Slideshow

In pictures: 10 free (and legal) ways to bypass Net filtering

Many networks provide privacy and freedom of content

  • Tor (The Onion Router) is an anonymity network that transmits communications around a global distributed network of servers. With the Tor client (Windows, Mac and Linux) installed on a computer, network traffic is routed via proxies which can then bypass Internet content filters. There is the TorButton extension for Firefox that integrates Web browsing with the HTTP proxy. Tor can also be used with other applications based on TCP. URL: [[xref:http://torproject.org|http://torproject.org|new]]

  • Alkasir works with its Web site and proxy servers to allow people to circumvent Internet censorship. It was designed to be used in countries where there is censorship of political content. Alkasir only allows the circumvention of some content and examples of rejected categories are pornography, hacking and warez. The Windows-only client includes a browser developed with Mozilla's open-source Gecko engine. Alkasir can track censorship of reported URLs to verify if they continue to be blocked, but it is not a privacy tool and is not concerned with anonymity. URL: [[xref:https://alkasir.com/|https://alkasir.com/|new]]

  • CGIProxy is a Perl script written by James Marshall that allows your computer to act as an HTTP or FTP proxy and can be used as an anonymous proxy with VPN-like functionality. Its features include some 50 configuration options like selective cookie and script removal, text-only support, ad filtering, access restriction by server and custom encoding of target URLs and cookies. Other projects like [[xref:http://peacefire.org|Peacefire]] are derived from CGIProxy. URL: [[xref:http://www.jmarshall.com/tools/cgiproxy/|http://www.jmarshall.com/tools/cgiproxy/|new]]

  • Psiphon is an open source project that acts like a Web proxy to circumvent Internet access controls. Computerworld covered the release of Psiphon back in 2006: “The software works via using secure channel ports (like port 443) to access the Internet from a secondary IP address. The secondary IP address is gained via contacts through an existing social network whereby their computer is used as an Internet access point.” As of February 2010 the Psiphon project has been redeveloping its Web presence. URL: [[xref:http://psiphon.civisec.org/|http://psiphon.civisec.org/|new]]

  • Psiphon1 is personal proxy server used on Windows PCs, but psiphon2 is a system of centrally-managed proxy servers that can bypass Internet filters. To use psiphon2 you need a URL and account which is obtained through an invitation from a user who already has a psiphon2 account. This is to prevent and monitor the blocking of a psiphon2 node. The network claims to offer what other free proxy servers provide, but does not require advertising and the server addresses are not published. The psiphon2 network is also “self-healing” so if a server is blocked by censorship authorities, that server’s users are given a new server. URL: [[xref:https://www.sesawe.net/Psiphon-FAQ.html|https://www.sesawe.net/Psiphon-FAQ.html|new]]

  • Originally developed to get around Web censorship in China, UltraSurf from UltraReach now promotes itself as a convenient method of bypassing state-sanctioned Internet filters. UltraSurf offers a certain level of privacy protection through anonymous Web browsing with hidden IP addresses and locations, history clearing and cookie removal. The application also encrypts data for more security. “You can browse any website freely, so as to obtain true information from the free world,” according to its makers. UltraSurf claims millions of users from 180 countries. It is available for IE and Firefox on Windows. URL: [[xref:http://www.ultrareach.com/|http://www.ultrareach.com/|new]]

  • Glype is a free Web-based proxy script written in PHP. Glype features a “plug and play” setup, an administration control panel, server-side caching, JavaScript support and a theme system for customisation. Access can be controlled with white and blacklists and by IP address. Once a session expires any URLs stored in the history are invalidated. Glype can be integrated into existing Web sites with plug-ins and a virtual browser can set a user-agent and referrer and tunnel the connection through another proxy server. URL: [[xref:http://www.glype.com/|http://www.glype.com/|new]]

  • The JonDonym anonymous proxy server project claims to not only prevent your online activities from being observed by third parties, but also from the individual JonDonym anonymous proxy providers (Mix operators). Each Internet and Web access is individually anonymised. The technology is based on the principle of multiple encryption, distribution and processing. Access to JonDonym is with the Java client JonDo, a Firefox extension JonDoFox and, more recently a Linux console app, JonDoConsole. All software is developed by two German universities and is open source. JonDonym promises no Internet censorship and Web sites which are accessed via JonDonym are not blocked. URL: [[xref:http://anonymous-proxy-servers.net/en/|http://anonymous-proxy-servers.net/en/|new]]

  • GTunnel is a Windows application that works as a local HTTP or SOCKS proxy server. After setting proxy to GTunnel in a Web browser or other Internet applications, the traffic will go through GTunnel servers. IP addresses are hidden and traffic is encrypted for privacy. GTunnel can use its own servers or the P2P Tor and Skype networks. GTunnel can runs on Linux with Wine and in the past has had malware warnings flagged against it. URL: [[xref:http://gardennetworks.org/|http://gardennetworks.org/|new]]

  • Hotspot Shield by AnchorFree is a VPN client that allows encrypted, private browsing with the ability to bypass content restrictions. The Hotspot Shield security application is free for Windows and Mac OS X. The application also supports a Community Toolbar for IE that allows Hotspot Shield to be turn on inside the browser. URL: [[xref:https://www.hotspotshield.com/|https://www.hotspotshield.com/|new]]

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