Deus ex Machina
Today I will concentrate on proxies as a means to spoof the browser's country of origin. Many websites will check your IP address and refuse to deliver content, as for instance the BBC iPlayer: it will only serve people from the UK. Using a proxy server located in the UK you can bypass such controls. The other day we saw that many filesharing sites don't work in the USA; using a proxy server in Europe would help USA people locate more of their pirated software using cracktracker.
Browsing through a proxy is inherently slow, and the more people that use the same proxy, the slower it becomes. A good proxy you found yesterday may no longer exist or work properly. Picking up a free public proxy isn't easy, especially considering there are tons around! Many sites that list proxies like hidemyass claim to test proxies to be in good working order, however I found this didn't work reliably. What you need is a proxy that works from your computer, and your own country.
As we are trying to spoof our country of origin, we need to find proxies in particular countries. This is easy using the aforementioned proxy lists as they offer various filters, including proxy country. This way we can select something located in USA, or in Germany or what have you.
Testing proxy IP addresses manually for a working proxy is tedious to say the least. I found a free proxy checker that can do most of the work for you. Once you download and install the Free Web Proxy Checker, you paste a list of proxy servers and it discovers the good ones among them. As you can see from the snapshot, the GUI isn't the best in user friendliness, but you can ingore most of the default settings — they seem to work fine. Just take note of the file path where the good proxies are saved; the default C:\program files\opt-in software\goodprox.txt may not be writeable; you can change it to something simpler e.g. directly under C:\. Once the job is done, open the results file and pick any proxy.
A minor complication is that the tool requires a plain text list of proxy server addresses. Most proxy lists are in HTML format and you cannot copy/paste them to be checked. Luckily the Proxy Nova website can export plain text proxy lists, and even allows you to select the country of origin as follows:
This example URL will export a list of 100 proxies from Germany and France (notice the comma separated country codes de,fr as URL parameters). You can select any other country you want in this fashion (eg USA=us).
Once you find a good proxy located in Europe, and tell crack tracker to use it using the /P:x.x.x.x:port command line argument, it will find cracks just like as if you were in europe, even when you are located in the USA. The search will be slower but you will find download URLs that would be otherwise unavailable in your country.