Web proxies are clearly not the best option when it comes to hiding your IP address, but when no other options are available they are good enough. This is the case when you are at school or at work and you don’t have the rights to install any hide IP tool or to configure a VPN connection. Learn about the best web proxy sites.
If this is your case, web proxies can save your day and let you access sites that are restricted by the school or company policy (Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, etc.). There are plenty of web proxies and places you can search for them, but finally, the best are those that are online for a longer time (more than 1-2 months).
How web proxies work
A web proxy acts as an intermediate between your computer and the site you are trying to visit.
When your computer requests a Web page, it is retrieved by the proxy server and then sent to your computer. The effect of this action is that the computer hosting the Web page never comes into direct contact with anything on your home network, other than the proxy server. Thus, your public IP address cannot be seen by the site that you visit.
Here is a list of 5 web proxies that are available for more than 5 years and that I consider to be the best:
1. Hide My Ass
Website existing since 2005
Website existing since 2004
Website existing since 2004
Pros & cons of browsing anonymously using web proxies
A proxy site is a website that allows you to connect to the internet without logging your IP address. It acts as an intermediate between you and the site you want to visit. The sites you are connecting to will not see any requests or log entries from your IP address, but from the proxy server instead. Thus, you are able to surf in secrecy and change your IP address.
This can be especially useful when visiting sites while at work or school, or bypassing websites that only allow one account per computer.
Here are several things you should know before using a web proxy.
Web proxies pros
- You don’t have to install anything
- Easy to use: just type in the desired URL and press Go/Submit
- There are plenty of proxies to choose from
- You can use secure proxies (https) to increase your privacy
- Best way to unblock sites (MySpace, Facebook, YouTube) from school, work or internet cafes
- There are paid versions that are more secure and faster (e.g. htpp://proxy.org)
Web proxies cons
- The IP addresses of web proxies are most of the time well-known and often blacklisted
- Streaming applications (like online radio or TV stations) are not supported. So you are not really able to watch YouTube videos
- Your personal information can be intercepted by the proxy owner (except for the https proxies)
- You are not able to choose the country or the location of the IP to be used
- Many proxies are full of ads, some of them being quite annoying (pop-ups, pop-unders, banners, etc)
- Most of the web proxies have a short life.
3 sites to find good web proxies
Web proxies are probably the simplest way to hide your IP address. Just enter the URL of the site you want to visit anonymously in the text box of the web proxy and press the Submit/Go button. Of course, there are downsides to this hide IP approach, but the idea is that it’s a solution that works.
There are plenty of web proxies available on the net, but where to find them? And more important, where to find good, working web proxies? Poor performance or slow download/upload speeds has been the biggest traditional complaint about using proxy servers.
Let’s see 3 sites that provide proxy servers you can use.
Public Proxy Servers
PublicProxyServers is an independent, free service to allow you to find proxy servers for privacy and to circumvent browsing controls.
The site is excellent as it tracks the performance of each server on their free proxy list. You can access the proxies access time if you are looking for the fastest proxies. Want to appear that you’re coming from another country? Sort the list by country!
Centurian is another site that offers much more than a free proxy list. The list can be sorted by the criteria of how new it is on the list, country, or script used to provide the proxy server. The speed of the proxy servers is shown graphically with a bar, that represents its score out of 10 for speed.
Hide IP Proxy
Hide-IP-Proxy is a blog that posts working web proxies. The main advantage is that you can subscribe by email to get fresh proxies everytime they are posted. Also, you can find proxies listed by country and by state (for the US).
What proxies do you use? What do you think are the best web proxy sites? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.