Nature Blog Network

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Tools for Spineless Research: FoxyProxy

Kevin has brought you more than one great resource for research, including the awesome Zotero extension for Firefox. I wanted to mention another one here that I use daily on my laptop – FoxyProxy.

FoxyProxy allows you to switch between proxies on the fly or, for me more importantly, switch proxies based on the url being visited. I keep four proxies configured for different groups of sites. I have the university proxy which is used for a number of science journal publishing sites (Elsevier, Blackwell etc.), my BBC proxy for watching BBC UK shows, my web hosting proxy I use sometimes for downloads, and finally the default "proxy" which is a straight connection to the net.

The real beauty of this setup is that it is automatic. I don't have to remain connected to the university proxy (which can be a bit slow at times) but when I stumble across another paper I want to read that is hosted at one of the sites in the proxy, it automatically logs me into the proxy and uses the proxy connection to grab the paper, even though the other tabs may be connected to my BBC proxy or directly connected. Unfortunately it doesn't do anything to help the inevitable case of needing/wanting a paper that your institution doesn't subscribe to, but it makes accessing the rest painlessly easy wherever I am.

1 comment:

  1. Why is FoxyProxy so much better than Tor? I give a lot of reasons in my blog (see link) but for one thing proxies on the internet dont mask you very well, they do it just enough for spam or black hat purposes (not even too well for that nowadays) but not for real, genuine anonymity. WHat do you think about that?


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