How can I install a proxy web server on Ubuntu 12.04?

November 12, 2013
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Here is the problem definition: Suppose that I have an Ubuntu 12.04 based computer at home connected to the internet through a DSL connection. At my work place I am connected to the internet with limited access to some sort of websites (e.g. facebook). I would like to pass the filtering by connecting to my home’s computer internet connection. Is this possible by installing a proxy web server on my home’s computer? If so, how? If not, do I need to install a VPN for this purpose? (I’m aware of softwares such as Tor, Psiphon, etc., but I don’t want to use them).

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  1. Oron J
    November 14, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    In addition to what Bruce is saying (and let me reiterate his point, you may be taking a great risk here!), I'd like to point out that your home computer is not a great place to host a proxy. For one thing, it will be slow. Working through _any_ proxy will usually slow you down somewhat, but doing so through a home broadband connection really makes no sense.
    Here's why: in all likelihood, your broadband connection's upload speed is much lower than your download speed. Thus, if you set up a proxy at home, the data will need to travel from your work computer over the internet to your home computer, then up again to the internet (slowly, as stated above), to the server, back to your computer, and up again from your computer (again, at low speed) and to your computer at work.
    Additionally of course, if you ARE caught bypassing your network policies, you will not even have the excuse that you "just tried it once without planning" - it will be evident that this is something that you put quite a bit of thought and effort into. My advice to you is to consider if you really need access to those other resources on the internet, and if you do, speak with your network administrator.

  2. Bruce E
    November 12, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    First, let me state that depending on your work environment, their computer and network policies, etc., doing any of this may put your job in jeopardy and as an individual with a job where I was responsible for all network security (and keeping the policies and users updated), the risk may be high.

    If you can install software on your work computer or run portable software from a USB device, it would probably be easier to simply install the TeamViewer host on your home PC and run the client on your work machine so you can surf from home while at work. TeamViewer also has native VPN capabilities. Any other remote-control software should be able to do the same thing. Also note that security devices on the network may be able to see that you are doing this in general, and in some cases, what you are doing in particular (what web sites you visit, etc.).