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toonel.netTen years ago, nobody ever considered having a website with videos. The enormous size of the multimedia files would make the site almost impossible to access, considering how slow the internet connection was at that time.

There were many tweaks invented in order to survive the snail-like internet connection speed in the past. Some were just bogus tricks to make the user feel it was going faster, others went further by optimizing the data traffic to make the most of the limited ability.

But that was then and this is now. With today’s amazing connection speeds, those tweaks are part of net history. While the bogus tricks are best kept buried, the others might still be useful today. Not only for those unfortunate users who are still connected to the internet through the dial-up modem slow lane, but also for the fortunate ones on DSL connections.

One of the still useful old tricks is Toonel.

The Compression Tunnel

Chances are normal internet users today have never heard of Toonel. Further development of this tiny multi-platform java-based application has been stopped since 2006.

So what benefit can an unknown and (almost) abandoned application from the past give you? Here’s what the site says:

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toonel.net is an experiment in a technique for conserving network bandwidth. If you are paying a fee based on the amount of data you transfer (e.g. 3G/GPRS/DSL/CDMA) and have a monthly download limit, or if you have narrowband connection (e.g. dialup modem) then you are most likely to appreciate the service toonel.net offers. There are a number of toonel.net client application packages. All solutions are 100% Java based and therefore this service can be used on any platform with an installed Java Runtime Environment, including mobile phones.”

Toonel – a pun for tunnel – does its job by compressing all the data traffic transferred to and from our machine. Smaller data sizes means shorter querying and loading times. Whatever connection pricing types we use – data based or time based – this method will result in cheaper billing.

However, the result of the compression will depend on several factors:

  • The type of data (text, image, audio, video, or others)
  • The type of connection protocol (ftp, wap, http, https, and such)
  • User preferences

Other than compressing, Toonel also re-routes the traffic to a third party proxy server in an unknown location. This method will result in even faster and more secure data traffic.

To use Toonel, the only thing you have to do is change the proxy settings of your computer – or your browser, if you want to use Toonel just for that specific browser – to 127.0.0.1 port 8080. And make sure that Toonel is running.

The complete tutorial on how to change the settings can be found here.

anonymous internet surfing

One usage idea

Personally, I use Toonel for anonymous surfing. I have set Flock What the Flock - the Social Browser Revolution What the Flock - the Social Browser Revolution Read More to use Toonel to connect to the net, and Firefox and Safari to use direct connections. This way I can simultaneously have two different proxies connected from my machine at the same time. Very useful to test my blog from two different points of view – admin and visitor.

But maybe you can find other uses of Toonel? Tell everybody using the comments below.

  1. aru
    February 10, 2010 at 6:48 am

    @sam
    All Toonel servers are unstable or down, so you might be disconnected quite often. Only russian servers with it's own toonel client (newer version) works quite good.

  2. allenwalker31
    January 5, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    I downloaded the thing but it never gave me the exe file. It gave all weird looking files...

  3. sam
    December 17, 2009 at 5:30 am

    can i make any change in tonnel.ini or can i edit it to call for open tunnels, im using the 50.21 version its fast but not stable, do you have any commands on toonel.ini that can help me, im getting tierd of having this disconnections, please help me out

  4. ata
    September 3, 2009 at 10:56 pm

    Hello,how to configure Toonel& Mozzila Browser?I can't reach the blocked sites.SOME OF MY friends can do this but I can't .why?Please guide me to right configuration.
    sincerely Yours Dehghani

  5. jojous
    June 8, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    im using toonel now. yes, toonel is not the only way to get anonimous. it is anonimous but not totally anonimous because it's not meant to be elite proxy. if u want total anonim, find elite proxy.
    toonel save traffic. yes, it does. but in exchange of lower quality gif&jpeg (if u set the quality lower of course).
    using toonel.net doesnt mean u can always get faster speed. sometimes the toonel got so slow (maybe due to hefty traffic it must handle (rerouting&compressing). when u have a broadband or faster line, dont use it. but if u have narrowband&limited data quota, it is sure handy. the latest toonel version released was on late 2005. been 3,5 years ago. im waiting for new one..

  6. mchlbk
    May 25, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    My speed:

    Without Toonel: down 0.99 Mbit/s, up 0.19 Mbit/s

    With Toonel : down 0.20 Mbit/s, up 0.15 Mbit/s

  7. baha2r
    March 21, 2009 at 6:42 am

    I've been using toonel for a while now mostly for accessing blocked websites and I'm very satisfied with the result the compression is also very useful for my limited ADSL connection, it seems fast and reliable in comparison to other similar services I've used before , My thanks goes to It's developers :) .
    I found it via StumbleUpon I suppose,I also thought that development was abandoned but it's a relief to now its gonna get even better software that reminds me of asking, Is there any way of minimizing it to tray in windows? it would be really handy to do so!
    My real question is: What do you exactly mean by anonymous? because iptools sees the proxy as transparent and it can tell my real IP address! and also toonwl.net website does not say anything about anonymity! Is my surfing activity visible to my ISP?
    Thank you

    • toonel
      March 22, 2009 at 8:45 pm

      1. you can hide toonel if you add -t parameter to the start line, e.g:
      javaw -jar c:\toonel\toonel.jar -t
      to change setting type in your browser http://127.0.0.1:7999
      2. toonel has never been developed as anonymizer. toonel was developed to save traffic, that's it.

  8. bobbysony
    January 25, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    i downloaded the java but i dont know how to change the settings, im using internet explorer please help i need it step by step

  9. Irf Dhirani
    January 25, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    This is superb! Finally got a program to view unblocked sites on my mac...rather than opening Parallels each time!
    Thank you!

  10. Tahsin Kocaman
    September 21, 2008 at 8:47 am

    Anonymous: yes, fast: no.
    I think it would be great for mobile devices but it didnt make my ADSL connection faster, it actually made it slower.

  11. toonel
    September 17, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    development has not been suspended ;-)
    in fact new version has been heavily tested last 2 months by a number of beta-testers and looks very promising providing better compression and speed.

  12. mark
    September 17, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    Hi,

    Looks interesting. When you say it's anonymous... what would my IP Address look like to an external site if I accessed it via Toonel?

    • toonel
      September 17, 2008 at 6:16 pm

      would be IP of one of the toonel servers

      • mark
        September 18, 2008 at 2:03 am

        Thanks. Would it be a US based server IP Address?

        • toonel
          September 18, 2008 at 9:30 am

          hard to say - the servers are in the US and in Germany. Depending on your location and load of the server you may be connected to either to the US server or to the German server.

        • mark
          September 18, 2008 at 9:50 am

          Thanks again. Is there a way to "hard wire" a US server as several sites I use won't wont unless its a US server

        • toonel
          September 18, 2008 at 9:20 pm

          you can shortcut toonel servers using hosts file. however it is not recommended because if toonel server become overloaded you will not able to use use other servers.
          anyway, if you are in the US,, most likely you will be connected to the US toonel server

        • mark
          September 25, 2008 at 9:37 am

          Thanks.

          How would I go about doing that? What are the IP addresses that I need to use?

          It would only be for the very occasional site. I always seem to get place on the German server.

        • toonel
          September 25, 2008 at 4:03 pm

          1. change port number from 8080 to 8085 in Toonel and in your browser
          2. add to your hosts file:
          127.0.0.1 vir1a.toonel.net
          127.0.0.1 vir1b.toonel.net

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