SEnuke Proxies and VPNs
If you order Squid Proxies and they are slow or you have low success Email them and tell them. Let them know you want them for SEnuke and they will give you one which will work. So far everybody who has had problems with Squid Proxies has been sorted out after one email, and have been very happy with the final results.
There are two common points of debate within SEnuke circles.
- Spin or not to spin (See our huge spinning section)
- Should I use proxies
Here I am going to cover the latter. Now I have long said that if you can get away without using proxies then that is the best option, proxies will slow you down for sure, and public proxies (or heavily shared ones) will give you many more ‘failed sites’ than you would otherwise get.
So who can get away without a proxy? Well anybody who does very little nuking probably could, as well as anybody who has their copy of SEnuke hosted with a company that does not object to complaints. For most people reading this neither of those probably count, finding such friendly hosting in the USA for instance is almost impossible. If you are going to be using the Forum Nuke then you really should be using proxies, that area of SEnuke has its own unique dangers.
There are essentially 3 ways to cloak your IP, you can use a proxy, a VPN or a re-director. Of these only proxies can actually be controlled from within SEnuke, and as such they are the ones most people talk about. However VPNs are generally cheaper and quite popular with Nukers, and a re-director is the best of the lot (though I do not know of any commercial offerings that can be used for SEnuke).
When originally writing this article amd based on initial testing we believed HMA to be generally faster than Squid Proxies. Extensive testing has since shown this is not the case.
Proxies (Squid Proxies)
A proxy is simply another server that acts as a intermediary point between you and the destination. In simple terms you send you data to the proxy server and then it re-sends it to the final destination, any reply is first sent to the proxy server and then forwarded on to you. Essentially the destination computer has no idea of the existence of your computer, and as far as it is concerned it only deals with the proxy server.
Typically proxies are setup on a per application basis, although they can be setup on hardware routers/modems etc. Thus it is possible to have a proxy server setting in Internet Explorer that gives it a US IP, and at the same time run Firefox with a different proxy server, or even no proxy server at all. By default many programs within windows do not have proper proxy controls, and they take their proxy settings from Internet Explorer. If you are connected via a network you will find this setting in IE9 by going to:
Tools ( <alt>+<x>) > Connections > Lan Settings:
What you see above 127.0.0.1 is a loopback to the local machine, i.e. any requests to the Internet are being actually sent to the program on my computer. Typically though if you have no proxy set the ‘Use a proxy…” button will be unticked, and if you do have a proxy setup it will be ticked and in address with be number xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx followed by a port number. If you go in to SEnuke and turn on one of the inbuilt proxies and then come back to the above setting you will see in that box now will be the SEnuke proxy IP address.
To use proxies with SEnuke you simply go to the following menu in SEnuke:
Options > Proxy:
Here you select either
- None (Do not touch IE proxy settings)
Inbuilt (Modify IE proxy settings using SEnuke)
- Private (Use Custom)
The inbuilt proxies shown in the picture above were removed from SEnuke before XCr was released.
If you want to use private proxies you simply copy in your list of proxies in the format
In the above case you will see examples of Squid Proxies. If your proxy requires authorization fill in the Username and Password box, however most proxies work on an IP authorization method. To use this method you need to login to your proxy control panel and input the IP address that you will be using the proxies from. Remember if you are using a VPS then it will be the IP address of the VPS and not your home computer! Typically when you connect to the proxy control panel they will autodetect the IP you are currently on, making it easier to add. For instance with Squid Proxies you would go to:
Enter in your username and password, which for Squid is normally all numbers by default. Then click on ‘Authorized IPs’:
Simply type in the IP addressed you want to have access in the box, or if you are currently on one of those IPs click ‘Add to the auth list’, you are allowed setup 3 different IPs for access with Squid.
VPN (Hide My Ass)
A VPN is a little different to a proxy, but the technicalities of it are not important to our using it with SEnuke. The main different from our point of view is that with a VPN all Internet traffic from every program will be sent through the VPN and via its IP. So while a proxy is application specific a VPN is machine specific. This does actually make it a little less flexible to use, you can’t for instance have one IP for SEnuke and at the same time another one for Firefox. Though for most users this is never going to be an issue. With a VPN you are also generally not getting exclusive IPs, but to be honest this really does not matter. With Squid Proxies people typically get 10 private IPs, and with Hide My Ass (the most popular VPN service) they get 15,500 shared ones. This is more than enough even though they are shared! The big advantage Hide My Ass has over proxies is speed.
Typically proxies will slow your connection down to 1-4mbit/s while Hide My Ass operates 5-20 times that speed. We have now found Squid Proxies to run much faster than HMA, see our benchmark page.
To use HMA with SEnuke you should start SEnuke first, this is not essential but can help you to pass license validation with SEnuke. Then simply open Hide My Ass, enter your password and username if not already done so, select a country from the dropdown list (closer ones to you will be faster) and press ‘Connect to VPN’. If you are working at home you can use any protocol, if you are using one of our VPS Specials then you must only use OpenVPN. If you use PPTP you will lock yourself out of the server, and this will require a reboot to get you back in. We are though working on a solution to this, it is best to NOT tick ‘Auto-connect after launch’ if you are using the VPS.
Once connected everything you do in SEnuke will automatically be sent through the VPN. Now SEnuke has no control over this VPN so if you want it to change IPs after a certain amount of time you can set a time delay in ‘IP address settings’
The other big advatnage of Hide My Ass is cost, their subscription is as low as $6.55 a month, while private proxies will cost you around 4 times that for just 10 IPs!
It has been reported by 6 users that they were banned from Hide My Ass. In each case the users were using custom forum lists they had collected themselves. It is recommended that you do not create your own lists unless you really know what you are doing and understand the risks. Avoiding use of USA IPs when doing forum Nukes would likely limit this issue.
A re director is essentially the best of both worlds, it is external to SEnuke but gives a per application control of what is to be sent through the proxy. It can control the traffic down to specific ports if needed. Re-directors are also able to multi-thread, giving huge speed increased, and can typically max out your connection. In fact using compression techniques it is possible to effectively be passing more information through the re-director than you could with your raw connection. They are however typically not found in commercial offerings, partly because of the huge bandwidth they can consume given the speeds involved. I will however include an example of one in action on the benchmark tests page for VPNs and proxies.