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Ask Slashdot: Trustworthy Proxy Services? 164

Posted by Soulskill
from the carrier-pigeons-are-reliable dept.
gusoline writes "Since I'm now living in Brazil (originally from the U.S.), I'm looking for a reliable, trustworthy proxy service I can use to both access services I've used for a long time (Pandora, Netflix, etc.) and services I want to try out (Spotify). Since I'm not looking for illegal downloads or to hide what I'm doing, I'm less concerned about anonymity than I am about region restrictions, reliability, latency, and security of passwords and traffic through their network. I'm OK paying for services that deliver what I want (including the Proxy service itself). Any suggestions from the Slashdot crowd?"
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Ask Slashdot: Trustworthy Proxy Services?

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  • works well. even with wow or other games. has lots of choices. paid, free options.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Setup an AWS EC2 and Squid, lock it down and enjoy your own private proxy.

  • Profit (Score:5, Interesting)

    by OverlordQ (264228) on Friday September 30, 2011 @05:14PM (#37572766) Journal

    1) Buy cheap US VPS
    2) Set it up yourself so you know exactly what is being logged
    3) Profit.

    • Re:Profit (Score:4, Informative)

      by mcelrath (8027) on Friday September 30, 2011 @05:27PM (#37572946) Homepage

      That's what I was going to say. This can be had for as little as $20/month, and you can do anything you want with it.

      Note however that the asshats at Hulu, Pandora, etc have been using a lot of dirty tricks to figure out of you're using a proxy. Currently Hulu does not work, even with a proxy. You will probably need to run a VPN. I think they're using some flash trickery to make a secondary verification that you're not using a proxy. It's a lot more than just the IP address of the originating request. There are a few HOWTO's out there that describe setting up proxies for Hulu that are a year or two old. They no longer work. (I've tried)

      So, to sum up, simply buying a proxy service (from anyone) will likely not work with many services. You're better off with a VPS over which you can run a VPN. Of course, you need the technical ability to set that up...

      • Re:Profit (Score:5, Informative)

        by nzac (1822298) on Friday September 30, 2011 @06:29PM (#37573432)

        Go to http://www.lowendbox.com/ [lowendbox.com] 20 dollars is a rip-off. For just a proxy you should be able to get away with bugger all RAM and storage. Transfer speed might be a bit slow though 10Mbps wont cut it for streaming.

        • by mcelrath (8027)

          Holy shit, thanks for that link!

          • by nzac (1822298)

            Just should point out the site is primarily for low cost web hosting.
            Though most VPS hosts probably don't care.

        • by Larryish (1215510)

          Seconded.

          Fishing on Lowendbox.com, I have found 2 VPS for $1 each per month, both work as proxies. One is in the U.K., so I can use it to watch BBC.

          The other VPS is from BuffaloVPS, they run about $6.99 per month for 1gig/30gig/1tb 64bit

          • by JMJimmy (2036122)

            uhh you don't need a VPS to watch BBC. ModifyHeaders extension in Firefox works just fine.

            • by Larryish (1215510)

              I thought the blocking was IP-based..?

              • by JMJimmy (2036122)

                Exactly - use X-Forwarded-For in ModifyHeaders to change the IP address - makes it look like you're using a proxy. Doesn't work with Hulu but does work with mtvservices and BBC for me.

      • I don't follow how 1 = 0
    • by tech4 (2467692)
      And better yet, put a VPN server on it. It's a bit more work to configure, but is kind of requirement for streaming (over non-http), games and other such.
    • by icebike (68054)

      Google will find you many vpn providers in the US (or anywhere else for that matter).

      I've seen them as low as 6 bucks (some with data caps), and for around $18 you get unlimited speed and unlimited data. (purevpn).

      • by chimpo13 (471212)

        Using google as a mostly blind search doesn't equal the advice you'd get from /. What you've seen and what's recommended here (even with the grain of salt) are different things.

        I'm using IAPS (intl-alliance.com). It works ok. Facebook knows it's a proxy and sometimes won't refresh when other things do. $105/year. I'm not sure if it's worth it, but it's the choice I made. Saudi laws are very strict but it was stopping me from Rolling Stone magazine (reading Matt Taibbi's blog/columns) that got me off my

    • by fatp (1171151)
      Are you sure the VPS service provider is trustworthy?
  • by hectorh (113198) on Friday September 30, 2011 @05:14PM (#37572768) Homepage

    Get yourself a server in the US and install your own proxy... Won't cost you more than $100/month.

    • by vanyel (28049) *

      That's exactly what I did: goscomb technologies (http://www.goscomb.net/hosting/vps-vds) vm in london for about $20/mo and squid, voila! bbc. Mostly as proof of concept as there are better ways to get content that through web page s..tr..ea..m...i.ng, but regional restrictions are idiotic: "let's limit our market, why should we want more customers?" If you only want access to US available content and don't need ipv6 (the real reason I went to goscomb), rackspace is cheaper (http://www.rackspace.com/cloud

      • by Nexzus (673421)

        It's not always the content providers. Up here in Canada, broadcasters have to contend with the government agengy CRTC, which has a bunch of bullshit mandates about Canadian content percentage for networks (including radio stations) providing content in Canada. It may have been useful in the days of OTA, but it doesn't make any sense now.

      • by Rakishi (759894)

        Do people not even bother to think nowadays or something.

        a) You seriously think hulu serves you content from a couple of central dataservers? Hahaha. They serve you data that's cached on servers inside your ISP (via akamai and others).

        The alternative is prohibitive costs or worse. So international access requires such infrastructure to have been put into place (which == $$$).

        b) On that point, hulu makes money from advertising. Advertisers are very specific about who they want to show ads for and hard to get

        • by vanyel (28049) *

          The reason is those people build a fan base and market for dvds and collateral material, and all it costs them is a little bandwidth, which is dirt cheap at that level. If they don't have servers in the countries that are restrictive, there's little they can do about it - they have no standing, and if they want to "protect" their citizens, they can do what China does and put up firewalls. Which can be gotten around the same way.

    • by ArsonSmith (13997)

      $100 a month????

      get a free tier from Amazon Web Services. I've run a minecraft server on it for a while. Even their low end pay tier is only about $20 a month.

  • Incorporate (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 30, 2011 @05:17PM (#37572806)

    Welcome to the 21st century, where corporations are allowed to globalize -- but not people!

  • AWS (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Thing 1 (178996) on Friday September 30, 2011 @05:17PM (#37572810) Journal
    Depending on your preference, create a Linux or Windows machine on AWS in a US presence, and then do your work from there.
    • by rish87 (2460742)
      I agree! I currently use a micro ec2 instance for just this. I'm often logged into public wifi so I route as much traffic as possible through an ssh tunnel attached to the instance. This way I can control as much of the proxy as possible.
      • IP over SSH is very inefficient, though. OpenVPN or sshuttle would probably give you better throughput while keeping your traffic encrypted.

  • http://www.witopia.net/ [witopia.net]

    Pick your country and protocol. Works with the BBC, Hulu, Vimeo, Pandora, Netflix, probably just about everything else. Of course, you have to pick a US proxy for Hulu, a British proxy for the BBC, etc.

  • No proxy stays online for long - if they do that alone is suspicious. Google 'proxy' and you will find thousands of alternatives.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Speaking as someone who's also in Brazil, and having only my own ISP as a reference, I'd say you'll probably have a hard time. While connection speeds inside the country are good to great, international connections suck. I guess the international backbone pipes just aren't fat enough.

    So you might want to have a dry run before making any long term commitments.
  • Anonymizer (Score:5, Informative)

    by bahamat (187909) on Friday September 30, 2011 @05:35PM (#37573040) Homepage
    I'm biased because I'm the senior systems engineer at Anonymizer, but I recommend us.

    Anonymizer Universal is an IPSEC/L2TP VPN, support for Windows, Mac OS X and iOS (we don't support Android, but it works. We don't supply instructions because Android is a moving target).
    Total Net Shield is SSH tunneling+Apache proxy. Supports anything with an SSH client.
    Take your pick. In either case we don't log traffic.

    Traffic egress is from the U.S. and your IP address changes every day.
    • by Bob9113 (14996)

      Traffic egress is from the U.S. and your IP address changes every day.

      Have you thought about partnering with some foreign peers? I'd love to pay one bill each month and have proxies in half a dozen countries.

      • by bahamat (187909)
        It's available in our business offerings. It's been discussed for consumer. I can't say when or if it will ever happen.
    • So when are you going to kick out Linux services? I've been waiting since I swapped OSes.

      • by bahamat (187909)

        Everything I said about Android above applies hundredfold for Linux. First of all the VPN requires kernel support. What if yours doesn't include it? Secondly, should we support GNOME? KDE? XFCE? Blackbox? FVWM? WindowMaker? Or maybe command line only? Sysv-init? Sysv-rc? Upstart?

        I personally would love to support Linux, but it's just not practical. The possibilities are endless. But you can extract the necessary information from the .mobileconfig and follow some instructions found online to set it up.

  • Linode.com (Score:3, Informative)

    by Pirow (777891) on Friday September 30, 2011 @05:36PM (#37573048)
    Full control of what's logged and what's going on, if you use less than 200GB you can get away with paying less than $20/month for their entry level VPS, you'll get your own IP address so it's very unlikely to get blacklisted (as that seems common with a lot of the more popular proxy/VPN providers). You'll need to setup everything yourself, but you get a lot more control, you essentially have your own server to play about with and it's not much more expensive than move VPN providers.

    Before I setup my linode I was using overplay.net who were okay, but they were often quite slow and I did have issues with blacklisting on certain sites and every so often the server I was using would go down.
    • by i.r.id10t (595143)

      Second this - I've been a long time linode customer, although I don't use it for VPNs I have used it as a squid proxy tunneled thru a SSH connection.

      • by a9db0 (31053)

        Third this. Been a happy Linode customer for years. Their smallest system runs my website and VPN just fine. I can even back up to it -after simply attaching some S3 storage.

  • by kju (327) * on Friday September 30, 2011 @05:41PM (#37573090)

    I'm a happy customer of overplay.net. For US$ 9.95 you get access to VPN servers in 48 countries, with multiple servers in many cases.

    I can't say how secure my data is with them but it works reasonably well with OpenVPN and mostly fast as well.

    • by Pirow (777891)
      The only thing I really miss about overplay.net is they have a DD-WRT extension so I could allow my home router to handle all the tunnelling for me, but I'm sure if I invested a bit of time I could setup my linode OpenVPN with DD-WRT, but at the moment I'm just not bothered enough to look into it.
  • http://www.giganews.com/vyprvpn/ I use this when I want to, and they have VPN POPs in europe, southeast asia, and the us. Works great.

    • I've had good luck with them, it uses Golden Frog. I'll admit I haven't come up against a situation where turning over logs or IP addresses to any outside party is an issue that I'm aware of. It is nice to be able to jump to location specific vpn's at will. Outside of the occasional out of region game, I'm more interested in stopping my ISP from seeing my traffic. I get this service "free" with my giganews account.
    • I suggest looking here instead https://www.goldenfrog.com/vyprvpn [goldenfrog.com]

      Unless you want to buy a giganews subscription just to get VPN access.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Does setting this header with a browser plugin no longer work to access these sites?

    • Does setting this header with a browser plugin no longer work to access these sites?

      It never did.

      Theoretical standards-compliant programmers might be imagined to implement such a thing, but real-world programmers rely on the server environment's report of the client's IP address. (In PHP that's $_SERVER['REMOTE_ADDR'])

  • Check out http://www.tunnelr.com./ [www.tunnelr.com] Tunnelr uses Open VPN or SSH tunnels. It is lean and efficient. I use our and it works well.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Give up the american shit and be happy you're out of this hell hole of a country. Other Brazilians don't need the shit, so why do you? Shit, I'll trade places with you and you can have all of my shit and my netflix and Pandora One subscription.

  • I've had very good luck with Tunnel Bear for both US and UK localization. http://www.tunnelbear.com/ The were featured in Lifehacker.
  • Hi; Just a note, I tried to do the same to bypass an overzealous IT policy using an IronKey (which includes free lifetime proxy with their key). It seemed rather slow and I did note that their proxies are in Canada, which prevents the US of Pandora. On the plus side, I can place bets in the UK.
  • I've had good luck with StrongVPN [strongvpn.com]. I connect to it with OpenVPN from a gateway running pfSense, which allows me to select the route to use (VPN or direct) based on either the internal and external IPs. At around $10/month, it's quite cost-effective.

  • I use HideMyAss vpn, it works, and it is cheap. email me at theflatline@gmail.com if you need details.
    • by nstrom (152310)

      Yeah this one's probably not a great choice...
      http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/09/25/0415213/HideMyAsscom-Doesnt-Hide-Logs-From-the-FBI [slashdot.org]

  • I use StrongVPN (http://www.strongvpn.com). It is a pay to use service, but the prices are very reasonable with varying packages based on your needs. There are several tunneling methods available, and you can change your egress point on the fly based on where you are trying to connect to for best latency. I travel for business frequently, and cycle between egress points on the east and west coast as well as in Europe depending on what I need to get to. Your IP address will update every time you reconnect to
  • I've been using VpnPop.com's [vpnpop.com] OpenVPN service for about 6 months now. A good distribution of endpoints, very fast bandwidth, and low prices. Right now I'm registered for the 0.5 Mb/s full-duplex at $3-some a month, but I'm often able to get speeds of up to around 2MB/s (yes, B).
  • http://unblock-us.com/ [unblock-us.com]
    If I remember correctly, you have to use their DNSs, they will route you to their proxy servers when you query netflix or any other.

  • by LynnwoodRooster (966895) on Friday September 30, 2011 @08:23PM (#37574136) Journal
    Strong VPN [strongvpn.com]. Great service, fast VPNs, lots of VPN options, and streams just about anything everywhere. Punches through the Great Firewall of China (here in Shanghai and elsewhere throughout China) with ease. Pretty cheap, too - worth it to get my fix of Pandora, Hulu, and Netflix!
    • by jmcanany (162109)

      I live in Europe and use StrongVPN too. It works exactly as advertised.

  • Since I'm not looking for illegal downloads or to hide what I'm doing...

    Let me guess...you think the Littlest Mermaid's cleavage is pornographic and you just want this information for a friend. (Snicker)

  • I recommend getting a Whatbox [whatbox.ca]. Their most expensive plan costs $18 per month and you're allowed to do pretty much anything you want with it. They even have instructions in their wiki on how to set it up as a proxy.

  • Hi, you may want to have a look at this "Comparative test of Internet Anonymizers".
    Quoting: We have been publishing and updating a comparative test of VPN services in German since 2009 which points out which VPN services log their users‘ IP addresses and which do not. Due to the current interest I am providing an English version of the short summary of the results (last updated: 02/06/2011).
    http://www.daten-speicherung.de/index.php/comparative-test-of-internet-anonymizers/ [daten-speicherung.de]
  • Cocoon is a proxy that is trustworthy, fast, and has some slick extra features. Http://GetCocoon.com
  • You are trying to circumvent copyright protections that enforce region restrictions

  • Ironically, proxies were recently used to attack my desktop and one of my programs got crashed. Someone retaliating against me for a friend of mine spamming them with my server address without my permission.

    Use all the proxies you want but since they're ripe targets for being abused don't be surprised if you wind up getting blocked.

    Open proxies are a nightmare for security conscious people, precisely for the same reason they are attractive both to freedom fighting patriots and asshole hackers alike.

    If you

  • get a dedicated server and have someone recognized set it up for your needs. I live in Argentina, and ALL my browsing goes through one of my dedicated servers, which I've configured myself of course.
  • This is not what you asked for specifically, but FYI Netflix works just fine in Brazil, as of last month. I use my PS3 with a cable internet/tv provider.

  • I travel a lot and can identify with this problem. Sometimes a page is not available and there has been times where I'm scratching my head trying to figure out why on earth someone would block it. Different countries have different goals so we can always get around the problem by trying different routes but I didn't want the hassle of having to switch providers. I'd imagine too it would be useful for anyone wanting to provide such a service where to locate it.

    So the useful info here is, which countries hav

  • Do you trust your government about communication privacy and not the Brazilian one?

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