Proxy software and services

Discussion in 'privacy technology' started by SteelyDon, Feb 3, 2005.

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  1. SteelyDon

    SteelyDon Registered Member

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    Southern Ontario
    I'm looking to surf a couple of sites where I might be... unwelcome, having disagreed with the site owners previously.

    I'm aware of two kinds of "anonymous browsing" options:

    * proxy services, which retrieve the data bring it to you; examples, Primedius, Orangatango;

    * and software which "scrambles" your IP address, so that you are "invisible" at the other end: examples: GhostSurf, StealthSurf.

    (The tech guy at my ISP, who doesn't deal with this issue much, says about the latter option: "I read it, but don't believe that it is possible to scramble the IP you are given when your connection is created." So, he doesn't even think that the software option is doable! Seems odd...)

    But anyway, has anyone here any experience with either option, and can you recommend any particular service or software. I'm not particularly looking for "free" service.

    Thanks very much.
     
  2. j_smith

    j_smith Guest

    I have been looking into those two products Ghostsurf and Stealthsurf myself, and would be very interested in any comments by the experts on this site as to how well they really work at hiding your true ip address and whether or not they really do encrypt the data between your computer and their servers or use a proxy or whatever.
     
  3. spymaker

    spymaker Guest

    You have to really be careful with this stuff. The software programs are ok for routine privacy. The paid services are good and you'll find lots of reviews and thoughts at alt.privacy.anon-server or alt.privacy You can check them out through Google if you are not into usenet. You mentioned Orangatango. My opinion: stay away. Read their terms of service and pay special attention to #6 which I will link to here..... http://www.orangatango.com/corporate/tos.html#6 .....

    The pay services can be tricky but Usenet has flushed out the good ones though. COTSE, findnot.com, privacy.li are three of the favorites among that group. I have personally used findnot and it's a good service. Good luck.
     
  4. admuncher

    admuncher Guest

    I think the difference between lower cost anonymizers like Ghostsurf/Stealthsurf and the higher priced ones like Cotse, Findnot, Anonmizer total net shield, is that when you connect to a site using Ghostsurf/Stealthsurf your isp can see what sites your going to, they just can't see what the data is (because it's encrypted) going between your computer and the websites your visiting. Where using the more expensive services your isp can't see squat. I could be wrong here, but that's the way I understand it.

    I guess if your just looking for general privacy from nosey websites obtaining your true ip address, and don't want your isp spying on your every move, then Ghostsurf and Stealthsurf should be sufficient.

    If your working for the CIA on an undercover top secret mission, where you need to transfer highly classified documents, that have info of such a secretive nature, that if it fell into the wrong hands it could spell certain disaster for the entire civilized world as we know it, then you may want to consider the higher priced options. ;)
     
  5. Jimbob1989

    Jimbob1989 Registered Member

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    You may want to look into Steganos Internet Anonym. It is a proxy tools. It basically connects to different proxies at set intervals, ranging from 1 to 60 seconds depending on what you want and so you IP address will appear as the proxy on websites and forums. Its pretty user friendly and might be worth looking into.

    Jimbob
     
  6. SteelyDon

    SteelyDon Registered Member

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    Location:
    Southern Ontario
    Thanks for all this. I don't care if my ISP watches me, I just need to visit a couple of sites, AND (!!!) be able to create an account, log in, and post, without the dude at the particular site recognizing my (small) ISP #. :cool: Cyber-sunglasses, you might say.


    As far as the CIA stuff goes, I haven't worked for them since 1987. :ninja:
     
  7. Whatever anonymizing service you do decide on, just go to sites like http://www.whatismyip.com or http://www.whatismyipaddress.com and you can check what your ip address is at that moment. If you check your ip before using the anonymizing service it should be different than your regular ip, if it's not.... the service is not working.
     
  8. I would like to explain that better so there won't be any confusion.

    If you go to one of the sites I listed above, before you use your anonymizing service, it should show you your true ip address.

    After you start your anonymizer, and again go to one of the above listed sites, your ip address should now show the anonymizer service ip.

    That's how you can be sure your ip address is now hidden, and the websites your visiting will only see the anonymizer ip.
     
  9. SteelyDon

    SteelyDon Registered Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Southern Ontario
    I went to cotse.net, http://www.cotse.net/proxies.html,
    and they have 3 types of proxies (not that I understand the practical difference.)
    * A CGI proxy * A Standard proxy * An unfiltered proxy
    =====================
    Cotse has some interesting things to say; A couple of excerpts:

    http://www.cotse.net/other.html#ProxyCautions
    ==
    "Some servers use website scripting that isn't supported by the proxy. For example, some website navigation tools/aids are incapable of showing through the proxy. If you must view the site in question, disable the proxy settings in your browser or configure your browser to bypass the proxy on a per-site basis."

    ==
    "If anonymity is very important, disable java in your browser. There is no way to guarantee anonymity if you let applications run on your local machine from the web. We cannot rewrite compiled applications on the fly, so we cannot address malicious behavior within compiled applications. You run them at your own risk."
    ========
    ========
    So, it's possible that some sites won't run with your proxy configured that way you want it, so it may not solve the problem. You just have to try the site(s) and see.

    findnot also mentioned disabling java. I wonder if this would affect posting to discussion groups.
     
  10. anon-poster

    anon-poster Guest

    I have java and javascript always diabled in my browser and never have any problems posting to different websites (not sure what you mean by discussion groups) or going to different sites with and without an anonymizing service. In fact I rarely if ever have any problems surfing the net this way. Sometimes i'll run into a site that requires javascript but normally i just leave it off. This will also help protect you in other ways also and not just for anonymity purposes.
     
  11. Always, always, always disable java and javascript when using a proxy. Both. Otherwise, an anonymous proxy still delivers your originating IP thru javascript. Paid services are good if, as someone said above, you select the right one. One admin that runs a well known privacy service said he has been contacted by authorities with proper papers a grand total of TWICE in the last year. They are good to use if you need speed. Most of the good ones are very fast. Stay away from any service that requires javascript (Guardster for one and there are others). Public proxies run a risk of your running into a honeypot. For newbs, that is a proxy set up to steal your personal data or run by law enforcement. I like accessing a reputable paid service like cotse or findnot using TOR. findnot is superfast and worth the money and cotse is cotse, well known for being great for the price. Anonymizer has gone downhill fast in case you look at them. Privacy.li is good but expensive. I'm not sure about Primedius or Metropipe, something about them bothers me, but I could be all wrong. I stick with those that are thought of highly in privacy groups.
     
  12. Paranoid2000

    Paranoid2000 Registered Member

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    There are plenty of such services, both free and commercial. One list of free public proxies can be found here (note that this site does charge for a "full" list).
    I'd agree with him, any site you connect to has to know a valid IP return address. GhostSurf and StealthSurf both therefore offer the option of using proxy servers (ones they own I believe) and encrypt the traffic to those servers so your ISP (or others on your Local Area Network if you have one) cannot identify (or log) which sites you visit. The destination sites see the address of the proxy server used, just as in the first option.

    For concealing your IP address from sites you visit, either option will do (provided it does not forward your IP address - check this using a site like Leader.ru's Holmes/Who page or BrowserSpy's IP Information page). If you only wish to conceal your IP address from a few specific sites, you can just use a proxy for accessing these - in such a case it should matter less if it is a honeypot. It also makes less sense to pay for a commerical service if you are not going to be using it continuously.
     
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