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We currently use WinGate but we've run out of licenses as well as having let the support agreement lapse (mainly because QBIK don't seem very interested in updating it). It doesn't make a lot of sense for us to re-purchase Wingate with more licenses as we only use a very small part of the overall package - the proxy server service.

Therefore we're in the market for a replacement. Anyone hazard to list the top five proxy server applications or know of a website that reviews/discusses proxy servers?

We're aware of Squid which on paper looks perfect but I'd like to at least have a look at the other options.

BTW - the only primary reason we use a proxy server, as opposed to letting everyone out through the firewall, is because we use Citrix XenApp and using a proxy server is a way of allowing us to direct web traffic out via a different internet connection (gateway) than the one used for XenApp traffic itself. XenApp works well with low bandwidth but remote users really do notice latency. Therefore, keeping web browsing/download traffic off the link really helps with the user experience. I've always wondered that whilst proxy server solution works okay, there might be another way to achieve this, e.g. some software that directs XenApp traffic down one route but all other traffic (mainly HTTP port 80) down another gateway.

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closed as off-topic by Falcon Momot, Mark Henderson Jul 17 '13 at 3:02

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Sorry it's taken us so long, but we finally got WinGate 7 out last November. It had been in open beta since last May (still after your post). We recently released 7.1 as well. We understand it was frustrating for many customers how long it took us to release. It's something that unfortunately we had to wear in order to do it right (in terms of the re-organisation and restructure of the code). You may find even though your support / maintenance lapsed that you are still entitled to use WinGate 7. If you had renewed prior to that. WinGate 7 is in our opinion a major improvement to WinGate 6, in –  user112584 Mar 1 '12 at 20:22
    
in terms of features and stability. It now has features you won't find in any other proxy. It does require some work to migrate some of the settings from 6 though. If you're tempted to have a look, feel free to let us know and we can assist. Sincerely Adrien de Croy, Qbik New Zealand Limited, wingate.com –  user112584 Mar 1 '12 at 20:22

2 Answers 2

I'd certainly recommend Squid on Linux/POSIX/Unix, however where I've used it previously I found it would slow down after running for a couple of weeks and needed to be restarted - but this was simple to schedule. Squid is available as a binary for Microsoft NT platforms - can't comment on how stable it is there.

I've always wondered that whilst proxy server solution works okay, there might be another way to achieve this

Yes - this is a fairly straightforward task. I would expect most routers to be capable of choosing a route based on the type of traffic. Again my experience is predominantly with Linux - where it's quite possible using iptables. Having said that, you do get the benefit of a shared cache with most proxies (including squid). Note that it is not possible to cache SSL traffic on a proxy.

While Apache's mod_proxy is also capable of providing the functionality you describe, I find squid easier to work with.

While there other other open-source proxy tools out there, unless you have a very specific requirement (e.g. SOCKs support, or offline browsing) there's not much point in looking any further than squid. There are also a huge number of add-ons to squid to support all sorts of things like content-filtering, Anti-Virus, authentication....

C.

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1  
If you have to restart it, you're doing something wrong. –  Warner Jul 19 '10 at 13:30
    
Yes - but it's less effort than debugging the code - and its still several orders of magnitude more stable than any MSISA installation I've been a victim of. –  symcbean Jul 20 '10 at 8:42
    
Interesting that stability is being discussed. Wingate isn't 100% stable but it's pretty close. We didn't even consider Microsoft's proxy due to cost. Stability is probably our highest requirement, after core web proxy functionality. –  Rob Nicholson Jul 21 '10 at 7:43

As an admin at the university, I have been developing PortFusion for all operating systems to serve as an open-source, minimalistic, multi-protocol, distributed reverse / forward proxy.

It was first deployed in April 2011 and has since then enjoyed constant use and a major rewrite in May 2012. I and several colleagues are now actively using it for:

PortFusion is a very active project and can fully replace WinGate in your scenario as its proxy host can handle multiple proxy clients connected to different LANs concurrently:

enter image description here

Its deployment as a reverse proxy for HTTP could be as easy as:

gateway-server> PortFusion              ] 6000                [
xenapp-machine> PortFusion 80 localhost - 6000 gateway-server [ 80

You can then add as many further links as you wish for other services - please check further examples and illustrations here https://github.com/corsis/PortFusion/.

I would love to assist anyone interested in its deployment and offer free support to its users outside our campus :)

To sum up, with PortFusion you would get:

  • no license fees as it is open source
  • complete trust as you can see exactly what it is doing
  • complete control as you can continue to manage your own gateway server
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