I remove broken links regularly here on Ghacks. Today I stumbled upon a review of a proxy extension for Google chrome. The extension had been discontinued, and I made the decision to try and find a suitable alternative for that extension. The quest for the best available proxy extension for Google Chrome had started.
I had several requirements: The extension should be dead easy to use, ideally with a click of a button. But web proxy use is not all about ease of use. The proxy should support popular websites, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Wikipedia. While the latter site should not pose a problem for most web proxies, the former might. Facebook and Twitter make use of https, and not every proxy supports those.
YouTube support on the other hand is something that you find rarely supported by proxies, mainly because of the bandwidth requirements of the streaming videos.
When you search for proxy in the Chrome web store, you end up with 39 items at the time of writing. Not all of those are web proxy extensions on the other hand. If you remove those that are not, you end up with less than a dozen proxy extensions.
Only one has passed all the tests.
This Chrome extension adds a button to the Chrome interface. If you press the button a form pops up. You can then enter a url manually or by pasting it into the form. That website is then opened via the web proxy in a new tab in the browser.
The proxy works with all kinds of websites. You can use it to watch videos on YouTube for instance. Even better, the proxy’s IP is located in the United States, which gives you access to contents that might be blocked in your country.
Not all contents are displayed on websites. While it is for instance possible to watch videos on YouTube, you do not see video thumbnails on the YouTube pages.
The concentration on one proxy has another possible disadvantage. If the proxy is blocked on your school, university, company or a public network, then you cannot benefit from the extension and proxy at all.
The HideMyAss Proxifier is available at the Chrome web story.
If you are looking at the state of proxy extensions for Chrome, you will notice that there are few. Even worse, of those few only one works on all sites that I have tested the proxies on.
You still have alternatives, for instance by loading web proxy websites directly in your web browser, for instance from your bookmarks. That’s usually only one additional click compared to an extension.