uProxy: personal browser proxy for Firefox and Chrome

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 6, 2016

The browser extension uProxy is a free open source solution that enables you to create, use and share your own personal browser proxy on the Internet.

The project is developed by the University of Washington. The extension has been created for two main purposes: provide Internet access to trusted family members or friends, and give you options to use your own personal version of uProxy for use when you are traveling or on the road.

Users of uProxy can use what the solution offers in two ways: either by connecting to a friend and using that friend's Internet connection from that point onward, or by create a private server in the cloud using DigitalOcean.

The latter enables you to create your own custom version of uProxy that does not rely on others to function. It is necessary however to sign up for a DigitalOcean account to gain access to the server created under the account. This costs $10 per month right now, but the team plans to support $5 servers as well in the near future.

The only other option is to install uProxy on an existing server. The main benefit here is that you don't need to sign up for another account; the main disadvantage that you need to set it up on your own.

uProxy review

The uProxy extension adds an icon to the browser's main toolbar on installation. A click opens a welcome page, and another that asks you whether you want to send anonymized stats to the development team.

Once done, you may either use the menu to connect to an existing uProxy machine, or set up a cloud hosted or local version on the device you are using.

If you connect as a user to another machine running uProxy, you may use that machine's Internet connection. The proxy itself does not provide the owner of the machine with information on what you do on the Internet, but it is possible to use monitoring software to gain additional data especially on non-https sites. This is why the project recommends only connecting to trusted machines using uProxy.

Also, since you don't know what another user is doing when you share your Internet connection, you may end up in legal troubles or other troubles because of it.

The main difference between uProxy and a VPN is that the former only tunnels browser traffic while the latter all traffic on the system.

While a VPN may work better in many situations, uProxy may work when VPNs are blocked. A basic example is Netflix access. While not essential, Netflix started blocking VPN and proxy connections left and right.

This means that you may not be able to access Netflix anymore in other regions because of this. It is less likely that uProxy connections are blocked by Netflix. This in turn means that you may be able to use uProxy to watch Netflix by connecting to a trusted machine / user in a particular region.

The same may be true for situations where VPNs are blocked. This can be a work environment, or a nation wide block of certain providers.

Closing Words

The browser extension uProxy is offered as a beta version currently. It is a personal browser proxy for Firefox and Chrome that users may use in the place of VPN connections or web proxy connections. This can be especially useful in situations where VPNs are blocked or not working properly.

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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between name.com domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

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