Proxies were first invented in order to speed up Internet connections. Here’s how they work:
You are trying to connect to a server on the other side of the planet. Your HTTP requests are sent to your proxy server, which is located at your ISP’s headquarters, which are a lot closer to you than that far-away server. The proxy first checks if one of it’s users has accessed this website lately. If so, it should have a copy of it somewhere on it’s servers. Then the proxy server starts the connection only to check if his version is not outdated, which only requires him to look at the file size. If it has the latest version, it will send the file to you, instead of having the far server send it to you, thus speeding up the connection. If not, it will download the requested files by itself and then send them to you.
But proxies can also be used to anonymize yourself while surfing the web, because they handle all the HTTP requests for you.
Most chances are that your ISP has a proxy. Call tech support and ask them about it. But the problems with proxy access given to you by your ISP is:
1. Some ISPs don’t even have proxies.
2. The website owner would still be able to know what ISP you are using and where do you live, since this kind of proxies are not public and they can only be accessed by users of that ISP. For such cases, there is a solution – public proxies.
You can find a list of public proxies everywhere. Here are two good URLs to start from:
To configure your web browser to use a proxy server, find the appropriate dialog box in your settings dialog box (it varies from different browsers).
Note: some proxy servers will also handle FTP sessions (some might handle FTP only).
Wingate is a program that is used to turn a PC running Windows 9x or NT into a proxy server. Here are several reasons for why a person would want to run such an application and turn his computer into a proxy:
1. If he owns an ISP and he wants to set up a proxy for it.
2. If he wants to turn his computer into a public proxy.
3. If he wants to give Internet access to a whole bunch of computers that are connected by a Local Area Network, but he can provide Internet access for only one computer. In that case, he would turn his computer into a proxy server and set all the other computers on the network to use him as a proxy. That way all the rest of the computers on the network will relay their HTTP and FTP requests through a single computer, a single modem and a single Internet account.
The problem with Wingates is that they’re highly… well… they’re very… how should I say this? Stupid. Just plain stupid. Why is that?
EVERYONE can connect to your little proxy by simply connecting to port 1080 on your computer and typing ‘target-ip-address-or-hostname port’ (no quotes) and replace target-ip-address-or-hostname with the IP address or the hostname they want to connect to, and replace port with the destination port. The “wingated” mahcine will then relay your input through it, but it will seem like the wingated machine is connecting to the target computer, not you.
Sure, the sysadmin of the wingated machine can change that port to a different one, but this is the default, and if you’re stupid enough to use Wingate you probably won’t want to play with the defaults.
First of all, if you need to use Wingate for some reason, use SyGate instead. It does exactly what Wingate does, only it won’t serve EVERYONE like Wingate does.
Now, these Wingates can be used to anonymize practically anything. Also, every program that can be set to run behind a SOCKS firewall (most IRC clients, most instant messangers and most web browsers) will automatically do the dirty work of routing your stuff through it if you’ll give them the IP/hostname and the appropriate port for the wingated machine.
Wingates can also be used to get into IRC channels you got banned from (by faking your IP).
WARNING: some IRC networks run bots that will kick out people using Wingates. These bots try to connect to random people on port 1080. If they succeed, they kick you out. This works because the IRC network, as well as everyone on it, thinks that your IP is the wingated machine’s IP. If the bot tries to connect to your IP on port 1080, it will actually go to the wingated machine. The bot will then detect that your IP is actually a wingate and kick you off (since it’s being run by the IRC network and given enough priviledges to kick out anyone).
You can find lists of Wingates at http://www.cyberarmy.com/lists. There are also tons of Wingate scanners out there that can scan whole subnets and look for Wingates, but this might take some time (and make your ISP get suspicious), so you’d just better go for CyberArmy’s lists.