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Is there a free proxy-server service that I can configure my computer (Windows 7) to connect to the internet through?

I'd like to test some networking software that we are developing between two computers in the same office... yet have the connections go through a proxy (preferably far away).

Is there any easy way to do this? (And how would I go about configuring it? I've never used proxy before.)


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What are you trying to test/achieve by doing this as there maybe other alternative. – Sim Oct 28 '09 at 2:02
up vote 2 down vote accepted

You could try doing a Google search for free proxy servers and pick ones that suit you.

You then have to go into your browser settings and configure it to use the proxy server. Assuming you are using IE on Win 7 the steps would be:

  • Tools Menu -> Internet Options
  • Connections Tab and then choose LAN Settings.
  • Select "Use a Proxy Server for your LAN" and enter the appropriate server and port details.

However be careful as you will now be sending ALL your internet traffic to an unknown and untrusted machine which you have no control over.

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Will this send all information (even that not sent through the browser) through the proxy server? – Brian Webster Oct 28 '09 at 17:48
If you are using IE then yes it will send all info for apps that use IE's internet proxy settings. – Sim Oct 28 '09 at 22:10

If you have SSH access to a computer on a remote network you can use SSH to create a SOCKS proxy over a tunnel between you and the remote host. You would then configure your browser to use your local host as the SOCKS proxy.

To set up a SOCKS proxy connection you will initiate an SSH connection from your local machine. The two best methods, depending on your local OS are to either use the ssh command or PuTTy (for Windows). To use the ssh command, open a terminal and type:
ssh -D 8080

To use PuTTy, open PuTTy and specify the host to connect to, then expand the Connections branch on the left. Finally expand SSH and click Tunnels. In Source Port specify a port number greater than 1024 and select Add. If you'd like to save your connection you can go back to the Session branch, specify a name under Saved Sessions and click save, then click Open.

Most browsers allow you to specify a proxy server to route traffic through. In Internet Explorer go to Tools -> Internet Options and click the Connections Tab, then LAN Settings and configure the Proxy settings using localhost for the hostname and the port you chose above.

In FireFox the best add-on I've found for managing proxies is FoxyProxy. If this is just a one time thing though go to Tools -> Options -> Advanced. Click the Network tab and click the Settings button under Connection. Select the Manual Proxy Configuration radio button and fill in the information for your proxy, again using localhost for the hostname and the port you chose above. If you don't want to proxy all of your protocols you can leave them blank and they will route normally.

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