There are more uses for your WHS then you can shake a stick at; whatever that may mean. The latest endeavor is using your Windows Home Server as an Internet Proxy. I personally use my Windows Home Server as a proxy to be able to view sites that my company blocks access to. Setting up a proxy can also allow you to control web content served in your home. If you have a child, you can block sites or even keywords to keep pages from being served.
With that said, there are a lot of proxy solutions out there for you to experiment with. One I have used in the past and liked is HottProxy, but it is designed to be much simpler than my current needs. I have now moved my focus to a product called FreeProxy from Hand Crafted Software.
As usual, all work will need to be completed from your WHS. Initiate a Remote Desktop connection to your home server. This will allow you to work on your Home Server as if there were a monitor, keyboard, and mouse attached to it. This article will also assume that you have some computer knowledge and are able to use RDC or the Add-in Asoft AutoExit, but I will try to be as thorough as possible anyway.
- Download FreeProxy: Click Here to Download
- Install with all Default Options
Once installed, the initial configuration can be done. Luckily, FreeProxy is very easy to configure and can also allow some really intense configurations for complete tunneling and the like. We are going to focus mainly on the simple proxy configuration and some filtering for our home users.
Most of the configuration is done for you with the default, installation we just need to fine tune somethings, add some authentication and setup the Windows Firewall.
A really nice features of FreeProxy is that you have a basic working proxy out of the box. You only need to configure the service to get it up and running.
Note: If you are interested in getting past your company’s web restrictions, you will probably have to change the port your proxy is operating on from 8080 to 8000. To do this, double click Ports in the main console window and change the port accordingly… then continue below.
- From the console click Start/Stop.
- click start
- Then click Start under “Console Mode” to see if it is working properly. Don’t close this window though, it will shutdown your proxy until you reboot. Then everything will work just fine.
Your proxy is almost done. Hopefully you were prompted to allow or deny your proxy server when you clicked start, but if you weren’t; you need to configure the Windows Firewall to allow your Proxy Server as an exception and forward port 8080 (or 8000 if you are trying to get past your company’s web restrictions) to your WHS from your router. You can access the firewall configuration by opening the Windows Firewall application in your control panel.
- In the Exceptions tab, select add program
- Navigate to C:\Program Files\Hand-Crafted Software\FreeProxy
- Select FreeProxy.exe
- Click OK a few times and you now have allowed FreeProxy as an exception in your Windows Firewall.