Author Topic: tinyproxy -- a few basic questions [CLOSED]  (Read 1364 times)

Offline Slim.Fatz

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tinyproxy -- a few basic questions [CLOSED]
« on: April 18, 2016, 07:17:16 am »
Hi,

I think that I have a basic understanding of a proxy server -- but that is the problem: my understanding is very basic.  ;D I have just read this article about the proxy daemon called tinyproxy that can be found in our respositories. My questions are:
  • What has been your experience with tinyproxy (if you have any)?
  • Is it worth running a proxy daemon like tinyproxy on a home computer (not running any services and on my small home LAN) as an extra layer of security? Or is this simply paranoid overkill?
  • Is it worth using a proxy daemon on a notebook that sometimes uses public WLANs or LANs not at home?
This little program seems to be very easy on system resources and very easy to use. I guess I could just install it and give it test, but I always like to get some feedback from experienced users before doing something like this that might otherwise just end up being a complete waste of time.  ::) The article I first mentioned makes tinyproxy look like the best thing since tea and crumpets...  :P

Regards,

-- Slim
« Last Edit: April 18, 2016, 10:52:12 am by Slim.Fatz »
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Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: tinyproxy -- a few basic questions
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2016, 08:35:06 am »
I'm not quite sure why you'd want a web proxy on a home LAN, beyond possibly having a PC set aside as a content filtering system (possibly using dansguardian) .. or am I missing something ?

But in any case, it's not something I've done before.....
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Offline VinDSL

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Re: tinyproxy -- a few basic questions
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2016, 08:53:57 am »
For the sake of discussion ...

I have a proxy server, here at the abode, but I haven't needed to use it for the past couple of years.

I built the proxy server in the last century, from spare parts.  It's a i386 box, running a stripped down version of win95, and an app called AllAboard!

Originally, when the internet became available in this area, all client/users were on dial-up connections.  The only place in town that had a high-speed connection was the ISP - a single T1 line.  LoL

In those days, I forced all the traffic in our house through the proxy server.  That way, I could throttle the bandwidth to the various machines.  If one machine was downloading a file, or another machine was playing an online game, etc. it didn't kill the bandwidth to all the other machines.  Everyone got an equal slice of the pie.

So, there can be some advantages to forcing traffic through a proxy server, depending on your circumstances, and limited only by your imagination.

More recently, in this century, I've used the same proxy server to augment my ADSL connection - when it's down and out.

Originally I had a horrible DSL connection in this house - 16,000 ft away from the CO, on a crappy loop, on buried telephone wiring.  It wasn't unusual for the DSL connection to go down for hours or days at a time, while repairs were being made on the ISP's side of things - digging up the streets - replacing transformers, and so forth.

I configured the win95 proxy server to mimic my ADSL router.  When my DSL was down, I would remove my ADSL router from the LAN, replace it with the proxy server and force all traffic through a dial-up connection to my ISP.  That way, at least we could get our email, browse the web, maintain web sites, blah, blah, blah.

So, there's another usage for you.  And, the list goes on and on ...

Is it worth the effort ? That's up to you.  It all depends on your wants and needs.

Personally, I wouldn't be without one, but to each his own  8)

Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: tinyproxy -- a few basic questions
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2016, 09:15:20 am »
I was actually going to add "since the days of dialup" to my "what would you use it for" question but figured hey who uses dialup now so didn't bother :)

In the days of fast broadband I can't really see the benefit .. though I guess there are still a few circumstances where one may help .. but all I can think of is content filtering, and/or possibly in a windows environment limiting a firewall and a/v to a single machine (neither of which apply to Linux behind a NAT router).

I guess your bandwidth balancing scenario has some merit .. but it also has downsides, I wouldn't want to online game via a balanced connection.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2016, 09:20:44 am by PCNetSpec »
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Offline VinDSL

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Re: tinyproxy -- a few basic questions
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2016, 09:19:00 am »
Bwahahahaha !  While is was re-reading my message, checking for typos, I remembered another usage ...   :D

I used to run a couple of sites out of my house, on a slack box - a couple of personal web sites and an FTP server - no big deal, or so I thought.  I had run a multi-line dial-up BBS out of my house for years, with no probs.

However, somehow my ISP discovered these sites, and 'red flagged' my account.  Boom !  They totally knocked me off the web, until I corrected it.  I was told it was against my user agreement to run websites from my residence. 

My ISP considered it an unauthorized use of their equipment and bandwidth by non-paying customers, e.g. my users.  If I wanted to continue serving sites from my house, I needed a business account which, of course, was 100's of dollars a month.

To get through this 'red flagged' period, I got back online (in less than an hour) by putting my proxy server online via an AOL dial-up account.  I actually got the AOL trial CD at a grocery store, at a check-out display.  LoL

BTW, did I mention ... AFAIK the NSA and friends, employers, haxors, and so forth, aren't monitoring dial-up connections - nudge, nudge, wink, wink  ;)

Anyway, I'll stop now ...
« Last Edit: April 18, 2016, 09:31:10 am by VinDSL »

Offline Slim.Fatz

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Re: tinyproxy -- a few basic questions
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2016, 10:51:30 am »
Thank you very much, VinDSL and PCNetSpec!

As I suspected, it appears to be unnecessary for me to use a proxy server -- unless or until I perhaps try running a web service from one of my machines (which I seriously doubt that I will ever do). I do not have a dial-up connection, nor does anyone here do any gaming that might hog the available bandwidth. All in all, I can spare myself the effort and have (thanks to you guys) learned a bit more about proxy servers8)

Regards,

-- Slim
Respect science, respect nature, respect each other.

Tread lightly: Fluxbox, JWM, i3, Openbox, awesome