>Proxy Servers and FoxyProxy

>My topic this week is about what happens behind the scenes in the Internet. This is a topic that I find interesting because many of us interact with the Internet everyday yet may not know about what is really happening. The video found on www.warriorsofthe.net does a good job of explaining this topic on an easy to understand level.

I would like to expand a little on what the video covers. In the video the topic is discussed of firewalls and filters. These filters are used many times by companies to block certain web content from being accessed. Now place yourself in the following situation. You are a consultant working on-site for a client. Being on-site you are reliant upon using the internet connection of your client’s company. Now, in this situation it may prove to be quite difficult, as well as annoying, to not be able to access certain websites. Blocking of certain information may hinder you from being able to complete your job. In this situation a proxy server can be used to get around the firewall.

What is a proxy server and how can it help me?

A proxy server is many times used to get around something in your way on the internet. The above situation works as a good example for explaining a proxy server. For the consultant in the above situation he or she could use a proxy server to gain unhindered access to the internet. The proxy server exists outside of the network you are currently in and then forwards the data to you. Another example would be that if you are outside of the United States and want to watch something on hulu. Outside of the United States you cannot watch anything from hulu. In this situation you can use a proxy server that is located in the United States and then that server will forward the content to you. So I can now get around restrictions on my internet, great! Not so fast though. Working over a proxy server can prove to be painfully slow. So how can you speed it up? FoxyProxy is an open source extension to Firefox that can help with this process. In short FoxyProxy will route blocked content through the proxy and all other content will come through your normal connection. For a more detailed explanation of FoxyProxy you can visit FoxyProxy’s website. As well as FLOSS Weekly 84 Podcast which can be found on iTunes and http://twit.tv/FLOSS.

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