This post is a very basic tutorial that will guide you through the steps for changing your Internet Protocol (IP) address on your browser. The process can easily be undone at will, and without having to reboot, or change additional settings to your system. All the steps are done using a P.C. Desktop Computer, running Ubuntu 12.04, and the FireFox web browser. Fear not, for those running Window$ and Apple, the processes are very similar.
There are many reasons and proposes for wanting to go through a proxy. You may want some level of anonymity when you surf the net with your browser, or your Internet Service Provider, (ISP) may have web sites that are blocked from you. Most commonly there is what is known as geographically-locked IP address, mostly done at a national level, to block content outside a specific geographical area. Web sites with advertizing and multimedia content are the most common places to see these geo-locked IP addresses. For example, someone outside of Canada may not see multimedia content inside the country, like videos from the CBC with a foreign IP address.
I use proxies when I am surfing the net for news content when I am researching articles for a paper, or gathering current events materials for my daily intake of news; either way I am faced to using proxies to view most of the content I want to see. There are some services that I pay for, but for this tutorial, everything that I am doing here is free. The paid services that I use are for viewing mostly video content of news programs, they offer huge bandwidth for me. You will find that most free proxies have very low bandwidth, so you may suffer a little bit waiting for a web page to load, but it will load.
You are not breaking the law using a proxy server on your browser in Canada, yet. I say “yet” because I fear that in the near future laws on the Internet may change to support the corporatization of the net and hold the user responsible to outside law enforcement agencies for breaking their polices on viewing their content in outside jurisdictions. Or worse yet, according to the blogger Not Quite Unhinged, “Why I Don’t Use a Proxy Server,” is that the proxy server you connect with maybe subject to criminal activities by others, and you maybe unwittingly rounded up because as your activities are logged on that proxy server with them. So if you have done something like downloaded a movie, then there is a record of that tied to you, and downloading copyright movies is illegal. There is a risk–be careful.
You must find a proxy (IP address) to use. For fun, lets try this site called “Hide My Ass” to get some IP addresses. Find a contry that you want to proxy from. Click the IP:Port Proxy button/tab to get your IP and Port number from to load into your browser.
Open up FireFox and go to Edit –> Preferences –> Advanced –> Network, and click on “Settings.” Now choose “Manual Proxy Settings.” This is there where you will paste in the IP address and Port Number into FireFox to use as a proxy.
Once done, test your browser with Google and see what the webpage says on the left column. Alternatively, you can search for a IP Trace website to see where the proxy server is located on a map.
Good luck, and please surf responsibly.