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Facebook, Firewalls, And Web Based Proxy Browsers
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Facebook, Firewalls, And Web Based Proxy Browsers

The subtitle phrase attached to the new Facebook movie is, "You don't get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies". This is true not only for Mark Zuckerberg, but the same is also true for Facebook itself. While millions of people enjoy Facebook, in almost every country around the globe, there are those that are trying to block it. There are several different reasons to block Facebook, and they are successful in varying degrees. For those frustrated by these restrictions, they simply access Facebook through a proxy browser.

Facebook is blocked at work so employees don't waste company time. Facebook is blocked at school to keep students on task. Facebook is blocked in countries that censor the Internet to control the flow of information in the country. All of these places are using firewalls to block the site, which is why a Facebook proxy browser works so well to unblock this site.

Firewalls work like this

Your computer has an IP address. It's a string of number that looks something like this: You've probably seen it before, It tells websites where you network is located, and where you are on the network. The websites you access also have an IP address. This is where all their files are stored, and communicating with this address is what allows you to see this information. Though you type in words, known as a URL, these are actually just a representation of the IP address. They're easier to remember for us.

A firewall allows or disallows communication between IP addresses. This could mean that a firewall at work prevents you from accessing certain sites. It sees that you want to communicate with the Facebook site, and blocks you from connecting to the site. It works in the opposite direction also, where the firewall of, say, Netflix, block IP addresses based on their location. When you're outside The USA, you firewall doesn't have any gripe with Netflix, but you still get blocked because of Netflix's firewall.

Where does a Facebook Proxy Browser fit into this?

So a proxy works as a middle man get past firewalls. It's a server located somewhere outside both you and Facebook's firewall. Facebook has no problem with it - it's has legitimate IP addresses, and as far as a computer can tell, it's just another computer to talk to. Your firewall doesn't have a problem with it, because it's not on a list of blocked IPs. While Facebook may be limited to 1 or a just a few IP addresses that are easily blocked by a firewall, a Facebook proxy browser will have thousands that frequently change, making it impossible to block.

So first you connect to the Facebook proxy browser though a secure link. Then your IP information is stripped from data, and replaced by an IP from the proxy server. It's then sent to the Facebook site and you're done! It's like taking a detour around the firewall. This even works in China, with one of the strongest firewalls in the entire world, so you can bet it will work on wimpy firewalls as work, school, or public wifi.

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