made criticism which you can find here because it also undermines it’s concept of a Single Free Market.

The technology implemented varies slightly from site to site, yet it’s basically the same – record IP address and look up it’s location from a central database of addresses. So when you try and visit the BBC web site to watch a David Attenborough definition, if your IP address isn’t registered in the UK then you’ll get blocked.

Video proxy site

Planet Earth Documentaries on BBC iPlayer

It’s extremely frustrating especially for someone from the UK, and so the workarounds were created.  Now I mentioned above the concept of a video proxy to bypass these and it does work to some extent.  You bounce your connection off an intermediate proxy server based in the location you need, which effectively hides your true IP address and location and will unblock video sites easily

However it’s important to remember that from 2016 onwards simple proxies no longer work on any of the major media sites.  Forget about the thousands of simply unblock sites or free video proxy server sites that promise to bypass internet restrictions, they simply don’t work anymore. Unfortunately  without even simple ssl encrypted connections they can be detected easily and all the sites block them automatically. Some of them are still able to unblock Youtube videos but even those are fairly rare now. Many of them have been blocked at the server level and their hosting services have told them to remove scripts like Glype, Unfortunately the days of the free proxy sites and web proxies have now gone for good at least for being able to access videos sites and large multimedia companies who provide the top rated video production.

However the concept does still work just like the old video proxy method, it’s just you’ll need a securely configured VPN server which cannot be detected.   The encryption is useful giving you the insurance of anonymity whilst able to allow cookies to flow down the connection transparently too. This works in the same way hiding your real address and instead presenting the address of the VPN server.  So using this method, you can watch any media site from Hulu to Netflix and the BBC irrespective of your location.  Unfortunately most simple proxies are now blocked so even the best free proxy sites are useless for accessing media sites like these.

Here’s one in action using a proxy to watch video content from the BBC –


It’s a highly sophisticated program that will allow you to proxy video through a secure connection, also fast enough to allow you to watch video without buffering. It’s very easy to use to unblock video and you’ll find it can bypass internet filters too which are also commonly implemented. The demo version is available to test it out, it won’t function as a YouTube proxy unfortunately but you can at least use the free version to unblock Facebook.   The main program works on PCs and laptops but unlike simple unblock proxy sites you can use it as a video proxy mobile by establishing a VPN connection on your smartphone or tablet – it’s relatively simple to do.  Check out a video of it in action switching IP addresses online on this page.

There is one other method, I should mention which you can find discussed in this article here, it’s called Smart DNS and is a simpler alternative to using a VPN service.   If  you want to scale things up you’re going to need access to a bigger network it’s worth reading this article about residential proxies as a start.

It’s what literally millions of people around the world are doing right now, relaxing in the sun whilst watching the News on the BBC or their favorite US entertainment channel.  There are a lot of these services available now, but only a few that work properly.  Our recommendation doesn’t look like a TV watching VPN at first glance simply because they keep that functionality low key.    For proxy video streaming, speed is essential and that should be the first thing you assess.  This one has been working for over a decade it has supported all the major media channels in a variety of countries.

It’s called Identity Cloaker – You can try their 10 day trial here – Identity Cloaker