Why would someone want a UK Proxy
Well there are lots of reasons, they are all primarily linked to geotargeting that annoying feature of blocking access to your web site or specific content depending on which country you are based in. For many people this is the only reason they end up searching the web for proxies and proxy bypassing and similar strange sounding terms.
From my email box without doubt the main one is to access BBC Iplayer although there are many more, most of the UK TV sites will only allow access to UK IP addresses. But lots of others restrict access for commercial reasons, web hosting companies who provide free web hosting usually only allow UK customers, there are web sites that allow you to send free SMS text messages - but again only if you're in the UK. Or should I say if you appear to be in the UK through a UK proxy Server.
Forums, media sites, online casinos, competitions and a host of other services on UK servers are blocked to anyone who doesn't have a UK IP address and hence people search for UK proxies to bypass this restriction. Of course this works in lots of other countries too, so you'll also find people online searching for French, US, Canadian and other proxies for similar reasons - the quest for Chinese proxies is not quite as fervent though.
So are there ways to access free UK Proxies then ?
Of course there are, as always on the internet there are numerous ways to achieve your goal and yes some of them are free. There are thousands of free proxies available on the internet partly due to a couple of free proxy scripts which are very easy to install on any little piece of internet real estate - the two main ones are Glype and Zelune.
These scripts are commonly used by people to make a little money out of running a proxy service. Lots of people buy up cheap domains, cheap hosting plans and upload these scripts to various servers. The will allow a web based proxy service which anyone can use, you just type in the URL and then the proxy server will fetch it for you.
Here's an example, there's lots of little buttons to request commonly blocked sites which when you click will be requested by the proxy. You then surf in a frame with all your web requests being redirected via the proxy wherever it is. It will generally obscure your IP address although you will be surfing surrounded by adverts and it could be pretty slow. I generally like to see adverts around these sites though as they are a legitimate way of financing the proxies, if they are too fast and free then there is a very good chance they are being hosted on a stolen or hacked server with the intent of stealing your usernames and passwords.
My advice is if you use these free proxies, never use them to access a site where you need to input any personal information, accounts or usernames ever. Glype is very simple to install and free - a much safer option would be to set it up on your own hosting space if you have - you can find it here - Glype.
But what if I want a Specific Country like a UK Proxy Server
Well unless you set up your own then you obviously need some way to filter out all the proxies with non-UK addresses. Fortunately there are a few ways of doing this, but for the sake of brevity I'll cover the simplest one here although definitely not the best way.
You'll find many web sites listing these freebie proxy script sites, one of the oldest and most popular is called proxy.org , if you look at their listings they have the facility to sort the proxies based on country, popularity, IP address software etc. If you want a UK proxy for a specific reason then you should find a free one you can use there. You'll need to take a bit of time to search through the listings though as these proxies change , fall over and get shut down hourly but with some patience you should find some that work. Don't expect too much though, they're not fast, not well configured or secure but they are at least free :)
So dude if you want a UK proxy for free that's one way to start. But I have to put some disclaimers before anyone uses these freebie proxies.
- Just use them for general browsing, never ever put any username and passwords into these websites. They are not safe !
- You can try them to bypass blocks at school, work or college but most modern content filters will easily spot these proxies.
- Be suspicious of any that don't have adverts or any source of income. Adverts are annoying but they are they are at least a legitimate reason for people to set this site up.
- Don't use these for security - if you have a genuine need for privacy don't ever use these proxies - use a fast private network, which encrypts like Identity Cloaker or next best is TOR is you have limited funds.
- Don't bother trying to use free proxies to access media sites, they are far too slow and overloaded especially the UK and US proxies.
So I hope this has helped a little way to answer some of my many I need a free UK Proxy" type questions, but I'm aware this post has many gaps in it. If you want to see a video of Identity Cloaker and using one of their many UK proxies - you can see it on this post - watching BBC IPlayer