A proxy is a kind of computer server through which another computer can route information. Many computers hooked up to networks, such as in schools or companies, have to route their information through a central server. Often, the administrator of this network blocks access to certain sites deemed inappropriate for users, such as YouTube. In order to bypass these restrictions, users can route their request through other proxy servers, accessible by visiting certain Web pages, that disguise the website being visited from the network administrator. Although the technology behind this process is complex, the mechanics are relatively simply, making it easy to visit sites like YouTube.
- Skill level:
Visit a proxy list site. A number of websites offer links to proxy servers. Two sites, Top Proxy and Proxy.org, are available in the "Resources" section. Good proxy websites are constantly updated and often organise their list of proxies by country of origin, speed and reliability, allowing users to pick the proxy that best suits their needs.
Pick a proxy. Users should then attempt to pick a proxy that will be most suited to their needs. Faster proxy servers will generally provide users with their information quicker--an important feature for visiting a bandwidth-intensive site like YouTube--but some users may prefer to use a more reliable site that is online a greater percentage of the time. Also, some network administrators may prevent users from receiving information from servers from certain countries; for this reason, a user may need to choose a proxy server originating from a nonrestricted country.
Enter the website address. Once you have selected the proxy server you want, enter the web address "http://www.youtube.com" in the designated space on the proxy's website. Fox example, on the Sniper Rifle Proxy's website--available in the Resources section--you click a button reading "Start browsing," which pulls up a blank space in which to type the address of the site you wish to visit. A separate window within the Web page opens, which users can navigate as they would a normal Web page.
Tips and warnings
- Please note that while accessing YouTube against the wishes of a network administrator is generally not illegal, it is probably against the administrator's policies and may result in the user being penalised.
- Proxies can occasionally compromise the security of your network. Use them at your own risk.
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