Access blocked Websites at School/Work!

Bypass Heavy-Handed Web Filters with Your Own Proxy Server
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Your at School/Work and have some free time, Well you try to load Facebook or the Pirate bay to see what’s new only to find you’re network admin has decided to block your website access to all the regular websites you visit! Well here’s a quick and simple way to get around these strict network restrictions.

The solution: Install a local web server on your home PC, then run PHProxy Script from there.
Setting one up is actually a lot easier than you may think now before you get excited try this first.


Head over to SourceForge and download
PHProxy, Now unzip your download to a folder and name that folder phproxy.
Put it in a safe place, and we’ll get back to it later, (For now lets work on the actual Windows Server)

Install a Local Web Server on Your Windows PC

In order to run PHProxy on your home computer, you’ll need to install a local web server. You’ve got lots of options for doing this, but probably none easier than just downloading and installing WAMP which stands for

Windows (your operating system), Apache (the web server), MySQL (a database, which PHProxy won’t actually use), and PHP (the popular programming language, which PHProxy is named for and written in).

Bypass Heavy-Handed Web Filters with Your Own Proxy Server

Once you’ve downloaded WAMP, go ahead and run through the installer. It’s a pretty basic install, and when you’re done, launch the WAMP system tray application. After you do, you’ll notice a new icon in your system tray (it’s the one that looks like a speedometer). WAMP’s running, but it’s still not turned on. To put WAMP online, left-click the system tray icon and click Put Online.

Now, to verify that everything’s working, left-click the WAMP icon in the system tray again and click Localhost or just point your browser to http://localhost/ if all is well your browser window should look like the one in the diagram below.

Bypass Heavy-Handed Web Filters with Your Own Proxy Server

Good work—you now officially have a web server up and running on your PC.

Install PHProxy on Your Server

Bypass Heavy-Handed Web Filters with Your Own Proxy Server

Now we want to install PHProxy on your server, Assuming you’ve already downloaded and unzipped PHProxy to a folder named phproxy, all you really need to do is copy that folder to the root directory of your local web server.

Bypass Heavy-Handed Web Filters with Your Own Proxy Server

To find your server’s root directory on Windows, just click the WAMP system tray icon and click www directory
which, on Windows 7 installation, is located at C:wampwwwInside this folder you should see a file called index.php

that’s the page that loaded when you pointed your browser to http://localhost

Now simply take the “phproxy folder” you unzipped PHProxy to above, And drag it directly inside the www folder.

And you’ve just officially installed PHProxy. To make sure it worked, point your browser to http://localhost/phproxy
You should see the page like in the diagram below. (If not then you’ve done something wrong)

Bypass Heavy-Handed Web Filters with Your Own Proxy Server

To test it further, all you have to do is type or paste the URL you want to visit into the web address input box and hit Enter.
Below you can see me visiting Lifehacker through my PHProxy installation.

Bypass Heavy-Handed Web Filters with Your Own Proxy Server

Depending on what your web filter is blocking, you can tweak the way PHProxy works you can show or block images, allow or reject cookies and scripts, encode the URL you’re visiting into a string that’s complete gibberish, and more. Handy, huh?

Set Up Port Forwarding and a Friendly URL

At this point PHProxy should be working fine from your home computer, which is all well and good, but now we need to make it easy for you to access your local PHProxy installation from outside your home. To do so, we’re going to have to set up port forwarding, then optionally we’ll give your PHProxy server a friendly URL.

Set Up Port Forwarding on Your Router:

When you try to communicate with your home computer from outside your local network, the request first has to go through your router—which then identifies which computer the request is intended for and sends it on its merry way.

When you’re running a web server on your home computer, other computers looking to communicate with that server will try communicating with it on port 80 (you don’t really need to know what any of that means; web servers generally communicate on port 80, and that’s what browsers try to access by default). So when your router receives a request on port 80, you need to tell it that those requests should be forwarded to your local PHProxy server.

In the diagram below (inside your router config panel) look for the tab “Port Forwarding
All routers are different when it comes to locations for port forwarding so check the user manual

You need to forward ports 80 on both UDP/TCP to be safe that this will work correctly
Then tell the router which internal IP address the proxy webserver is running on i.e 192.168.1.110

Bypass Heavy-Handed Web Filters with Your Own Proxy Server

 

If you’ve successfully set up port forwarding, you should now be able to access your home server by visiting your network’s external IP address (this is the single address that identifies your home to all the other computers on the internet). Quickly point your browser to What Is My IP and copy the series of numbers following “Your IP Address Is:”, paste that into your browser’s address box, and hit Enter. If everything went according to plan above, your browser should now load up your local server.

Add /phproxy/to the end of your IP address and you should see the PHProxy homepage.

Set Up a Friendly URL:

You could stop at that point, but that series of numbers that makes up your IP address isn’t all that friendly, and in fact, if your ISP assigns you a dynamic IP, it could change regularly. Luckily you can assign a friendly domain name to your home proxy server for free using http://freedns.afraid.org, or NO-IP.com

Bypass Heavy-Handed Web Filters with Your Own Proxy Server

By assigning a domain name to your home server, you can create an easy-to-remember URL like mycrazyproxy.selfip.com rather than typing in 76.189.XX.XXX every time you want to access your home server.

A Few PHProxy Pointers

PHProxy is an excellent tool, but you should also be aware of the concessions you’re making when using it. For example, you should expect your browsing experience to slow down considerably when you’re browsing through your home proxy.

Remember, your requests are being routed through your home proxy server every step of the way, which puts a rather slow middleman (your home network) between you and the web sites you want to access.

Also, while PHProxy works like a charm for most plain old browsing, it can be tricky when it comes time to log into some web sites. For example, I could log into Twitter without any issues, and I was able to get to the static HTML version of my Gmail account and Facebook, but—though I was able to log in—I had trouble viewing either until I told PHProxy to remove scripts.

In fact, I found that removing scripts was a good step whenever I had trouble with sites I wanted to log into.

There is MANY FREE or OPEN Source Proxy Scripts available to use just like this one,
But since this works and can be setup in seconds why re-invent the wheel.