June 14, 2013

Alternative #1: Proxy

Alternative #1: Proxy

Using a proxy is a quick and simple way to bypass websites’ geographic restrictions. There are many public proxies freely available on aggregators like proxy.org, this database at Hide My Ass updated in real time, or via a simple Google search ([country name] free proxy). Ideally you’ll want to look for a “high anonymity” proxy, which doesn’t reveal your IP to the remote host or identifies itself as a proxy when connecting to websites.

To start using a proxy as an intermediary for your web requests simply enter the information in your browser:
Firefox: Tools > Options > Advanced > Settings > Manual proxy configuration.
Chrome: Settings > Network > Change proxy settings > LAN settings > Use proxy server > Advanced > HTTP.
IE: Tools > Internet options > Connections > LAN settings > Use proxy server > Advanced > HTTP.
Opera: Tools > Preferences > Advanced > Network.
As with almost anything that comes for free, though, there are a few caveats. For starters, most free proxies don’t allow streaming, so you’ll have to dig around. You may also need to change proxies frequently which is a bit cumbersome in the long run compared to a VPN. Lastly, since these are public proxies we’re talking about, there are really no guarantees of a secure connection, so you don’t want to leave them on all the time.
Another free alternative is ProxMate, a simple extension for Chrome and Firefox that unblocks region-specific content from YouTube, Hulu, and Grooveshark. Currently it’s limited to those services, but promises to add more in the future and also lets you set up your own proxy servers to automatically get around any country-specific blocks. Plus, you can conveniently enable or disable it straight from the browser toolbar.

After installing ProxMate you'll see a link to unblock videos on Hulu
If you’ll be using a proxy frequently, consider a paid service like FoxyProxy, which offers access to high-speed proxies in many countries and access to a VPN for $8 per month, or $4.50 if you buy the whole year.

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