Environmentally Friendly Living advice

Text-only Preview

Anonymous Proxy Lists - Who Owns the Free Proxies?


We all know it really, when we see web sites constantly updating with free anonymous proxy lists.
New ones seem to be added every day, isn't it nice of people to pay huge bandwidth charges to let
complete strangers surf anonymously on the internet?


We all know it really, when we see web sites constantly updating with free anonymous proxy lists.
New ones seem to be added every day, isn't it nice of people to pay huge bandwidth charges to let
complete strangers surf anonymously on the internet?

Well the simple fact is that they generally don't, the majority of owners of these proxies have no
intention of using them as free proxies. It's simple they didn't patch their server, they'd didn't quite
set up Squid properly, they made a mistake somewhere down the line and suddenly their server
has been opened up to the not unsubstantial crowd of surfers who want to use their proxy to surf
the internet with.

Why do people use these proxies?

Well several reasons really, some think it gives them complete anonymity on the internet (which it
really doesn't) and some people want to use them to bypass some local firewall which stops them
accessing Facebook. Then there are those stuck in countries who censor and filter the entire
internet for their citizens, saving their people from the evils of You tube and the like. Proxies help
you do all these things to an extent.


There are a few problems with this even if you get over the obviously moral one of taking
advantage of someone and using their server without permission. The main practical one is that
unless you catch a very new free proxy - your surfing will be extremely slow as you share it with
thousands of others. All the free anonymous proxies end up either falling over, overrun their
bandwidth limit or the poor unfortunate systems administrator realising what's going on!

The other really good reason to stay well clear of these anonymous proxies is that a lot of them
are simply traps to utilise the fact that you browse in clear text with HTTP and a proxy is a great
place to gather lots of personal identity information. Saves the hackers going to look for victims
when they send their data through a single point in clear text. It's just not safe to use them unless
you are certain who owns the server, so do you yourself a favour and stay away from the
anonymous proxy lists, you'll be much safer.


To see which software I use to protect my web browsing - you can read about <a target="_new"
href="http://www.ngbconsult.co.uk/Privacy/index.html">Identity Cloaker</a> here.

If you want to read about some of my thoughts on using anonymous proxies and general privacy
issues and about <a target="_new" href="http://www.anonymous-proxies.org/2009/01/ok-its-true-
i-little-bit-paranoid-but.html">Anonymous Surfing Software</a>

Surf safely, protect your privacy,

Jim