Category: security

Use a Ninja Proxy in 2019

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 –

Use Identity Cloaker

 

 

Where to Buy Residential Proxies

It seems a very long time since I first starting playing around with proxy servers, indeed it was about 1996 when I had the opportunity to start playing around with them. I worked in a technical college and we were donated a hugely expensive Sun Sparc which nobody had a clue what to do with (including me) with a connection to JANET. Fortunately as it was a college, in the summer everyone disappeared bar a few full time staff and I had days and weeks to play around with my new toy and I read a document written from CERN about proxies by Ari Luotonen. I started to learn about proxies and even bought Ari’s book when he released it a few years later – Web Proxy Servers.

Where to Buy Residential Proxies

The technology was pretty exciting and new, in fact the first proxies were developed in the CERN labs alongside the birth of HTTP and the world wide web. Proxies even became a source of employment, as the internet age developed and we moved to a world where everyone wanted and expected the internet at their workplace. These web proxies were essential in controlling and managing internet access to corporate networks. Of course, as web presences developed there was even more ‘proxy based’ support work with the requirements reverse proxies being installed on coporate networks and datacentres to protect the back end servers too.

However fast forward to 2019 and I probably spend more time using proxies than setting them up and fixing them. Frankly it’s easier to let other people deal with the headaches of securing, configuring and optimizing servers which are almost always hammered most of the time. So I have become a bit of an expert in the proxy service market place too, which can be extremely bewildering when you first venture into it. Anyway the point of this post is in response to a couple of questions I got mailed to me on this site – basically where to buy residential proxies ?

When you’re looking online for proxies for whatever task, most of their descriptions now refer not to the specific technology but rather the IP addresses that they are allocated. So for instance you’ll hear about US proxies or datacentre proxies which basically refer to their location and the classification of the IP addresses they are assigned. As many of these servers are used to hide the client’s location, where and what the IP address is has become extremely important. If I want to use one to watch UK television for example then it needs a British IP address assigned to it other wise it won’t work. You can read all about what it takes to be a BBC proxy in another post on this site. Similarly as well as location, there is another component – whether the proxy uses IP addresses which are classified as residential IPs or commercial ones. A residential IP address is normally assigned by an ISP to home internet connections, so is among the most trustworthy of IP addresses available online. Which is why marketers, researchers, and spammers all prize these addresses highly – they make you look like an innocent home user.

Where to Buy Residential Proxies

So if you’re looking to place multiple adverts on Craigslist, buy limited edition sneakers or simply trying to run a number of Instagram accounts to fund your lifestyle then residential addresses are the ones you probably need. Herein lies a little problem as the reason they are so trusted is because they’re normally only assigned by ISPs (Internet Service Providers) to ordinary users who sign up for broadband accounts with them. Therefore they’re very tricky to get hold of to exploit for commercial purposes but they’re definitely needed.

Just for illustration, for my security and privacy needs (as well as watching the BBC) I have used for many years the excellent Identity Cloaker. It’s fine for bypassing some blocks and great for online anonymity and security yet the vast majority of it’s IP addresses are from commercial ranges so for some purposes they won’t work. Lots of websites have determined that if you’re coming from a commercial IP range then there’s a high change you’re using a proxy server (particularly if there are multiple connections). So if you’re trying to run numerous online marketing tasks then you’re likely to get block or filtered very quickly.

Many businesses and marketers for example run multiple Instagram accounts in order to promote their businesses or products. It’s well known for being a great platform for doing promotional posts on. However if you run lots of accounts from commercial addresses you’re much likely to get flagged by Instagram as a commercial user and your accounts banned, restricted or even deleted. Yet if you run these from a proxy with a range of residential IP addresses then you’re much, much safer. The same can be said for hundreds of other platforms and E-commerce sites, residential IP addresses are great camouflage.

But as we mentioned earlier they are much, much harder to obtain. Fortunately though some of the more advanced companies have managed to establish decent networks of residential IP ranges to assign to their servers. These used to be very expensive but new technology like backconnect and rotating servers have brought the unit price down significantly.

Here’s are the companies I currently use to supply me with residential proxies. I like to use different companies as it helps rotate the addresses used with my various accounts.

Storm Proxies – these guys seriously know what they’re doing and have been around for many years. they have a fast 1GB network with thousands of proxies with all sorts of IP ranges including a large selection of residential addresses. You can also buy proxies optimised (usually means not used and blacklisted) for lots of different platforms for marketing on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and lots of others. Crucially they own the hardware that their proxies run on, whereas many firms simply rent or lease their servers. This improves support and gives them much more control on configuration of the services.

Rotating Proxies  – a new find for me and I’m quite pleased about them.  Recommended by a friend who runs a huge number of very profitable social media accounts, they have lots of different types of proxies include some great residential ones.  The ones I was recommended are the premium dedicated residential proxies. They’re all super fast and have unmetered bandwidth, so you don’t have to worry about building up bills.  They’re not as cheap as rotating and shared proxies but generally much safer because only you are using them,  Unfortunately they only have US IP addresses at the moment but hoping that might change.

Now I’ve used a few others, but currently for residential addresses these seem to work best at least for my activities.  There is one other company which you should be aware of, if only because they have by far the largest network of residential IP addresses.  They’re called Luminati and have an enormous residential IP address network which dwarfs anybody else.   I have used them in the past and it’s a very decent network with some of the best speeds for residential addresses.   However these are not cheap residential proxies.  They’re actually quite expensive but you can lower the costs by using their filtering options at the proxy dashboard which an adviser will help you with.

The reason that their network is so huge is that they’ve built it by creating an enormous P2P network.  Residential users sign up for their free VPN service called Hola and in exchange allow the part use of their connection and computer.   These millions of users are providing the residential addresses used by Luminati’s commercial network.  I’m not entirely comfortable witht hsi method and would certainly never use Hola  myself, but to be fair they have improved the visibility of their terms and conditions.  Mind you I’d bet that a large percentage of users probably have no idea that they’re sharing their computer and connection in exchange for the free VPN.  It does work though and means that you can grab residential IP addresses from virtually anywhere in the world from their 186 million users !!! I have to say if I was using other peoples money and marketing for a big client, I’d probably use them as they are the most business legitimate proxy company.

Using Proxies for Ticketmaster

So why would anyone need to use a proxy server to access Ticketmaster?  After all what’s the point in hiding your location to someone who you’re presumably trying to buy tickets off, after all they have to send them to you don’t they!   Well the reason might surprise you, shock you or perhaps even give you a great idea to give up your day job!!

Anything that’s in demand online has the potential to make someone some money.  Tickets for popular concerts are always very difficult to obtain.  Even if you’re super organised and sit at your computer with credit card in hand the moment they’re released is no guarantee.  As anyone who’s tried this and ended up frustrated as the screen freezes or times out until you end up missing out can testify to.

Proxies for Ticketmaster

The simple fact is that you may think you’re prepared to be first in the queue for the latest Ticketmaster release but there’s a whole bunch of people who will get in front of you.  For a start you’re not competing just against people, because lots are using automated software to buy their tickets.

Special computer bots designed just for ordering and buying tickets as fast as possible are freely available on the internet.   They are impossible to beat by just doing it manually, as their response time is so much quicker and they can be pre-configured with all the information to make a sale instantly.

What’s worse they are rarely used to just buy a couple of tickets, most of the times they are designed to pick up tens or even hundreds of tickets.  Using multiple identities to grab all the best seats and usually the best prices too.   You know what happens next, they appear on those other ticket sites at hugely inflated prices being sold to those who were probably in the same digital queue.

Of course, Ticketmaster and all the other ticketing companies don’t really like this.  They spend lots of resources trying to detect and block the automated purchases but usually results in little more than lots of updates to the Ticket bots.  The other focus is on blocking the multiple purchases usually focusing on detecting connection and IP address information.  This is normally much more effective and anyone who relies solely on the Ticket software will get their IP address blacklisted quickly  at this stage.

Which is why people need lots of IP addresses and hence proxies to buy lots of tickets.

Proxies for Ticketmaster

Now I should point out at this point out that not everyone who uses the automated software and these ticket proxies is trying to make lots of money and resell at inflated prices. Although there’s certainly a lot of these people and firms as you’ve probably seen, they’re normally referred to as Ticket Scalpers. Many people I know simply use the software and proxies to buy their own tickets for friends and families, often only reselling at cover price for people they know.

backconnect proxies

In some ways it’s the only way to guarantee being able to get these tickets without having to pay ridiculous amounts on the secondary market. There is some investment involved the Ticket Bots can be quite expensive, simply because they need to be updated so often. However the costs of proxies has come down significantly if you use the correct set up.

Firstly an ordinary proxy with a standard IP address is absolutely no use if you’re intending to buy multiple tickets from Ticketmaster. There are several pre-requisites that are essential to avoid detection:

  • They must not be blocked or already used recently with Ticketmaster
  • Must be quick in relation to the Ticket agencies website.
  • Residential IP address – these are much less likely
  • Reasonable price – if the costs are too high it’s easier to simply pay the higher costs directly.

This could get expensive, especially because residential IP providers tend to charge a lot for these addresses because they’re hard to get.  So if you combine these with a dedicated proxy which is not used by anyone else then you’re talking a lot of money to even rent for a few weeks.

However the proxy market is well known for being adaptable and a series of providers have developed specialised packages for all sorts of purposes.  This includes some companies who have developed proxies for Ticketmaster, a cheap supply of residential IP addresses which can be used directly to buy from the Ticketmaster site.

So it’s not that hard to do, the biggest initial cost is the Ticketmaster Bot at a few hundred dollars.  The proxies can be hired on short term for however long you need them and are surprisingly inexpensive.  It’s worth pointing out that you have to use residential proxies like these or the software won’t work.  Ticketmaster block multiple connections from single IP addresses and if you try and use free or commercial proxies those accounts you create will get blacklisted and filtered very quickly.

It’s actually quite simple to set up and the advantage of using the software is you don’t have to even be there if you’re computer is switched on and connected.   Of course there is a moral element to this, and these programs do create some shortage in the ticket markets especially when they#’re used on a commercial level.

It’s not actually correct to blame all the woes of the ticket market at the door of these programs and the providers of these monthly proxies.  These bots only allow people to compete for the tickets which are released to the general public which is sometimes only about 10% of the total.   The majority of tickets get siphoned off before this to agencies, sponsors, providers of corporate packages and other such groups.  This is where the real issue is, and these form the majority of the tickets which you’ll find being resold for vast sums.

Anyway if you’re interested in buying concert tickets online or for any high demand event including football and soccer matches then there’s a bot available for you.  Check out the Ticketbot site for a huge range of different automated ticket software including some for UK football tickets like Arsenal and Liverpool.

To make these work you’ll find below the best option to buy Ticketmaster proxies online.

Storm Proxies

 

Using Rotating Residential Proxies Online

Finding a proxy or two online isn’t very hard, there’s always a few new ones being left open somewhere. Perhaps from an inexperienced administrator who’s accidentally left his server open to the world or someone who’s not configured their firewall properly. It’s actually much more easily done than you’d imagine, often web enabled applications install or enable proxy services with little warning. Before you realise then thousands of strangers are piggybacking your server and bandwidth without your permission. Of course, this scenario is even more likely with the prevalence of ‘always on’ internet connections in millions of homes across the world. Lots of malware is configured to install things like Glype proxies or FTP servers for attackers to use without their owners knowledge too.

Rotating Residential Proxies
Despite this, the reliability and of course the safety of using these servers is obviously not great. Using someones misconfigured or worse hacked server is never a wise move even if you accept the fact that you’ll be sharing it with thousands of others. Yet the demand for proxies for a variety of reasons is growing all the time.

So why do people need loads of proxies? After all you can only use one at the time when you’re browsing the web or watching something online. Well there are actually lots of reasons, people use all sorts of automated software which harvest and analyse data, post adverts on multiple sites, or even bots which are used to buy products online.

Internet marketers for instance use all sorts of software to promote their products by automatically posting on social media, creating links on websites publishing adverts on commercial sites. Other people use bots (automated robots) to make multiple applications for online goods like sneakers and concert tickets for reselling. There are literally hundreds of applications which require access to multiple identities to work properly and they need proxies and lots of them.

Let’s take one example, there’s a whole host of online tools which allow people to buy lots of the latest sneakers online. These work by making repeated applications and requests to the web servers until they are successful, unfortunately if all these applications come from the same IP address then they get blocked very quickly. In order to work these ‘bots’ need lots of residential IP addresses to work, they’re commonly described as sneaker proxies but all they are is proxy servers which have access to lots of these home registered addresses. Each one of these residential addresses however is expensive and if they are overloaded become worthless as they end up being blocked by the websites themselves.

There is a solution developed by the specialist residential IP providers who operate in this space, who’ve developed systems that give access to hundred of residential proxies and addresses.

Rotating Residential Proxies

The problem is two fold, the IP addresses that are needed are classified as residential ones which in turn are extremely difficult to obtain unless you own an ISP. These applications also need lots of these addresses to run properly because each individual connection needs to be made from a different IP address. Having dedicated access to hundreds of residential IP addresses would cost a fortune every month so a systems has been developed which allows these addresses to be shared effectively.

They are known as backconnect residential proxies and they are in effect a single proxy gateway which gives access to a whole network of individual proxies with different configurations. The backconnect proxy operates usually under a single gateway IP address yet rotates it’s external calls through randomly selecting individual residential based proxy servers. The gateway will automatically rotate through these addresses every few minutes so that no single address is ever the same or over utilized. This is essential because if too many requests come through a single address then this will be flagged by the destination websites and they’re likely to be blocked. This makes them worthless for that particular site until the block is lifted.

This setup means that all you need to do is configure your application to point at a single gateway IP address and the backconnect proxy will then rotate through individual proxies automatically, making them virtually indistinguishable from normal home users. They can be used to automate all sorts of tasks from applying for concert tickets, to posting hundreds of adverts on localised portals like Craigslist or Gumtree. Without using software and residential proxies then posting more than a single time would be pretty much impossible.

Each individual connection therefore looks like it comes from a completely different location and machine.  Each of these proxies not only has a different residential IP address but a completely different footprint too supplying varying metadata like OS, browser types etc to complete the deception.

The other main advantage though is that it significantly brings down the cost.  Because each server is only used for a couple of minutes by each backconnect proxy before being rotated, that means that they can be shared around users and applications much more effectively.  Paying for dedicated access to thousands of residential proxies would cost a fortune and would simply not pay.

Using this method,  for a few dollars you can have automated software running through this network of residential proxies almost twenty four hours a day. This  means that it’s much more affordable for all sorts of online entrepreneurs.   remember some of the applications only cost a few hundred dollars and can earn people a substantial online income.  We’ve mentioned the ‘sneaker bots’ above, the applications which automate buying designer and limited availability sneakers – many individuals earn a six figure income from running these Bots and reselling the sneakers on places like eBay and Amazon.

So if you’re looking to expand your online empire, or need to run automated software which requires multiple residential IP addresses then you’re best bet is using rotating residential proxies.   This is a very specialised market and they’re only a few companies who maintain and run such a network, here’s our recommendation.

The fastest, safest and best rotating residential proxies come from a company called Storm.

Storm

Check out their backconnect residential proxy trial which you can test for 48 hours and get your money refunded if they don’t work for you.

Digital Clue Leads to Drug Dealers Arrest

In the famous Sherlock Holmes novel  – ” A Study in Scarlet”, one of the clues that helps Holmes solve the mystery was identifying some cigarette ash left at the scene of the crime.   Indeed he actually informs Watson in the same book that he has written a monograph of cigarette ash.    The incriminating ash belonged to something called a Trichinopoly cigar from Tiruchirappalli in India. However in today’s world I suspect Sherlock Holmes wouldn’t need to bother with such detailed research as criminals seem to spend a lot of their time posting them up on social media.

Take for example the recent case in South Wales, where a large drugs gang where caught primarily not because they were smoking Indian cheroots, but because of the incriminating evidence they placed online themselves.  It sounds stupid, but it’s true – here’s the photo which led to the arrest of the gang.

The photo was posted to a WhatsApp group, and before you start worrying about the police monitoring all these groups – it turns out it was actually retrieved from the mobile phone itself.  This criminal mastermind had taken a photo, of his drugs for sale posted it to  a WhatsApp group and then failed to delete or remove the photo from his phone.

It was subsequently seized by the police in a later unrelated arrest and passed on to the police forensics team.  They discovered lots of drug related deals and messages, plus crucially this photo which was to lead to the arrest of other members of the gang.

From the picture, the police analysed the partial fingerprint which was enough to match to another known suspect.  From this the police were able to trace other members including bitcoin deposits of over £20,000 in several dealers accounts.  I suspect if Sherlock Holmes were involved he’d probably have solved the whole lot using a fast broadband connection in Baker Street!

It illustrates several things, including perhaps the IQ levels of some South Wales based criminals!  One of the points worth remembering for those who do value their privacy is that although messaging applications like WhatsApp offer end to end encryption, that’s not the whole issue.   There are lots of ways to hide the transmission including the applications security plus layering on encryption using a VPN with a residential IP.  However secure a messaging system is regarding transit and delivery, it’s normally very difficult to apply that security to the end devices.  If anyone has access to the device that was used to send or receive the message, whether it’s phone, tablet or PC, then it’s usually fairly simple to access it.

Of course, the ground breaking element of this case is using a partial photograph to provide fingerprint evidence.    It would seem that there’s huge potential here to identify and solve all sorts of crimes using social media images and related records.  How many incriminating images are posted on Facebook and Instagram daily  for example, I’m certain plenty if you knew where to look.