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I wonder if I can browse a site pretending to be in a different place of the world.

I need to troubleshoot a problem on a site that present specific content for different regions on USA, there are some layout issues for one region that I can't recreate from my location.

Can I use a proxy server for this? If yes, Can I get a list of proxy servers by region somewhere?

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6 Answers

While a proxy can certainly help in this case you might also consider setting a special case for your originating IP address. i.e. Have it treat your IP as if it were from whatever location you want to test.

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There are VPS providers that offer hosts in many places around the world. For instance, according to the Amazon EC2 information page:

Amazon EC2 is currently available in four regions: US East (Northern Virginia), US West (Northern California), EU (Ireland), and Asia Pacific (Singapore).

If you need to create short-lived proxy servers for testing region-dependent content, EC2 is quite cost-effective, as you only pay for the CPU time and network that you use.

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Note though that many geolocation databases get the location of EC2 IP addresses wrong. I have an EC2 instance in Singapore and it is often identified as being from US. This is probably because the Amazon headquarters and hence the company address is in the US. –  snap Jul 12 '12 at 11:33
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Tor can be used for this purpose. Usually you use Tor to have anonymity and you let it randomly choose whatever exit proxy it wants. When you go to sites such as Google, you often randomly get a foreign language version of the service, depending on which exit proxy you happened to use.

However if you wish you can manually specify the proxy to use (in the configuration file). This is quite convenient because there are Tor proxies in many different geographical locations.

See http://www.torproject.org/ for further information.

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I don't know of a proxy server listing that you could use, but a couple of not completely free options you could utilize could include shared hosting servers from providers located within the regions in question which should be fairly cheap. Alternatively if you have any kind of presence in that region you could setup your own proxy server in that location and serve yourself from there.

Neither of these options is ideal, but they might be more reliable than a free proxy service since you could have full control over how the servers you are using are functioning and accessing said content.

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most free proxy servers are not very reliable,and may not be available in the geolocations you need for testing.

You can check out "foxyproxy" a firefox plugin that also has a list of free proxies. They also have a service offering proxy servers in various locations for $8 per month...

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If it's related to one region in particular, it might be easier to ask the users to save the page (Save As/Export in most browsers) and send it to you. You would be able to open the html page locally. The rendering should be very similar in most cases.

In case you prefer a proxy-based solution, I've had a good experience with the VPNs from hidemyass.com. They have a large number of endpoints in the US and their pricing is reasonable.

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