The Need For a Ninja Proxy

Protecting yourself online has never been so important.  The need to use common sense and adequate security and privacy tools is vital. If you’ve come here looking to become an online proxy ninja, surfing securely through the electronic ether well perhaps I can point you in the right direction.ninja proxy But First the Danger finding any sort of anonymity is difficult online, you’re tracked and logged through your ISP, company firewalls, every web sites you visit and a thousand other devices in between. Your IP address can be tracked back to the very PC you’re sitting at and the logs stored and backed up in your ISP contain virtually everything you’ve done online for the last two years. When I say everything, I’m not kidding – and yes it does include the fact that you watched the Kylie Minogue Agent Provocateur advert 6 times in a row last Friday when you came home from the bar.

Now the inconvenience Sometimes it’s not actually the paranoia (oh and yes they are watching you), but the inconvenience that drives people to hopeless proxy sites in search of a Ninja proxy to surf through.  This is down to the increasing pervasiveness of a system called geotargeting – I’ll add a better description of this but it’s basically the way that websites restrict what you can watch depending on your location. You’ve probably seen it in action –

  • Want to watch BBC Iplayer but are not in UK – Sorry blocked by IP address
  • Catch up on some shows on Hulu while on holiday in France – Nope blocked by IP address
  • View the news on ABC whilst in Canada – Nope blocked by IP address again.

The real list is much, much longer – anything from accessing YouTube to just about any big media site.  More so if you’re unlucky to live in a country where it’s considered bad for you to access Facebook  – it’s likely you’re going to get blocked for not having the right IP address. So people are fed up with being blocked, monitored, logged and basically having their online experience controlled and analysed.  So they look online and find details of unblock sites and read blog posts looking for a free proxy server. They then find they don’t work and indeed haven’t for many years at least for most applications.

There’s no point looking on a free proxy list you simply won’t find anything that works anymore and you certainly won’t find a proper ninja proxy which unlocks the internet and hides your location.   What they find is loads of web pages called Ninja something or other and a basic install of a web proxy called Glype.  They will promise you all sorts of super, secret ninja surfing via their little browsing frame – but I’m afraid it’s not true.

Computer Admin Watching Someone Search Through a Ninja Proxy Site

The Truth About Ninja Proxies Unfortunately that’s what the majority end up doing, searching in Google and finding some Ninja web site or something like that.  In the middle of the page their will be a little box inviting you to search via their site – something like this

Not Really Ninja At All! In fact little more than a default Glype installation with a proxy browser front end.

Is it secure ? In a word – No. Well if you trust a complete stranger who has set up a free server, installed Glype and covered it in ads – to look after your data then of course it’s fine. It doesn’t bypass most firewalls, it certainly doesn’t give you anonymity – it does add many more risks to your browsing. For those of us who prefer reality it’s a complete waste of time, all you are doing is funneling your data through another unknown, insecure point.  In some circumstance the setup may obscure your IP address slightly but that’s about it – you also be leaving yet another log of your activities on this guys server. Don’t think you’ll be able to stream previously blocked video either like BBC Iplayer or Hulu because you can’t watch these through a little Iframe window and besides the servers are normally basic ones that would struggle to stream video to one person not the thousands who’ll probably be trying.

The real proxy ninja experience will obscure your IP address completely through an advanced network of high speed, highly secure servers across the planet.   It will be high speed and high performance allowing media streaming direct to your PC from wherever you are – so watch the BBC Iplayer or Hulu or any site you care to try.

It can also be set to automatically switch your browsing data across to a different server across the globe every few minutes. But finally it will also encrypt your data meaning that you really can be anonymous, your ISP logs included.  In fact  the only readable logs of your online existence are briefly on the secure servers and are deleted immediately.

To access a global network of secure proxies and VPNs, which can bypass internet blocks and keep you anonymous – just try ..

BBC iPlayer Proxy – Using One Abroad in 2019

For many years now, there’s been a worrying trend developing on the internet.  What was once all free and open is now hidden behind paywalls or being blocked and censored.  Sometimes it’s whole governments but more often it’s down to commercial companies.  Take for example the BBC, their wonderful iPlayer application is hugely popular but if you step outside the United Kingdom then you’ll be instantly blocked.  It doesn’t matter if you’ve a large standing order paying for your TV license, if you’re not in the UK you can’t watch it.

There was some hope, that the European Union would solve this problem as they were trying to implement a ‘single digital market” which would make it illegal to block access like this.  Yet with the onset of Brexit, it’s unlikely the BBC will bother doing anything about this now. There’s also the new subscription channel called Britbox – https://www.britbox.com/home which is available in the US and Canada, obviously it’s not as good as the full channels but it’s got lots of decent shows.

The businesses involved have decided they prefer a sort of restrictive model that also makes them lots of cash. So now people get filtered based on their location – for example forget watching BBC Iplayer proxy in the US or Japan for free, it’s not going to happen (well not without some sneakiness of course). Yep and the lovable BBC have decided against the public spirited World Service model of sending out their content for free, instead they restrict it just to people in the UK.

This is especially annoying for the people like me who already pay the license fee but can’t watch the BBC when they’re out of the country. But don’t worry here’s a way which will allow you to access anything you like including the Beebs iplayer, Hulu irrespective of your location.  It doesn’t matter where you’re based, you can choose.  The solution works in most scenarios so for an example – here’s how to use a proxy to access BBC Iplayer outside the UK.

BBC Iplayer Proxy Workaround.

Firing up BBC Iplayer outside the UK you’ll pretty soon try and watch something and be greeted with the following message.

BBC proxy

Ha Ha No IPlayer for You

It looks like some technical wizardry of the highest order, but fortunately for us it’s not.  When we connect to BBC Iplayer, the site records your IP address and looks up which country it’s registered in – if it’s a UK IP address the show will start playing otherwise you get the above platitude. Now for these illustrations I’m going to use my subscription to Identity Cloaker, you used to be able to use free proxies but they no longer work unfortunately.

There are a couple of free uk proxy server services but they finance themselves by inserting adware on your computer and some even share your out your internet connection, stay clear !!  In the good old days you could also use things like foxy proxy and the extremely dodgy hola firefox too.

BBC iplayer proxy chrome

Choose a UK Proxy for IPlayer

I just open Identity Cloaker and scroll down to select one of the UK proxies and that’s it.  From this point even though I’m connecting through the Wifi at an overpriced Spanish hotel in Barcelona – it doesn’t matter.  The BBC will think I’m in the UK as it looks at the IP address of the proxy server and not mine. So using a BBC proxy works incredibly well, here’s what I see now.

Firefox VPN

Latest Dr Who from BBC Iplayer

Here’s a video of the process …that I hope explains it.

Instead of the warning when watching the BBC through a UK iPlayer proxy I get the play button and can watch whatever I want.  You’ll also be able to access the live TV streams when connected too. In fact the IP check is at start of the show so if I need to I can just disconnect from the proxy using Identity Cloaker software and stream it directly through my Spanish connection. Is it enough to cheer me up after just having my wallet stolen in a Barcelona bar?

Well probably not but being a fanatical Dr Who fan it might just save me from an evening spent drowning my sorrows drinking overpriced San Miguel from the minibar.

(Note to all visiting Barcelona  – if some nice couple seem overly concerned about marks you have on the back of your jacket and offer to help you.  Then run away/call police – you are having your wallet stolen – yes I did fall for it!) 

Finding a BBC iPlayer Proxy Free – Alas No Longer

Just for the record – you can unfortunately no longer use the free proxy services for this, the BBC have blocked them all and many of the commercial VPN services too.  Any of the companies who openly advertise the BBC on their website will often find themselves targeted by the BBC legal and technical teams – it’s best to be low key which is why the best services don’t mention the iPlayer specifically.

Here’s the link for Identity Cloaker – I can recommend the 10 day . if you’re just away on a trip or holiday, or just to see if it works.  There are loads of other services who offer something similar though, but this is simply the one I found to be fastest and best value.  I’ve been using it for over 8 years now as a BBC proxy without a problem and it also works for ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky GO.

If you want to watch using an Ipad, Smartphone or tablet you can use Identity Cloaker too just by setting up a VPN manually on pretty much any other device.  Yes for BBC iPlayer proxy ipad too. – try this post about watching BBC Iplayer on the Ipad Abroad.

Want to Bypass the UK Porn Block ?

So finally after many years coming up with a stupid plan, the UK Government is about to try to control access to porn supposedly to protect our children.  Apparently with little discussion and consultation it’s now about to be implemented on July 15th backed by a comprehensive UK age verification system.  The United Kingdom will be the proud owner of the first advanced democratic nation to implement a nationwide ban on accessing pornography online.

UK Porn Block

It appears though they haven’t really spoke to anyone apart from a few children’s charities. There certainly doesn’t seem to have been any input from anyone who knows something about technology.

First of all I’d like to state that 

  • a) I have kids
  • b) I don’t want them looking at porn

However I still think it’s a stupid idea, but before pointing out why – here’s a quick summary of what’s going to happen.

On  the 15th July, anyone visiting a Pornography site from the UK will be presented with an age verification check.   Now many porn sites already have these, but currently they are merely a ‘Are you Over 18 button’ which you just have to press to confirm.  There are no real checks on these buttons and this is what will fundamentally change.

All these sites will require any user from the UK to verify their email address, then their current age.   There will be a variety of options to do this, including using a credit card, uploading scans of driving licenses or passports.

If you don’t like the idea of scanning your passport and uploading it to some website so you can gain access to pornography then there is another option.  You can also visit a local shop or newsagent and verify your age and address there.  In exchange you will be given a card or ‘porn pass’ which you can use to verify your age on the websites with a code.

Why the UK Porn Block is a Bad Idea

1) Goddamit there’s porn everywhere!

We probably all realise that there’s a lot of porn online. However it might come as surprise precisely how much. Nobody knows for sure of course, but even conservative estimates are pretty staggering. This article suggested that over 37% of the entire internet is made up from pornographic material.

Now even this is wrong there’s no doubt that there are literally millions of pages of pornography all over the internet. Much of it unregulated or posted casually in forums, social media sites, bulletin boards or shared via places like Twitter. Of course the big, legitimate multi million pound porn sites will implement these changes. However I suspect that a small website hosted in Ukraine by a bloke called Ivor who likes large breasted Grandmothers is not going to be that bothered about implementing the UK Government’s controls.

Basically one reason the porn block won’t work is because most porn sites will not bother installing the controls. In reality the only sites that will are probably never targets for kids anyway.

2) Push the Problem Underground

What inevitably happens if you start to regulate or control something like this, is that it goes underground. If you block access by age verification to established porn sites, people won’t just stop using porn they’ll just visit the sites which aren’t regulated or controlled. So instead of accessing popular or mainstream porn sites, more and more people will start using the dark web ones or those hosted in countries who don’t care about the UK’s Porno campaign.

3) A Massive Porn User Database Run by The Government

Let’s just consider what the Government is actually creating here – a massive database of millions of of UK porn users. Every person who wanted to watch porn online would have to add their details to this database. Sounds kind of intrusive? How many people would be comfortable adding their name to this list? Of course, why the hell should they ask permission and register their sexual interests with the government.

Even if you trusted the Government to protect and handle this information carefully (hmm) – the potential risks of accidents or misuse are extremely high. What if the information was compromised, and people started posting lists of teachers or clerics or police staff who were listed as ‘registered porn users’. Irrespective of the legality, the potential embarrassment and humiliation would be awful.

Hands up who wants to register their sexual preferences with the government so they can store it in a database that they promise never to use and keep safe.

4) It’s Easy to Bypass

The implementation of the technical infrastructure behind this is bound to be hopeless.  They almost always are whenever Governments attempt these sort of ill thought out projects.   There have already been rumours that one of the main age verification companies involved will be MindGeek using their AgeID system. The slight issue with this company is that they own three of the world’s largest porn sites,  no conflict of interest there then!  Although they keep that fact very quiet it should be said, nothing on there website for example.

Irrespective of how the age verification process is implemented the core problem will be that the UK Porn filter is only applied to UK people.  I’m sure the French wouldn’t be too impressed if the UK Government decided which porn sites they could visit!   This puts us with only one option, geo-location – determining peoples location from the IP address they connect with.  So every porn site will look up the inbound connection, and if it’s from the UK then the age verification module will be implemented.

This means that every half decent VPN service can be used to bypass these blocks easily.  If you ensure your VPN is connected through a Non-UK server then you’ll be completely unaffected by the UK Porn Block as it won’t apply to you. Many children are well aware of this technology as they’ve been using VPNs for years to download pirated films and music online.   Unfortunately as most won’t be able to afford the fast, safe versions they’ll end up using the dodgy free VPNs that install malware and hard porn popups on your computer instead.

Anyone with the slightest technological knowledge will be able to use a VPN like Identity Cloaker to bypass the UK Porn filter with no effort whatsoever.  That would mean they could watch porn without any restrictions and crucially without being added to the Government’s registered porn users list.

Fingers crossed it doesn’t happen – the UK porn block is a pointless, stupid and intrusive idea but if it does – do yourself a favor and use a VPN.  This our favorite – the best VPN which will keep your identity completely protected if you do want to watch porn online.

Identity Cloaker

 

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How Can I Get a Fake UK IP Address

So why would anyone want to change their address to a fake IP address perhaps a UK one? There are a variety of reasons actually but the usual answer is either accessing TV or they’ve been blocked/banned from some forum somewhere and want to get back on with a fake IP online.  Anyway there is an answer for  people who want to watch the UK TV channels on the internet from anywhere in the world.  It also works if you’ve been banned from your favorite forum because some moderator just decided to ban you.
So whether it’s a pining for Match of the Day, the BBC News, documentaries or any of the wonderful UK TV channels that are only accessible to those who have a UK IP address, or disguising yourself so you can rejoin a forum – the answer is here.

Why So Many People Use a Fake UK IP Address

The problem is that the BBC, ITV and Channel Four like most media companies online use something called geotargeting. It all sounds a bit geeky and technical but in fact is rather simple. It’s a shortened term for geographical targeting and is a simple way for a website to deliver different content to readers in different locations.

Here’s a very simple example – here’s a search conducted with a US IP address for an electrician –

fake uk ip address

You can see that the search engine has looked at the location based on my IP address and given me US based results.  However on the very same computer if I use a fake UK IP address – the same search yields quite different web addresses.

fake ip england

I now get results based on electricians in the UK rather than the USA.  Which is of course exactly what I need if I was in the United Kingdom at the time.   Google looks at your IP address when you connect and uses that information to tailor it’s results and adverts.

So in this situation geotargeting is actually quite useful and you’ll find nearly all big web sites will use this technique to some extent.   Unfortunately often it’s a case of blocking access rather than customising  your content.  For instance every large media site does this – Hulu, NBC, BBC, ITV, M6 Replay etc.

How The Web Site Determines Your Location from Your IP Address

It’s actually a very simple procedure, the moment you connect to a web site, your IP address is recorded.  It is then looked up in a Country directory or database.  All these sites have access to a complete UK IP address list so it.s a simple check, it’s quite easy to do for your own websites too.

You can access one of these country databases from companies like Maxmind, download it and load it into a database or a spreadsheet. You can pay for a service or just run your own scripts to determine which country a particular IP address is registered to.

So this is what happens every time you get blocked from accessing a resource online because you have the ‘wrong’ IP address.  So for instance here’s what you need to use the following sites –

There are obviously many more.  One of the problems is many of the people who are blocked are just travelling, working abroad or Ex-Pats who just miss their home TV stations.

But of course it wasn’t long before people figured a way to bypass these restrictions.  Initially discovering that you could use proxy servers to sit between you and the website you were trying to access.   The proxy server IP address was the one that was visible so you could use a UK proxy for the BBC and a US proxy for sites like NBC and Hulu.  In the early days (up until about 2005) you could even find and use a UK proxy online, for no charge at all although there was still a significant risk of malware and viruses using them.  Nice to get the option of using a UK proxy free of charge though, as some would be happy to risk it.

So now a mini industry has built up supplying proxies and VPNs to allow people to access the sites they wish.  The very best of them supply you with a huge list of servers in different countries so that you never need to get blocked again.   Many openly advertise themselves as TV proxy services but I’d be careful with those as they tend to get shut down. There’s some useful advice in this video about fake ip addresses and proxies.

In reality though, nowadays you do need something fairly sophisticated like Identity Cloaker,   which I consider the best UK proxy solution.  Unfortunately using a simple UK web proxy isn’t going to work anymore.  Although it’s not that hard to find a proxy with a UK ip address range, every major media site now blocks them automatically.

Of course I use  Identity Cloaker whose software is easy to use and offers access to servers in about a dozen different countries (including USA, UK, France, Germany, Canada, Australia and quite a few more).It works with just a click of a button and you can change your address to a US or a fake UK IP address or whatever you require.

Their trial offer is here – . .  

You can see it in action on this page – Watching BBC Iplayer – there’s a video towards the bottom of the page you can watch too.

There are loads of other services available though, but be careful as it’s easy to set up a proxy server and sling up a fancy TV web site.  The hard part is providing fast, secure servers especially important if you’re going to be streaming video from the like of Hulu and the BBC.