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The Search For an Australian Proxy

You wouldn’t think it would be that hard but if you have tried searching for an Australian proxy you’ll realise it’s not that easy. The reason I’ve been looking for one is a friend of mine (who is from Australia) is feeling a bit homesick and misses some of his home countries TV stations. He also misses that strange Australian Rules game for some strange reason. There is also some strange desire to ensure that his young children have decent access to the Wiggles, which again I find completely bewildering.
Without Australian Proxies

As with most media sites across the world, they are restricted to access from Australian IP addresses, which of course you’ll have to be in Oz to get one.  That is of course unless you connect via a proxy or VPN based there.

Anyway over the fast few weeks I’ve looked pretty hard for a free Australian proxy which he could use. Normally I don’t look for free proxies – it’s pretty much impossible to find a decent US or UK one that lasts for more than a couple of hours but I wondered if Australian ones would be quite as popular. Well to start off I had a look at the obvious places – Proxies by countries (Australia) and indeed found a few. The usual problem though, if after a while filtering and testing you’d find a decent proxy based in Oz then when you went back to it a few hours later it was so slow to be unusable.

There’s frequently none on this site though, but it’s worth a look if  you just have the need for a one-off use for such a proxy.    Anyway I then started looking at some other sites and again found a similar problem – they were both extremely difficult to find and were extremely slow.

There are a few ‘proxy scraper’ tools which are knocking around the internet but they come up with the same sorts of lists and as far as Australian proxies were concerned the list wasn’t terribly long.   In fact I’d pretty much given up when I saw mention of a very fast Open proxy with an Australian IP address on one of  the many proxy IRC channels that exist.

This was indeed super fast and even seemed to hang around for a bit.  Unfortunately a little bit of research showed that it was obviously a mis configured server at an Australian educational establishment.   It was certainly the fastest free Australian proxy I’d ever seen but again after a few days it had disappeared as presumably the admin realised his mistake.

The Search for an Australian Proxy

Remember virtually all these free proxies are either accidentally left open servers or worse ones that have been hacked into and turned into open relay proxies.   Behind them all there is a bandwidth bill to be settled as if you allow unlimited traffic through a server then those bills will start rising fast.  The legitimate ones are set up on cheap hosting accounts using scripts like Glype financed by advertising – this is fine for just the occasional web browsing but you can’t watch online video using  them either.

The problem is that bandwidth and hosting accounts in Australia are rather expensive, so it’s unlikely you’ll find many proxies to use that are based in  Australia.   Even the proxy and VPN service providers in most cases don’t bother with Australian proxies due to demand and costs.   The demand for Australian stuff will probably grow though with Foxtel broadcasting more sports, Ten Sports with more free stuff and of course the big National channel ABC which people will definitely like access to.

I had a look at using Tor and Foxy Proxy but no luck here either, it was very difficult to find an Australian exit node you could use that all these channels needed.  In the end I had to recommend a company to provide the service there are one or two who do supply servers in Australia.   I never suggest ones who charge you per server as this get’s really expensive and very annoying when you want to access some content in a different country like Hulu, Pandora in the US or even UK channels if your travelling or on holiday.

So here they are one of the best VPN suppliers I have found, very cheap subscription, don’t force you into direct debits, you can subscribe for a month at a time and best of all they give you access to every single one of their servers included in the subscription.   Try them out for a month and see what you think – they’re called OverPlay.  They also have specific configurations to allow faster access to their Australian proxy from Europe and the US.  If you do try them also check out the other media sites using their other servers – Hulu, NBC and Pandora using the US proxies are great.  Use the UK Servers for  BBC Iplayer, Channel 4, ITV and Channel 5 for some great content that streams really quickly.  You’ll also find some great sites in other countries like M6 Replay in France and some great Canadian TV Sites using those servers.

So my recommendation for a cheap, fast Australian Proxy is OverPlay , the basic subscription also gives you access to hundreds of other servers in different countries, including some fantastic Japanese proxies.

Quick Update – Nov 10th, 2011

Identity Cloaker have also added some Australian Proxies as well although to be honest I haven’t really tested them for speed yet – might be worth checking them. They are similar price but safest to try the 10 day trial first to see if it works ok for you – 10 Day trial.

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