So you’re a proxy person. You enjoy entering IP addresses, scouring the internet for batches of free proxies, downloading content and accessing the internet under the guise of anonymity.
I get it. I’m a proxy person too. It’s kind of a rush in the beginning — seeing your ISP address hidden, remaining concealed to the eyes of the world wide web.
After that initial excitement wares off, and your experience with proxies grows exponentially, you’ll notice a few things.
While proxies are fun, they are a tool with a specific purpose. Whatever your purpose is, proxies are used much like a work horse, rather than a pet pony. You need them to work for you, whatever your situation may be.
You’ll also notice after some time that there are some major holes when using proxies. For instance:
- Free proxies are slow, riddled with malware, and burn out quickly.
- Not all private proxies are truly anonymous, so you have to do some routine checking to find out if they are.
- Shared proxies can also burn out, and yet you have to pay for them.
- Not all applications support proxy use.
While the first three of these are problems addressed in other articles, the last one can be remedied fairly easily with a handy application called Proxifier.
What is Proxifier?
If you head to Proxifier’s website, you’ll see that it describes itself in a sentence:
“Proxifier allows network applications that do not support working through proxy servers to operate through a SOCKS or HTTPS proxy and chains.”
To break this down into plain English, you first have to understand that some programs, applications, or Internet browsers don’t allow you to access the Internet through a proxy connection.
Don’t get me wrong, many do. Chrome, Firefox, torrenting applications, and a whole host of other programs have a place to enter proxies in their settings.
However, there are also a number of applications that don’t. This can be immensely frustrating for a proxy user who wants to route a specific program’s internet access through a specific proxy.
In Windows and Mac OS you can head to network settings and adjust proxy usage, but this will route your whole computer through a proxy, which often is too blunt for most users.
Proxifier is a proxy client that makes mincemeat of these frustrations.
In essence you’ll be able to upload any and all of your proxies into Proxifier, assign each and every proxy to a specific application running on your computer and check the logs as the applications run.
For the discerning proxy user Proxifier is a powerful tool.
Below I’ll get into the specifics of all the advantages of using Proxifier with your proxies, be they HTTP, SOCKS, private or free.
Proxifier is a secondary proxy client that manages the use of your proxies for you, which allows you to get very specific about why and how you want your proxies used.
This, of course, has many advantages.
Check Proxy Connection
This is a basic function, and one that many services perform, but it’s certainly nice to have in Proxifier.
The first thing you have to do to get Proxifier to work is load in all the proxies you want to use. Depending on your situation, this could be a huge number, one that is typically copied from a list.
Before Proxifier will start using these proxies to open applications, it will first check the proxy connection. By clicking the “Start Testing” button you’ll get an almost immediate verification that the proxies you’re using work.
This helps to route out bad free proxies, if you’re going that route, or explain why private proxies might not be working.
HTTP, HTTPS, SOCKS 4/5 Functionality with Authentication
If you’re a heavy proxy user you know the difference between HTTP and SOCKS proxies.
For those who don’t — HTTP proxies work when browsing the internet through a typical browser to a specific URL. Thus the “http://” nature of websites, for which this type of proxy was named. SOCKS proxies function on a different protocol, and can be used for any kind of internet connection.
Often these two types of proxies have to be used exclusively and separately by programs.
When you add a proxy to be used in Proxifier, you can easily select which type of proxy it is, with HTTP, HTTPS, SOCKS 4, or SOCKS 5 as options.
You’ll want to make sure you know what kind of proxies you are using, because it will matter when entering it. Most proxies are HTTP proxies, but you can usually contact your provider to find out. Free proxies are almost always HTTP proxies.
You’ll also have the option to enter authentication information for any of these proxies. It’s just another section of the proxy addition aspect of Proxifier, and allows you to use proxies that are password protected. Of course, you’ll need the passwords, but that goes without saying.
Assign Proxies to Individual Applications and IPs with Rules
This is where Proxifier really shines.
As I mentioned above, you can alter proxy settings for your computer network, but it typically only allows you to use a single proxy for all your network connections.
Likewise, you can assign a proxy to be used with an individual browser, but adjusting different browsers to different proxies can be complicated.
All of this is boiled down to a simple, comprehensive programmability in Proxifier.
When you enter your proxy, whatever kind it is, Proxifier will automatically pop up with a box that makes this particular proxy “used by default.”
If you have just one proxy and want to use Proxifier with only that proxy, click OK and start to use the internet.
However, for most people interested in Proxifier, you’ll be adding more than one proxy.
The way to organize the use of each of these proxies is through Rules.
These rules are literal scenarios in which you can specify when and how a proxy is used. This can be tweaked in a huge number of ways.
The most common ways to use rules is to assign a specific application, target host IP or address and port numbers to be used in a certain action.
For example, you can set rules so that each internet-based application you run uses a different proxy. Likewise, you can set it so that when accessing a website a certain proxy is used.
These rules allow you to do a lot more than those simple scenarios — the options are a bit overwhelming in their complexity, but it’s laid out in a straightforward window and there is ample documentation for how to process complex rules.
The rules allow you a very high level of customization for your proxy usage while also automating the process so that, once you set the rules up for your scenario, you won’t have to worry about which proxies are being used for what process.
Make Proxy Chains
The Proxifier scenario gets even more customized when you begin to use proxy chains.
This is when multiple proxies you own are entered into the system and, with a given set of rules and actions, those proxies are used together in a chain.
You might want this if you’re looking for true anonymity. You can set it so that Proxifier first pings the web with one proxy, then routes through another, then another, and another, until finally reaching the host.
This will likely reduce the overall speed of your process (the more so the more proxies you chain together), but it makes the tracing of your original IP incredibly difficult.
I’m guessing you can think of your own reasons for needing such an anonymous chain.
Ordering the Chains
In the same box that you add individual proxies you’ll be able to add proxy chains. You simply create a chain, then drag and drop proxies to match how you want Proxifier to use them. The top proxy will be used first, the last proxy used last.
Each of the proxies will automatically appear based on the proxies you’ve already entered, and you can create as many chains as you want.
Use Profiles for Multiple Scenarios
Everything I’ve described above can be conducted under a single Profile in Proxifier. This means that your uploaded proxies, your rules, your chains, and how you structure all of it is saved to a single Profile.
You can have multiple Profiles.
This is great for those who love to tinker, or those who have a ton of proxies and use them for very different things. Simply switch between Profiles you’ve already set up based on your current functionality.
Or, better yet, if you’re a business that uses proxies and have multiple people using Proxifier, this allows those people to have their own Profiles, much like individual user settings on an OS.
A Straightforward User Interface
If there’s one thing people tend to agree on in the proxy world, it’s a lack of clear and straightforward explanation. Whether that’s in articles written with bad English, forum threads without enough context or clarity, or programs that aren’t intuitive, there’s a problem in this industry when it comes to crystal clear information.
Just like this article is meant to be very clear, Proxifier was built for people who want a complex tool that can be accessed simply.
There are dedicated versions for Windows and Mac, which means two programs with different skins and menus that match their corresponding OS. This goes a long way in immediate user functionality, making Proxifier “make sense” initially.
Beyond that you have a clear way to add new proxies, a clear way to set up rules, and a clear way to manage and use profiles. Each of the processes is explored above, but you should know that the actual navigation to and for each of those is also simple.
I will note that when getting into the specifics of the rules you’ll be tested with tech-jargon. There are very specific ways your target, host, ports, and IP addresses need to be formatted so that the rules work, so this will require some tweaking.
Real Time Usage
Perhaps the most valuable result of all the hard work you put into setting up Proxifier is the real time usage window that gets enabled when you’re actually running the application.
Once everything is in place you can start to run browsers and applications that access the internet. The moment this happens you’ll see the main screen of Proxifier, a generally empty white box, start to light up with action.
This is the Connections tab, and it shows you an easy-to-read layout of everything that’s connecting to the internet through Proxifier on your computer. It’s broken down into Program Name, Target, Time/Status and Rule: Proxy. Each of these will help you to see what specific thing is being run through Proxifier at any given time.
Below that you’ll see the Output window, which has a constantly updating stream of data that logs messages in real time. Use this to track what is happening.
It’s the combination of these two windows (and a Traffic tab, which is also handy) that makes Proxifier incredibly transparent. You can see everything you’ve created so far in action, and make any adjustments as necessary.
The last advantageous aspect of Proxifier is actually a huge one. You can download a portable version of the program, which means it can exist on any thumb drive. This makes it so you can take and use Proxifier at work, school, or just about anywhere.
If you’ve got your proxy info on you, this will allow you to access whatever sites you want from anywhere, tunneling straight through firewalls and other preventative settings.
Proxifiy It Up
The advantages to using Proxifiy are numerous. It’s one of the best proxy platforms out there and will allow you to tackle multiple tasks with finesse and ease.
That said, it does cost some money, but it’s not much. A single edition of the program is $39.95, but you’ll have to pay separately for the Mac version, the Windows version, and the portable version. If you browse around you can find a deal on this price, or possibly an authentication key.
It’s a good service though, so try not to take advantage.