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I have managed to setup a squid proxy server as an HTTP proxy and this is working well. However, it does not work with HTTPS. I am looking at making use of an external machine to setup as a proxy for HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, etc. I took a long and hard look at what might help on the internet. I think a SOCKS proxy will work to both secure my data (from the internet connections I use while traveling) and conceal my changing location.

Is the SOCKS proxy route the best to take for HTTPS, FTP and IM? Are there any recommended SOCKS proxy software that I can download and setup on windows/linux servers? Will a VPN server be a better choice?

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Thanks for comment radius, I am happy to forsake the "secure your data" part if I get annonymity. –  moreQ Jul 1 '09 at 11:30
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4 Answers

In that case I assume that proper knowledge how to setup an own OpenVPn solution is not present. Therefore one might recommend Hamachi or other very easy tools, that ease the setup process.

However the rkthkr's answer contains a much more flexible solution, speaking of compression, encryption standards, and so on. In case of firewalls, try to change the protocol to TCP and the port to 443 (https). Encrypted traffic through 443 is normal.

Have fun, wishi

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A SOCKS proxy may well be the best choice but is it really necessary? I'm using Apache (on Linux) as a proxy. It was running anyway, so I just added the proxy config to what it was already doing. It's only proxying HTTP and HTTPS at this stage, as I don't have a need for FTP, but believe it will also proxy FTP. Articles I came across while researching the options indicate that other protocols should also be practical, as one article even showed how to use Apache to proxy SSH.

I've read that proxying Exchange's OWA over HTTPS can be troublesome but I must say Apache is doing it without anything special having been needed.

I don't see a VPN as an alternative to a proxy.

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Sounds like you need an VPN, and I think OpenVPN is a good candidate.

I have recycled a previous answer below:

OpenVPN is a full-featured open source SSL VPN solution that lives in user space. Multi platform (windows, linux, osx .. ) included all of the major Linux distributions.

Example setup:

First we generate the static key (not as secure but simple):

$ openvpn --genkey --secret static.key

(copy this key via scp to your clients/servers)

Configuration server (/etc/openvpn/server.conf)

dev tun
ifconfig 10.8.0.1 10.8.0.2
secret static.key
keepalive 10 60
ping-timer-rem
persist-tun
persist-key

Configuration client (/etc/openvpn/client.conf)

remote myserver.address.com
dev tun
ifconfig 10.8.0.2 10.8.0.1
secret static.key
keepalive 10 60
ping-timer-rem
persist-tun
persist-key

Make sure that UDP port 1194 is open on the server.

Run on client/server:

# server
openvpn --config /etc/openvpn/server.conf
# client
openvpn --config /etc/openvpn/client.conf

To verify that the VPN is running, you should be able to ping 10.8.0.2 from the server and 10.8.0.1 from the client.

You need to add some NAT rules on the server-side to access the rest of the world but left as an exercise for the reader :)

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Squid can work for HTTPS and FTP if you just want to get files and not to put files. For IM or FTP upload a SOCKS proxy is the good choice.

But a proxy will not "secure your data" in any way because the connection between you and the proxy is not securised.
If you connect from untrusted point (wifi access) to internet and don't want to directly access some ressource for security reason you have to use a VPN to a reliable server then use it as a proxy. With this the connection between you and the proxy will be securized.

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