Sunday, October 16, 2011

Proxy Browser Round-Up October 2011

The other day it dawned on me I had not run Internet Explorer for a very long time. IE9 may be better than sliced shit for all I know. I have it, never use it. It's different back at the Salt Mines. Some "intranet applications" simply barf on anything else, or flat out refuse to run.

Last year, on the ill-fated Proxy Obsession blog, I proclaimed SRWare Iron as the best browser ever for using proxies. Now, meh... not so much. Iron has always lagged behind in updates compared to Chrome and though they're getting better they're still dog shit slow.

In fact, with all those fucking persnickety SOCKS proxies out there in the wild, I'm no longer convinced there is a single, one-size-fits-all proxy browser available today. So unless you want to fuck around with a CERN type proxy that uses SOCKS as a backend, you're going to be running at least two browsers. And that leaves us with two options: the Chromes and the Foxes.

The Chromes

Here is my ranking of the available chrome-ish browsers I've been using, from most-preferred to least-preferred:
  1. Comodo Dragon - surprised? So was I. I never liked it much because they want to push their crap on you (like the Comodo Secure DNS servers, which are natural born ass-suckers). The last Flash update convinced me. Adobe was all butthurt because Google released a Flash fix for Chrome before Adobe could fix everyone else. Comodo was second, just a couple of hours behind. Impressive.
  2. SRWare Iron - still an old stand-by. The best thing you can say about them is they aren't Google.
  3. Chrome - fast, but... it's Google for crying out loud.
Chromes are great for CERN type proxies because they have the "-proxy-server=" command line switch. Just close the browser, edit the shortcut, and you're in business. But use a SOCKS proxy? You're fux0r3d.

The Foxes

Firefox is taking a beating in the marketplace and is expected to have it's 2nd place position usurped by Chrome by the end of the year, but it is still the most versatile from a proxy perspective, and all the myriad plug-ins make hacking fun! It's so versatile, you still need more than one. Here's my picks, from first to last.
  1. Firefox 7.0.1 - or you can pick your own version. The only disappointment I've ever had with FF is the inability of the plug-in authors to keep up with it. And then there's that memory issue...
  2. SeaMonkey - an ugly-as-fuck browser if there ever was one, but it doesn't eat memory up quite like FF. SeaMonkey was semi-abandoned a while ago but it's back now and better than ever.
  3. Pale Moon - a serious contender for the #2 spot. I have only recently discovered it myself, but it's been around for a few years. There's even a 64bit version, but you may have plug-in issues.
It amazes me that all the Foxes still have that old, annoying "disappearing caret" problem they inherited from Netscape Navigator and sometimes they're just not paying attention when you click on a link.

You must run Ad Block Plus and NoScript on any Fox-like browser. User Agent Switcher is recommended, but not required.


Added for completeness:
  1. Safari - ugh. Just... don't
  2. IE - any version
  3. Any browser that can't override IE proxy settings (like Safari)
Feel free to add your least favorite browser to the DO NEVER USE list.

Friday, October 07, 2011


Hey look! This link's not in Chinese!

My advice: don't run it.

If you ran it, you're probably fucked. But you should try running MSRT to get rid of it. Maybe it'll work. Maybe it won't.

Have a nice day!