How To: Access Sites Blocked By Your Work’s IT Overlords

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.