I’ve spoken about Tor before on several occasions, I’ve also mentioned the excellent SwitchProxy Firefox extension. Well, Tor has its downsides, and sometimes it’s better to switch to regular anonymising proxies. One of the great people on the shroomery message boards has written a proxy-list scraping script that generates a flat list of proxies. I’ve hosted this script here for those of you who don’t have a working PHP setup. The best thing about this script is that you can set it up to import into switchproxy and even auto-update. Here’s how.
Before I start, I realise that hosting this and the guide is likely to generate a lot of extra daily traffic without any extra visits, so lets make a deal. I’ll promise to keep the list up so you don’t have to host your own if you agree a) not to hose my bandwidth and b) put SnakeOil Labs in your aggregator, visit occasionally, and visit a few of our fine sponsors.
Ok, to kick things off, go to round two, download and install SafeProxy. SafeProxy has heaps of features designed to make things better. Now go to the SafeProxy Options (Tools->Extensions, SafeProxy then click on Options on Windows) and you should see something like the screenshot below.
Now click on Manage Proxies. In my screenshot you can see that I have Tor pre-configured. You probably won’t have anything, but if you do then this will work in conjunction with your existing proxy configurations.
Click on Add, then choose an Anonymous proxy. On the resulting window there’s a wide array of options. Add http://www.snakeoillabs.com/proxy/ to the Import URL box, toggle the Automatically import from this url daily option and hit Load. This should populate the grid below with a nice big list of proxies. You can switch between these proxies automatically if you wish, but as you haven’t confirmed connectivity, I ‘d be careful with it. For portable firefox use, this is a godsend. I set mine to change proxy every 60 seconds.
Finally, add a label such as ‘AutoProxy’ and hit save. In the bottom right of your Firefox window you should be able to see the text ‘Proxy: None’. Right-click here and switch to ‘AutoProxy’ or whatever you named your proxy group. Now try going to google and seeing what happens. At first this might not work, if this is the case, right click on your AutoProxy text at the bottom right of the window and select ‘Next Anonymous Proxy’. Alternatively, you could wait 60 seconds, but whatever works best for you.
I hope you’ve found this useful, and remember, stay safe on the net!