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Often we would like to access the internet from a different IP address, either because certain websites are accessible from where we are, or to preserve our anonymity. This is the main motivation behind the use of proxy servers, computers which we can access through the web and use to access websites of our choice. Mozilla Firefox has this capability, but it's often time-consuming to employ it every time we need to use a different proxy. This is where the Firefox IP Changer program comes in. What's best, this program, which was developed in using AutoHotKey, does not need any elaborate installation, as you will see in the next section, and it can be run on any PC using Windows.
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Using the Software
The Firefox IP Changer software can be downloaded from this location. Naturally, you will need to unzip it first. Moreover, you will need to edit the proxy.txt file so that it contains the proxy server you wish to use. The format for this information is: s:p, where s is the server ip address (e.g. 123.456.789.012) and p is the port used to access the server (e.g. 34). See the enclosed proxy.txt file for an example. Once this is set, save the text file and run the program, by simply double-clicking on the executable file. It is best that you refrain from any use of the keyboard or the mouse during the next few seconds to ensure that the program functions properly. While the program is running, a particular icon will be visible in the tray area. Moreover, if Firefox is not running when the program is run, it will execute it for you.
If you wish to disable the use of a proxy server, you will need to access the proxy settings menu in Firefox. You can access this menu by clicking on Tools menu --> Options --> Advanced icon --> Network tab --> Settings button and then selecting the "no proxy" option, before clicking on the OK button.
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A Couple of Useful Points
The Firefox IP Changer program was designed for Mozilla Firefox 4 running on Windows, so it may not function properly on previous versions of the web browser. Also, the program assumes that you have enabled the Menu toolbar for Firefox (you can do that by clicking on Firefox button --> Options --> Menu Bar.
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The Firefox IP Changer program is a very simple script that you can run on any PC operating on Windows and using Mozilla Firefox. If you follow the instructions carefully, you shouldn't have any problems. It is important though to make use of reliable proxies, as the program cannot verify the quality of the proxy information you give it through the proxy text file.
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1. Firefox homepage: http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/fx
2. AutoHotKey website: http://www.autohotkey.com
3. Firefox Guide and Tips, http://www.brighthub.com/guides/firefox.aspx
4. List of proxy servers, in article "How to Browse the Web Anonymously for Free" by Mark Muller, http://www.brighthub.com/computing/smb-security/articles/31878.aspx?p=3
(all sites last accessed: April, 2011)