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I'm interested in and write about a wide variety of topics - economics, psychology, marketing, music, etc. I prefer writing long articles to short posts and don't update very often.

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The Google Proxy

Google has a web proxy that may be able to get you around your corporate firewall, and may allow you to surf anonymously.

Long story short, surf the web from or to get a proxied & simplified version of any page you want to visit. May bypass corporate firewalls, may not. May provide some level of anonymity, may not. Breaks up long pages into smaller ones, and you can turn off images.

Short Story Long

Surfing from my PDA, a month or two ago I noticed that when I visit a site through Google, I don't actually leave Google's servers. They serve up a version of the page that's been formatted for my PDA - simplified layout, the option to turn off graphics, and truncated pages so it won't overload the limited RAM I have, etc.

This works extraordinarily well for sites like Wikipedia and Amazon, which are formatted in such a way that it makes browsing them almost impossible on my PDA.

When I got home, I tried surfing the web through the same link,, but Google was too smart for me and just linked directly to any page I wanted to visit.

Then, just recently, I copied & pasted the actual URL I was surfing into a forum and asked if other people could visit it - they could. Success! Could we now visit sites that were blocked by the corporate web proxy? Reports are mixed, it seems some corporate proxies are aware of the Google Proxy and block it.

Heres an example:

Notice the "Hide Images" link at the bottom of the page. By hiding the images the calls to the server should be nonexistant. Google keeps track of whether you want images hid or not, so clicking that once keeps it that way for at least the rest of your session. This also means that, theoretically (I haven't tested it), you should be able to surf a site without making any calls to the server, making you virtually anonymous.

And unlike most other free anonymous proxies, you can post from the Google Proxy.

Also note that some page are considered to be too long and are brokeup in into multiple pages. When you get to the bottom, you have to click Next Page to continue to see the rest. It may be a pain in the ass, but it's probably worth it if you're accessing a site that was previously unavaiable.

Hitting the "Google Home" link at the bottom of the page, I was sent to:

Unlike, clicking on a search result sent me to the Google Proxy. That means that any site I could find via Google, I could get to via the Google Proxy. It was time to blog about this discovery.

page first created on Monday, June 19, 2006

© Mark Wieczorek