VTunnel: Defeating Internet Filtering One URL at a Time
VTunnel is a service that is becoming quite difficult to find for free in this day and age. In many countries, as well as at many companies, universities and other institutions, specific web site URLs or IP addresses are blocked from access. Typically, in order to get around these sort of barricades, one needs to configure their browser and/or operating system to use a specific proxy server.
Proxy servers like VTunnel sit between the client computer and the site that they are trying to access. The proxy makes the request on the behalf of the client, and passes the needed data back. Because the connection is typically encrypted, the Internet gateway that implements the barrier is unaware the site has been accessed and is kept none the wiser. This is often accomplished using a paid proxy service or a free “open” proxy that the browser, such as Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer, is specially configured to use rather than its default.
Where VTunnel differs is that it does not require the user’s browser or operating system to be configured in any special way. Instead, the clients simply need to visit the company’s website, enter the URL they wish to access, and click “Begin Browsing”. Because this is a CGI-based proxy service, the desired website will pop up immediately on the screen where VTunnel used to be. The same functionality is provided with a fraction of the effort invested by the user. This is especially convenient because many public computers will not allow proxy settings to be changed, so access to traditional proxy servers is difficult or impossible. Not so with VTunnel.
On top of that, VTunnel is a rare CGI proxy service that allows file downloads. Most of these proxy services will only allow standard web pages to load, but will not allow the user to download a larger file (such as music, video, or compressed archives) anonymously, meaning without displaying their IP address. VTunnel vows to continue to provide this service as long as abuse does not become a problem. This service has proven itself to be an invaluable tool for any security-minded Internet user.