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I just read a thread about all the information the government and other corporations have on your through your internet usage. I've also been reading about the seemingly inevitable end to a free internet from the service providers.

As far as I understand them, a proxy server is a server you could log into outside your area (out of the county, state, country, planet, etc) and do your browsing from there. This would make it difficult for people to track your browsing, and give you access to an unfiltered internet...like using an internet cafe well outside your location without having to leave any personal information...from the comfort of your own home.

So, does anyone have experience with proxy servers? I think they would be very helpful and possibly a great fee service in the near future.
 

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It's better than a direct connection, but the NSA et al seem to control a reasonable number of TOR nodes so it's quite possible they have access if they really wanted.
 

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Just a heads up. If your data is going across the wire it can be logged. Proxy server or not.

A proxy simply acts as an intermediary between a website and your PC. Mostly used to log where people visit, it can also be used to mask(Note: most of the time(Anonymous)... your IP is still included in the packets). The proxy still communicates with your PC over the internet so the traffic is out there. Hell when I was little I remember the Metallica vs. Napster case. They had network equipment back then with the capability.


<-- Network engineer by trade
 

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I'm sort of hijacking the thread here...

So, are Virtual Private Networks (VPN) along the same lines of a proxy server? What are the pros and cons of each and is one generally better than the other when it comes to surfing anonymously?
 

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statists' be statin'
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I have set up a few proxy servers. The proxy program is free and all you need to do is upload it to a server on the internet. I use it to get around the web filtering at work. I don't go where I shouldn't go but sometimes things are blocked that I actually need to do my job.

Proxies prevent normal people from knowing where you came from but keep in mind that the proxy server knows where you're coming from and what you're connecting too so it's pretty easy for anybody with access to the server logs to figure all of that out and with a letter, the Feds can get the logs...that's if they don't own the proxy server.
 

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I use an anonymous VPN. I'm not sure any such thing could protect me from the NSA, but if it protects me from the MPAA, it's good enough.
 

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I'm sort of hijacking the thread here...

So, are Virtual Private Networks (VPN) along the same lines of a proxy server? What are the pros and cons of each and is one generally better than the other when it comes to surfing anonymously?
You use a secure VPN to get to the proxy without your ISP seeing what you are sending/receiving.

I use an anonymous VPN. I'm not sure any such thing could protect me from the NSA, but if it protects me from the MPAA, it's good enough.
It should make it harder for the NSA, but if they are determined they could just hack your OS or use unknown weaknesses in the protocols. If MS provides insecurities to the NSA first and then patches them later, the NSA can exploit them in this window and they wouldn't need a dedicated backdoor! Of course if the NSA really care about you, they can just break in to your house and modify your computer/OS.
 

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I'm sort of hijacking the thread here...

So, are Virtual Private Networks (VPN) along the same lines of a proxy server? What are the pros and cons of each and is one generally better than the other when it comes to surfing anonymously?
VPN just extends a private network across the internet, to say your home. So sitting on your home PC, you will be able to see the servers, files, ect at work.

Two different things
 

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Proxy servers see all the data you put thru it, including passwords, ip addresses, the like. It's just asking for a man on the middle attack.

Simple explanation of VPN, it's a way for you to tie multiple locations into one network with a layer of encryption security. Some routers have this ability. So any information from one site goes directly to the other site in encryption, but does not let other connections from unknown computers. If it's set up correctly.
 
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