Lifehacker today has a nice guide that answers one of the questions I get asked most often by tech-advice-seeking friends: How do I get around my work's web site blocker? Lifehacker's answer is to set up a proxy server running on a machine at your home, through which you can access all the fun sites your IT department doesn't want you to use.
Their tool of choice is PHProxy, an open source tool that requires a web server to run. You can use the built-in server on an OS X machine, or one of several all-in-one solutions that work for both Mac and Windows. From there, you set up a friendly unchanging URL for your home machine with a free service like DynDNS, which you then use to access your home machine from anywhere. Very cool.
It's a bit involved, but should be fairly foolproof if set up correctly (you don't have to install any software on your work computer or even adjust its browser settings--both of which are often impossible on work machines). Foolproof, that is, until your IT department spies you betting on camel racing in Dubai (or worse!) while you should be working and terminates your ass. Check out the link below for the full step-by-step.
Some filters will filter websites that even talk about how to get around filters. Popsci might be blocked at schools and workplaces across the world simply because you ran this article. Also if you setup your proxy wrong it will be hijacked and used to spread spam, commit identity theft, and share or access child pornography. All of which will be traceable right to your front door, do you really want that liability?
Agreed... setting up a proxy bypass on your home computer and then advertising it by getting a friendly DynDNS name strikes me as a truly BAD idea. I give it 20 minutes to an hour before you are hijacked by bandwidth pirates.
HTTPTunnel and OpenVPN are also good if you have admin rights...
[animemaster] & [dhurrell] are both right.
This article is like giving a child a butane lighter next to a stove with an open gas cock. The people who know how to do VPN, Tunneling, Masking, Proxying and other such things are ALREADY SERIOUS Network geeks. THEY don't need LifeHack. And Likely they are ALREADY Network Admins with an IN with the IT Dept.
The people who are asking about this, don't KNOW ENOUGH to be counted on to do it properly, or to even understand the state of affairs of their Workplace Network. And to top it off, they tend to think and believe that the IT 'Goons' are Stupid. Rest assured-- they are NOT. And if a Workplace is hyper Gestapo about employee use of the internet, you should be wary of the possibility that the IT Dept has spent (or Mis-spent) a lot of money on a whole array of Network Security tools whose sole purpose is to LOG SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY. And some of these tools are VERY GOOD.
If a workplace is actually being Hyper Gestapo about Website access, then you should remember that we are in a very BAD Economy right now. And your Boss does NOT have an enlightened view of the "New Workplace", but he or she DOES have a unemployed Friend or Relative who's asking to get in the door.
So instead of playing the game of 'Internet Chicken'-- Keep your paycheck SAFE, and do your personal browsing at home.
Not only are these filters in place to keep people from wasting time, but they also protect you from untrustworthy sites. It is a vital part of your networks virus protection. If you bypass it and get infected with a worm it could cost allot of man hours to clean things up and you will be the one sued to pay the bill after loosing your job.
animemaster : maybe working is a waste of time. You sound like a communist leader. I will gladly kick your ass if i have a chance.
WTF? FiniteSolutions -- shut-up. Idiot.
Reader beware; don't screw around with the filters, even if the blocked sites are quite innocent and harmless. It will just get you fired, or at least put on the shortlist for future layoffs.
Disclosure: I was a IS/IT group manager in a multinational corporation for almost a decade. The guys in the neighboring security department were quite a paranoid bunch, but that was what they were paid to be. I'm quite serious here. Don't cross them.
If you have an issue with the blocking of a particular site or content, contact your company network administration and it might just be that the site will be unblocked. Or not. Quite often content is blocked just because someone has taken the easy way out, and blocked the site on the principle of "better safe than sorry". If you can argue convincingly why a certain site should not blocked, do so.
A good example of this, was when I had to buy a traditional Finnish hunting knife for a friend at his fiftieth anniversary. The site of the manufacturer was blocked because of "weapons content"(?). No problem, I just wrote an email to the security division and told them not to be silly, and the blocking was removed. Easy as that.
And, shame on you "Popular Science" for posting articles like this without giving proper warning to people.
Yeah... This won't work if your school/work has sonic wall, and you'll often get caught otherwise. This is not a good idea, it could totally destroy your job security in this market, and it's a bad idea anyway. I agree, this shouldn't be on Popular "science". if you wanna blow some spare time just stick nethack on your flash drive, see if you can ascend before your boss comes looking :).
Fucktards! idiots are the ones who do not get a 3G modem and browse whatever sites they want from wherever they have signal ( including work ).
You are some communists in action. But hey china will beat you. Stupid morons.
I envy you. Seldom can someone so incoherent stand up on such an arena. Feeeck you.
Trust me. If your employer/school has a seriously Draconian firewall, don't try this. You could lose your job, or be expelled.
As a network security specialist, I will gladly share the reality with you here.
If you are in a corporate environment 99% of them make you sign a Computer and electronic communications agreement. This usually has the statement of "abuse or circumventing security" will lead to termination.
With the level of deep packet inspection done on firewalls these days and alerts, you will be found out. And yes we are a paranoid bunch, you will be red flagged and if your "IT nazi's" are anything like myself you will be added to a monitored grouped and than everything you do, share, write, email, etc will be recorded and tracked, and if we can be bothered reported, have your logins disabled (it's much more fun having the user explain why they were disabled to their boss than we doing so) and/or Terminated from employment.
On a lighter note, it's rather funny what employees send to their peer's or partners from Hotmail/gmail not realizing that we can actually see those emails and attachments when they come from our network.
Remember end users... do not meddle in the affairs of Network Security Administrators... for you are crunchy and good with ketchup.
I love reading this site! So much entertainment value here, especially since I'm just a crazy redneck that values computers for paying the bills and playing games, and seeing cool sites like this one. Appreciate the warnings from ya smart folks though, I'd definitely get into trouble with that piece of code, and I like my job just fine.
Are you guys sayin that when I email.from my school THEY can read MY email???
I hope I will not have to use a proxy. Thanks for the information and remedy.
Funny you mentionned PHPproxy I was working on a similar project I'm a PHP developer. Anyway proxies are alright but not very consistent plus they would usually get blocked by pro-active eventually. I use highspeedVPN I'm usually on the move for work and I find that it works perfectly when I'm abroad. Check it out highspeedvpn.com
Can I ask a question, does this site www.betterproxy.org uses the same script or not, and what kind of script which is used on the site
VPN is the best choice. I use this VPN https://www.waselpro.com/en/ to access blocked websites. all servers are encrypted, this one worked great for me.