I just tried PCMesh's Anonymous Web Surfing 4.0 - PROBLEMS

Discussion in 'privacy technology' started by HandsOff, Oct 8, 2006.

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  1. HandsOff

    HandsOff Registered Member

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    Hi everyone!

    I've wanted to try some sort of annonymous web program, but I always figured they wouldn't work. I was right! At least that was my experience with PCMesh, Anonymous Web Surfing v4.0.

    I can deal with that, but man is is frustrating to try to get any information on the web that isn't just a repeat, word for word of the overly generalized sales pitch from PCMesh's own home page, e.g.,

    "PCMesh Anonymous Web Surfing is fully automatic. You don't need to have any knowledge of setting up proxy ..."

    I must have read that same exact line on a dozen different results from searching "PCMesh +compatability issues", and "PCMesh +Reviews", and "PCMesh +Problems", PCM's own site has NOTHING. I can send in the debug report, which details way too much information about me and my computer, and blindly hope for a suggestion. Just feels like a pretty weak offer coming from a software that comes with instructions whatsoever.

    anyway, before I break my balls trying to get it work, I wanted to ask:

    1) Does this program suck as much as their presentation of it? Should I be looking at some different product?

    2) Hard as it is to believe, not one word was mentioned about compatability issues with Firewalls (Sunbelt Kerio Personal), AV (NOD32), Router (Linksys), or any of the services that aws might need to run. The don't even tell you whether to start aws first, or my browser. While they do state compatability with my browser (Firefox) not one word mentioned about any of the browsers settings. I just find it a little hard to believe that none of these things makes a difference!

    3) Here are some of the error messages I got:

    - acw's debug report at the very end said something about my "sytem running out of timers". Way back on the x386 days I recall that the computer had some set number of timers (24?) but have not heard a word since, up till now.

    -The following are pop up error messages, I guess they must be windows messages, they were just plain dialog boxes:

    Error hooking "socket", data: E9 9D CC 67 8E 33 F6 81 3D 1C 20 AC 71 93 1C AB, ...and...
    Error hooking "bind", data: E9 65 C9 67 8E 3D 1C 20 AC 71 93 1C AB 71 56 0F

    - Event log offers: [I have to go generate some events...BRB]


    -HandsOff
     
  2. HandsOff

    HandsOff Registered Member

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    Okay, I am back!

    It appears that I can establish a proxie connection. (I don't know if it makes a difference but I launched Firefox first this time). The only problem is that "Firefox cannot find the server" for any site that I point at --- I guess I really am anonymous.

    I have a feeling this may just not be for me. It seemed like a cool concept, but how can you put a product out there with no instructions at all on how to use it? I would like to understand how this works, but I don't know if trial and error is going to get me there. Any suggestions?


    -HandsOff!
     
  3. Meriadoc

    Meriadoc Registered Member

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    Have a look at Tor :
    free as well, that one is $30
     
  4. Wai_Wai

    Wai_Wai Registered Member

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    I experience signifcant slowdown when I use Tor.
    Without, the webpage is accessed instantly. With Tor, it may take from 8 to 15+ seconds to access.
     
  5. HandsOff

    HandsOff Registered Member

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    Interesting news, Meriadoc, and WaiWai!

    I find the philosophy of Tor compelling! I fill with regards to the internet that I am a rebel without a gang. It seems like everyone is either abusing the net or being abused. I've often wondered if there could be some way for people who are "abuse neutral" to just form some sort of network within a network. Somethings I do on the net could not be feasible with an 8-15 second delay. Other things, notably searches for "genuine" information would really not be a problem. Sure, with the status quo I can get 100 results in a tenth of a second and I can visit sites in a split second. What takes time is repeating the process dozens of times and still ending up with

    ""PCMesh Anonymous Web Surfing is fully automatic. You don't need to have any knowledge of setting up proxy ..."

    LOL- one thing I noticed is that most of the sites I go to are sites where I log in. On sites like Wilders, and Flickr, I feel this is worthwhile. On the other hand, surely it is ironic to anonymously visit sites that you log in to.
    --------------------------------
    Lastly, any guesses about those strange error messages? Not to implicate Norton, but I have noticed there are still a couple services from Norton in my Services.MSC services. They are disabled and not running but maybe this issue is not as dead as I thought it was. I may have to reformat, however, that spoils my attempt to show the world that XP can actually BE a stable operating system. I guess that's sort of a frivolous objective anyways, but this is the guy who ran windows 95 for over five years without needing to re-install! (Great unsung moral victory!)


    -HandsOff
     
  6. Carver

    Carver Registered Member

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    Any proxy will slow down access, could take up to 4 minutes to load. The purpose of using the proxy tor is to Anonymize your connection, do you want to be Anonymous or do you want speed.
    @HandsOff To test PCMesh Anonymous Proxy to see if it is truly Anonymous by going to a website that is meant to test just how Anonymous your connection is, like www.proxyjudge.com/ or www.whatismyip.com/ or http://www.rrdb.org/check_yourself.php?l=en or www.astalavista.net/?cmd=net and http://www.leader.ru/secure/who.html. A good website on just what you browser reveals is http://gemal.dk/browserspy/
     
  7. Meriadoc

    Meriadoc Registered Member

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    Wai_Wai :
    Yes, a few extra seconds usually, but sometimes longer :)

    Carver :
    Yes exactly.

    if anyone doesnt know here's what they can do :
    A test could show a string with the name the machine presents and a domain name relating to that source ISP
    eg. ABC123.ISP.com
    or an ip
    eg. 'Your IP is xx.xx.xx.xxx'
    but neither your own machine name or ip.

    one GRC.com test
    Going back to Tor, for Firefox you can get 'Torbutton' a button that can easily disable or enable the Tor proxy.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2006
  8. Wai_Wai

    Wai_Wai Registered Member

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    What about if you don't wish people to identify/locate the "real you" like where you live and so on?

    The webmaster only knows a pseudonym constantly log to its website, but he doesn't know anything about the "real you".
     
  9. Wai_Wai

    Wai_Wai Registered Member

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    Someone told me the slowdown is not much.
    However it usually take more than ~10 seconds to load a page, which is a bit too much. Images are even worse, taking ages to load. The slowdown is just too big for the exchange of anonymity.

    I wonder if there're faster proxies outside. It would be okay if the slowdown is reasonable like just 1-5 seconds.
     
  10. HandsOff

    HandsOff Registered Member

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    Yes, I guess it depends on what information they have. anyway, i don't really care about such sites as I participate in. I just don't like marketer's and rogue websites starting a file on me.

    And yes, I know there is a time, privacy trade off. I just don't know what it is yet, but I am going to find out. I don't know why some people experience longer delays than others, just the speed of the connection?

    This is just a vague notion I have, a hunch I guess, but does anyone else guess that the more people who surf anonymously, the more difficult it would be for say, your IP (which is the same as saying the NSA) to trace any individual user traffic?


    -HandsOff
     
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