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.
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.
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.
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.
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.