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Privoxy is a proxy software, oriented to improve user's privacy, block internet ads and pop-ups, and to remove restrictions imposed on user's connection.
Proxy is the system that is responsible for managing client connections. Normally, when we connect to the Internet, our PC communicates directly with the web pages, mail servers, etc. If we install a proxy on our computer, and configure the computer to use the proxy, then the computer will communicate with the proxy, and the proxy will communicate with the web pages, mail servers, etc. In this way, we will be able to set certain rules in the proxy to control inbound and outbound communications.
Privoxy is an advanced software that can be used by anyone, although it is convenient to have some prior knowledge about communication protocols (especially HTTP), and regular expressions.
Once installed, this proxy comes with a basic configuration by default that blocks the vast majority of the ads and pop-ups of the web sites. But the basic configuration may ignore certain ads and websites that we need to add in the advanced settings.
To make use of the proxy, we must configure our browser to use proxy's address (IP: 127.0.0.1, Port: 8118). In this way, browser will make all requests to the proxy, and the proxy will communicate with the Internet.
The main configuration of Privoxy is done through text files, so we must have the sufficient knowledge, or a good tutorial, to modify the parameters of these files. We can also access configuration via web interface by entering the following URL in the browser: http://config.privoxy.org/. Web interface is very basic, and equally we must have knowledge of what we'll modify, in order to avoid future problems.
The name of the program Privoxy comes from: "Privacy Enhancing Proxy”. The program is free and is available for Windows, Linux and Mac.