From the privacy of your own home, you can surf to any website on the Internet without worrying about being blocked. However, this is usually not the case when you’re surfing from work or school. Despite all the positive things you can do on the web, businesses who provide their employees unfettered access to the Internet may also be opening themselves up to lowered productivity when the employees use their access to surf porn, play games or do their shopping while they are supposed to be working. Likewise, there are few, if any, schools without Internet access. However, schools certainly can’t run the risk of allowing their younger students to access porn or other illegal or inappropriate materials, of which there is an abundance online. Bandwidth is also a consideration. The American military in Iraq recently started blocking Internet access to certain high bandwidth websites, like Youtube and Myspace, due to bandwidth consumption concerns. Internet video, streaming audio and online games generally consume the largest amount of bandwidth. Blocking these sites surely must have dropped the military’s bandwidth consumption a great deal.
The problem with blocking websites from your employees or students is that many times a student or employee will have a legitimate reason to use a blocked website. Take Myspace or Facebook users, for instance. They may need to respond to an important message about a meeting or respond to other legitimate and important correspondence.
This legitimate problem has one easy solution, and that is, the proxy site.
What is a proxy?
It is simply a website which allows a user to type in the URL of the site they want to go to, then you hit enter and it will fetch the webpage from it’s cache or fetch the latest version of the page for your viewing. Surfing to sites in this manner, by “proxy”, means that the owner of the site cannot tell that you have visited the site, your IP address is hidden and won’t be recorded and that only the address of the proxy is recorded by the site. Surfing by proxy is useful in order to surf to sites that are blocked by your Internet service provider, company or school, because while you may be visiting a site that is blocked, your Internet service provider, company or school will only be able to tell that you visited a proxy site, not the site that you visited WITH the proxy.
Why use a proxy?
– Proxy surfing is more private than regular surfing, your private information is hidden
– Proxy surfing allows you to access sites that are blocked by your company or school
– Proxy surfing can be faster than surfing on a normal Internet connection, because you can set options to not download website objects like images, scripts, forms and cookies, all of which take additional time to download.
Where to find proxy sites?
There are many proxy directories, which maintain a list of the latest proxy sites available as well as established proxies. You can also search proxy topsites, which maintain a list of proxy sites by popularity. In addition, you can simply search for proxy sites on any search engine.