Would you like to run BitTorrent and download files from your work place or college? Bad news is most of big companies and schools has firewall or proxy where the network administrator can restrict you from doing everything on the internet except accessing your webmail and maybe browsing the internet. You cannot chat with your friend using instant messengers such as Windows Live Messenger or Yahoo! Messenger, listen to online music, download your favorite TV series you missed last night on torrent or P2P, play online games, remotely access your home computer and etc. Other than that, the server administrator can also easily see the list of websites that you visit from their firewall/proxy logs which is an invasion of privacy.
Fortunately there is a method called tunneling that can help you do all the above plus encrypting your Internet traffic to prevent 3rd party from monitoring your online activities. One of the tunneling software that we recommend is HTTP-Tunnel and can be used for free. Normally an application that requires the Internet connection connect and communicate directly to the application’s server. If the application’s server is blocked, then the application will fail to work. HTTP-Tunnel comes in to play by acting as a middle man in relaying the traffic between your blocked applications using port 80 which is normally not blocked and to the destination server, effectively bypassing the restrictions on firewall and proxy.
The HTTP-Tunnel setup installer is only 175KB in size and doesn’t install any drivers unlike VPN that uses OpenVPN protocol. After installation, running HTTP-Tunnel will prompt to enter a subscription key and you can click on the “Use Free Service” button to use it for free. HTTP-Tunnel won’t work right out of the box after installation and you will need to configure the software that you want bypass the network’s restriction to use HTTP-Tunnel. Here is an example of configuring Internet Explorer to use HTTP-Tunnel.
1. After running HTTP-Tunnel and connecting to the free server, run Internet Explorer.
2. At Internet Explorer, press Alt+X and select Internet options from the menu.
3. Click on Connections tab and followed by clicking on LAN settings button under Local Area Network (LAN) settings.
4. Tick the “Use a proxy server for your LAN” checkbox and enter 127.0.0.1 for address and 1080 for port. Click on all of the OK button to close the option windows.
You can try accessing the blocked websites using Internet Explorer and it should now load without being restricted. You can refer to the official HTTP-Tunnel user guide pages on configuring other applications such as Skype, Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo Messenger and also games such as Ragnarok, Steam, Eve Online, World of Warcraft, etc. Make sure you remember to remove the proxy configuration on the applications when you are not running HTTP-Tunnel or else they would fail to work. Another advantage in using HTTP-Tunnel is you will get a US IP address that hides your real IP address from being captured by websites.
There are 2 versions of HTTP-Tunnel. The free and paid version. The difference between the two versions is only the high speed option. From what we’ve tested, the free version can be a bit slow for web browsing because the speed is capped at 1.5Kbps. The free option would be more suitable for accessing blocked websites or using instant messaging programs. If you need to use applications which are transfer-intensive such as downloading using BitTorrent, then the paid high speed service would be more suitable for you. You can test both of the low and high bandwidth service speed from the Speed Test tab and click on the Perform Speed Test button.
Although the HTTP-Tunnel program has not been updated since 2006 but we can confirm that it still works perfectly on our system that is running on Windows 7 operating system. We even subscribed to the HTTP-Tunnel high speed service and test it out to make sure that they’re still in business and their paid service is still working. If you’re not satisfied with their paid service, you can request for a full refund within 7 days.