Jump Firewalls in a Single Bound With Proxy Servers

By: Scott Smithson

There are millions of students worldwide that feel hindered by measures taken by their schools to filter the content available to them on school-based internet. They have taken it upon themselves to find ways to preserve anonymity by bypassing the firewalls implemented by the schools. In this way, they are able to hide their school's IP address from the desired website. This allows the student to quickly gain access to websites like MySpace, personal email accounts, gaming sites, and yes, pornography.The method most commonly employed by such students involves the use of proxy servers. These are small servers that allow clients to make indirect network connections to various network services. The proxy computer hides the location of the student's computer thus allowing an informational bridge between the student and the desired website.

This capacitates the students with the ability to view banned content from their school's network.There are several websites that provide proxy services. They are useful for many other applications besides allowing students to access non-academic material. For example, network operators may employ a proxy server to intercept harmful viruses or other questionable content from remote websites. When a proxy server is utilized, it does not reveal the IP address, browser type, operating type or cookies to the requested site. It allows the viewing of pages by sending the request from an alternate location.For student's using proxy servers to bypass their school's firewalls, the specific type of proxy server necessary is called a circumventor. A circumventor takes a website that has been blocked by a firewall and redirects it through an unblocked website. In a never-ending circle, the student's demand for creative freedom creates a supply of fresh circumventors as quickly as filters detect them. The issue that students need to be aware of is that it is possible for a proxy site to be run by corrupt individuals. These people may use the information that they become privy to for malicious purposes such as identity theft. Even though information is hidden by the proxy server from the requested site, it is visible to the administrator of the proxy site itself.

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