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Proxy Checker

";
echo "REMOTE_ADDR = $remote ($remote_name)
";
echo "HTTP_VIA = $via
";
echo "HTTP_X_FORWARDED_FOR = $for
";
echo "";
if (!$via)
echo "You have either No Proxy or a High Anonymity Proxy";
if ($via && ($remote != $for) && $for)
echo "You have a Transparent Proxy";
if ($via && (($remote == $for) || !$for))
echo "You have an Anonymous Proxy";

}

?>

I use this as my start page to verify that Firefox has the proper proxy selected. Not that I don't trust the Switchproxy toolbar, but it never hurts to double check.

Proxy Types

No Proxy

In this case (the majority of internet users), http requests are sent directly from your machine to the server. There is no privacy or caching benefits.

A non-proxied system will display the following information:

  • REMOTE_ADDR = Your IP
  • HTTP_VIA = blank
  • HTTP_X_FORWARDED_FOR = blank

Transparent Proxy

A transparent proxy anounces to the world that it's a proxy, and passes on your information. It provides no privacy improvements (except against poorly coded sites that only look at REMOTE_ADDR and not HTTP_X_FORWARDED_FOR). It can provide a benefit by caching frequently accessed pages; many companies also use this system for filtering purposes.

A transparent proxy will display the following information:

  • REMOTE_ADDR = Proxy's IP
  • HTTP_VIA = Proxy's IP
  • HTTP_X_FORWARDED_FOR = Your IP

Anonymous Proxy

An anonymous proxy offers the caching benefits of a transparent proxy, while hiding your IP address (by replacing with either the proxies IP, or a random address. The downside to this approach is that sites that use address detection to establish unique users (online games, voting, some logins) will not be able to distinguish you from others in your domain. Of course, that might be a bonus sometimes.

An anonymous proxy will display the following information:

  • REMOTE_ADDR = Proxy's IP
  • HTTP_VIA = Proxy's IP
  • HTTP_X_FORWARDED_FOR = Proxy's IP, or random

Highly Anonymous

A highly anonymous (often known as an elite proxy) makes your system look the same as a non-proxied system (with the proxy server's IP address). This provides the best security; however, all the caveats of an anonymous proxy are still present. In addition, an anonymous proxy's existance can be detected, and the server can suggest workarounds, but there's no way to detect an elite proxy. Again, that may be your goal.

A highly anonymous proxy will display the following information:

  • REMOTE_ADDR = Proxy's IP
  • HTTP_VIA = blank
  • HTTP_X_FORWARDED_FOR = blank
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Last Modified: September 04, 2006 @ 02:11 CST

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