FreeProxy – complex proxy server software for LAN

freeproxy_icon As for network connection sharing I had previously covered what I use at home – AnalogX Proxy and D-Link DIR-400 wireless router. Some time ago I also had to setup connection (and quite crappy one) sharing for office of dozen PCs and AnalogX with its few buttons clearly wasn’t up to the task.

I decided to try FreeProxy and I can say it is powerful proxy solution for small office scale.

What it does

App is full-featured proxy server with support of:

  • multiply users and groups;
  • all common protocols;
  • web caching;
  • URL filtering;
  • and more.
freeproxy_interface

It more or less does everything that might be required of proxy server. Core protocols are covered, runs nicely as system service and ban list support with caching and flexible logging ensures users don’t go too wild.

Strong features

Best thing about FreeProxy is that it combines functions with flexibility. It had seamlessly replaced previous proxy (Squid running on OpenSUSE Linux, I sense flame incoming).

Setting up cache for web pages reduced connection load and end-user lags considerably. Plain text log has option of custom output that I used to format it suitably to hook with AnySQL Maestro for reports on traffic and visited sites.

Running for bit over month, so far it is rock stable.

Downsides

For all nifty features FreeProxy is total pain to setup. Interface is one of those exercises in programming of people who seem to have very personal opinion how software should look and behave. Testing settings requires saving config and rebooting proxy service all the time.

Some stuff like ban list completely fails to work (and even make sense) until reading and following manual very carefully.

Overall

While development of FreeProxy seems stalled (both stable 3.92 and beta 4.0 are almost year old) it remains powerful solution with set of features commonly expected of commercial proxy products.

Complex setup might discourage home use but for office initial time investment is worth it.

Home http://www.handcraftedsoftware.org/

Download http://www.handcraftedsoftware.org/index.php?page=4&action=category&cat_id=2

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3 Comments

  • Yes–this may be an older program and be a “pain” to setup–depends on how it’s being used, I guess–but if and when a person figures out the “power” behind the program, it becomes the most secure server available for the price.

  • @jasray

    Yep, I agree. One of the cases where harsh learning curve completely pays off.

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