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Developed byFabian Keil and David Schmidt
Latest release3.4.5 / November 19, 2006
OSLinux, Windows, Mac OS X, AmigaOS and BeOS
TypeFiltering proxy
Privoxy is a advanced web filtering proxy which can be used to

remove advertisements, banners and pop-ups, manage cookies, modify webpages,

rewrite http headers and more. It basically removes Internet junk and protects

your privacy. It is amazingly configurable and you can create very advanced

filtering rules based on your own preferences.


[edit] Why you want Privoxy

Many websites on the web today contain two things: Content and Junk

(Advertisements, blank images who are only used for tracking, etc). Privoxy can

remove all the junk and give you webpages who only contain actual


Example: The image to the right as advertisements (mind-controlled propaganda

designed to artificially create wants for products you do not want or need), the

one to the left is loaded through privoxy:

With-privoxy.png Without-privoxy.png

[edit] Caching Proxy Frontend

If you or your corporation are using a cacheing web proxy such as

Squid or Polipo then you may want to consider putting Privoxy in

front of them (Browser -> Squid -> Privoxy) to remove junk and save bandwidth.

[edit] Privacy

Privoxy can filter the http headers and the elements on websites who are commonly

used to track what you and your loved ones are doing on the Internet. This will

slightly increase your privacy.

If you really want privacy then you should use Tor (it's easy to

setup, read how) in

combination with Privoxy. Tor will hide your IP and give you [[traffic

analysis]] resistance, Privoxy will filter away clues which can be used to track

you over the anonymous Tor-connection.

[edit] Why you may want to think twice about using Privoxy

It must be mentioned that Privoxy will use quite a lot of CPU. This makes

absolutely no difference when you're running it locally on a Athlon2k or

something like that, but it will seriously slow you down if you're using Lynx

on a Pentium II.

[edit] The setup

Privoxy filters. It is cache proxy Squid and Polipo.

Thus; many users, including myself, use Provoxy in combination with Squid

and/or Polipo. A browser request using such a setup would go:

Web browser (Konqueror/Seamonkey/Firefox) -> Privoxy -> Squid -> Website

A setup only using Privoxy (Browser -> Privoxy -> Website) will save you

bandwidth even though it does not cache because Privoxy doesn't load

advertisements and other junk you, as a user, likely don't want anyway.

[edit] Tor

Tor is a popular anonymity network which hides your IP from the websites you

visit. Users of Tor should use Privoxy or Polipo to filter away

information which is typically leaked by web browsers. Tor is slower than

normal web browsing, so many Tor-users wisely combine Privoxy with a cache.

Such setups typically go:

Web browser -> Privoxy -> Squid -> Tor -> Website

Privoxy makes your browser (application) behave anonymously. Tor makes your

connection (TCP-stream) anonymous.

Tor + Privoxy == Excellent and low recommended combination.

[edit] Configuration

Whole books can and probably will be written about Privoxy's various

configuration options.

The default out-of-the-box should work well for most people (n00bs), but

advanced users (l33t) can spend hours reading about all the configuration

options and still not be aware of all of it's features. In short, if you need

some kind of strange proxy-filter functionality then you'll much likely find that

there is a Privoxy filter rule option just for you which does exactly what you

are looking for.

The filter rules can be limited to the whole web, a top level domain, a domain, a

subdomain or a URL.

[edit] Rulesets

Privoxy is by default configured to behave according to three rulesets: standard,

default and user (For your own user customizations).

[edit] Performance

It must be mentioned that Privoxy's filters work with whole web pages. This

means that your browser is not given anything before Privoxy had recieved and

crunched the whole page. This may in some cases make big pages seem to load

slower. Browsers start rendering pages as soon as they have enough of it to do

so, which makes page loading seem faster, but when you are using Provoxy the

browsers won't/can't do that.

It should also be mentioned that Provoxy heaves like this even if you are not

using any of the content filtering; thus: If you only want Privoxy for

filtering the headers and advertisements then Polipo, not Privoxy, is

much likely the proxy you want.

[edit] History

Privoxy is based on a now unmaintained proxy called "Internet Junkbuster".

[edit] OS availability

Privoxy runs just fine off Linux, Windows, Mac OS X, AmigaOS, BeOS, and most

flavours of Unix.

Any web browser which supports using a http proxy (basically all

of them) can use Privoxy.

[edit] IPv6 support

The latest stable version of Privoxy (3.0.6) does not support IPv6. However,

there are patches and a RedHat RPM spec file available for development version


[edit] References

  1. [ (official website)]
  2. Privoxy IPv6 patches and a RedHat RPM spec file]
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