For web proxy webmasters, the first thing is to choose a proper proxy script. In this articles, 5 of the most popular web proxy scripts are compared. This is your definite guide for you on choosing a web proxy script.
I received some inquiries periodically on choosing a proxy script to start a web proxy site. So, I decided to post my opinions here.
It is always a tough question, when “the best” is involved. However, for a web proxy site, the candidates are quite limited. For simplicity and legal reasons, I will limit my discussion on free scripts only. The possible options usually include: CGIProxy, Glype, PHProxy, Surrogafier and Zelune.
CGIProxy is one of the oldest proxy scripts, and is very popular among veteran webmasters. Because it is written in Perl, the source code of the script is visible to those who install it, although CGIProxy is not an open source project. It is actually licensed through its own terms: for non-commercial usage, it is free. There are some misunderstandings on the licensing terms on CGIProxy: a lot of webmasters had though it is licensed under GPL . This is not correct. So, if you are going to run a large web proxy business, it is better to negotiate the licensing with the author as early as possible, at least before sparing considerable budget on modifying it.
The setup of CGIProxy is not complicated, as long as your system and web server support Perl. One of the most challenging problems for many webmasters is the performance tuning for Perl script. Proper tuning can make your proxy run significantly (10-100x) faster, and use less resource. Therefore, it is better to outsource the tuning task to some reliable experts unless you have sufficient knowledge on Perl and web server (e.g. Apache).
Glype is very popular among young webmasters. It is written in PHP, so it is easy to setup, and easy to find some tutorials to tune the performance. Again, Glype has its own licensing scheme: it is free to use, but a backlink is required unless you pay for the removal. There are no updates since January 2009. On May 8, 2010, Baron, who runs proxy.org, announced the acquisition of the project. Now, it is unclear whether some changes will be introduced.
PHProxy is a open source project and is licensed under GPL. However, Abdullah Arif, the author, discontinued the project and relinquished all rights (as well as responsibilities) on September 7, 2007. PHProxy mimics most functions and layout of CGIProxy in PHP. The last release of 0.52b2 is actually quite stable. Although a few people claimed to continue the project, there are no matured updates or forks yet.
Surrogafier is not widely used, and there have been no update since 2007. The script is not licensed under GPL, although the source code is not encrypted.
Zelune used to be a promising PHP-based proxy script. But it seems it has changed ownership a few times, and it gradually becomes less popular for some reasons. The licensing term is not clear for me.
So, in conclusion, for serious commercial operation, PHProxy and CGIProxy are recommended. For normal webmasters, Glype and PHProxy are recommended.
|Licensing type||Commercial; free for non-commercial||Commercial; free to use with conditions GPL||Free to use with conditions||Not clear, but not GPL|
|Source code visible||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes|
|Template system||No (simple)||yes||No (simple)||no||yes|
|Customization||difficult||easy||easy||Not tested||Not tested|
|Performance||Can be very fast, but need tuning||Fast, out of box||Fast, out of box||Not reported||Fast, out of box|