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Show HN: Teleport – see what the web looks like from elsewhere in the world (teleport.to)
48 points by austerity on May 20, 2014 | hide | past | web | favorite | 56 comments

Neat, works great to unblock Youtube videos if you are living in a country where 90% of the music videos are blocked (Germany) and it's rather fast too. Thanks for sharing.

Unblocking YouTube videos is the first thing I tried. It works but it is very slow, so I still prefer to use Tor for that (I can usually download between 500 and 700 kbps using torsock + youtube-dl).

Ugh, that's really kind of abusive of the Tor network. There's very limited bandwidth, and it would be more polite for you to not use it just to watch Youtube clips.

There are all sorts of inexpensive VPN services you can use (e.g. https://www.witopia.net/) to circumvent region blocks. Tor should only be used in situations where strict anonymity is crucial.

> Tor should only be used in situations where strict anonymity is crucial.

If Tor would only be used in situations like this it wouldn't be that anonymous. Maybe it shouldn't be used for Youtube streaming or torrenting but using it for regular internet browsing is a good idea to keep the usage of Tor as diverse as possible, creating a bigger crowd to obfuscate the people who really need Tor for a crucial task.

Just to reassure you, I very rarely do that (and I don't use Tor just for this purpose). If it was something that I did regularly, I would of course pay for a VPN or even a small VPS somewhere where videos blocked in France are most often not.

FYI, I have two computers running Tor nodes with a close to 100% uptime, and I regularly give to an association running big Tor exit nodes :-).

Fair enough, sorry if that came off harsh. If you're actually contributing to running exit nodes, then you're more justified in using Tor to watch videos.

For the rest of the countries we rely on publicly availably proxy servers (marked non-truested).

Which organization is running publicly available proxies servers wittingly? Answer: none.

I wouldn't base an application on exploiting mis-configured proxies around the globe.

Yes, this is openly addressed in "How it works".

Not enough. Some countries are lifting new laws saying any kind of unauthorized access is already a crime. This website is fooling users into committing a crime by using resources that were not explicitly made available to them and taking advantaged of poorly configured proxies.

When I went to Facebook.com login page, using the UK proxy, I had a popup for a VPN provider invade the screen. Is this injected by the untrusted server?

No, those ads are mine. Although they were supposed to be disabled.

I clicked in the text box to enter a URL and my cursor appeared in the middle of the example URL. Pressing left... nothing, right... nothing, delete... nothing. Typing some more text - the example URL disappeared and I could enter one from scratch!

Does this just happen from the UK? ;)

On it, thanks for the input :)

Edit: fixed

still seeing this behavior. Text should disappear as soon as textbox gets focus.

Also I tried a URL from GB and from India and got the generic error message. What does that mean? Is the URL not accessible from those countries?

Another small error. If you type in an incorrect url all the page does is says "Error".

Example: http://new.google.com.prx.us.teleport.to/

Otherwise it worked great for me. Awesome job

Thank you! HN front page with a buggy site feels like coming to school without your homework. But as Reid Hoffman (LinkedIn founder) once said, "If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late"

I tried https://fluxcards.de/home from Iran and got an error page. You should at least communicate if that error page is you not finding a proxy in Iran (as I guess from looking at the list of "available" proxies that are all offline) or if that is indeed a blocking of my site for Iranian users.

My developer is in Iran and he would have told me if our project was blocked. Also I know that Iran shows some funny Qur'an quotes when you try to surf ol dirty facebook but your service claims something which I think it doesn't hold at least for Iran.

Yup, on it, thanks for the heads up.

The colors used for the map on the homepage are basically indistinguishable to colorblind folks like myself (the trusted vs. untrusted colors, specifically), just FYI.

Got it, will fix.

If I enter www.google.com and "open from the Netherlands" I get sent to Google Turkey.

The servers used in this case are definitely in the Netherlands. However what seems to be happening is they are used a lot by people from Turkey (they are shared with another popular web proxy) and Google learned this somehow from some implicit signals.

It worked perfectly for me, weird.

Sorry for the tough question, but what make your servers trusted by me? Why should I trust you? With trust I mean I can safely browse without worries about traffic data collecting, password stealing and so on, do you mean the same too?

More like trusted by Teleport. Whether you trust Teleport is up to you. While I promise I won't steal your passwords it's really the best I (or anyone serving as a proxy) can do. If you want a "trustless" channel, the only options are SSL over VPN or SSL over Tor, but you still have trust the CA and browser vendor.

It looks like all URLs in plain text on the page are being rewritten (eg. from Amazon.com to Amazon.com.prx.uk.teleport.to). URLs in <a href="..."> fields are not, but only if they point off the domain you're visiting.

It's certainly not the intended behavior, but it's not a surprising bug either. The rewrite was surprisingly tough to make work even most of the time. But if you could share the specific site this happened on, I will likely be able to fix it.

http://www.hulu.com.prx.us.teleport.to/ fails, I have a blank page.

Might be a bug on my end, but Hulu is generally very good at detecting proxies and VPNs. Will look into it though.

I see a lot of syntax errors and "XMLHttpRequest No 'Access-Control-Allow-Origin' header is present on the requested resource. Origin 'http://www.hulu.com.prx.us.teleport.to' is therefore not allowed access." in the JavaScript console.

I guess the latter error is to be expected in this case.

Unfortunately proxying BBC iPlayer[1] doesn't play any video too. Would be great if you could fix it, thanks!

[1] http://www.bbc.co.uk.prx.uk.teleport.to/iplayer

As a color blind person, I could not tell any difference between trusted proxies and un-trusted proxies.

Thanks, duly noted.

Ok... so - this is a web proxy service. Am I missing something here or is this all there is to it?

It is indeed a web proxy service with country selection - something that is not addressed by other web proxies AFAIK.

Also, web proxies aren't as trivial as you are implying.

Oh, I didn't mean to imply that web proxies are trivial, simply that this is nothing new - there are hundreds of proxy sites from all over the world on http://proxy.org/cgi_proxies.shtml. Still, if you made this, good job!

* Is it OK to use this for moderate/high volume stuff?

* Does it use any kind caching?

* Any plans on adding a way to use HTTPS?

> Is it OK to use this for moderate/high volume stuff?

At the moment I am not incredibly confident about the countries where it relies on third-party proxies. Although as the database of proxy IPs grows I'll implement load balancing of sorts to address this. For US, NL, SG and UK it shares the infrastructure with another proxy that used to serve 200K visitors/day without a hitch.

> Does it use any kind caching?

Nope, not yet.

> Any plans on adding a way to use HTTPS?

Absolutely. It's not done yet because it'll make proxy implementation notably more complex and fragile (you can't use proxy domains like youtube.com.prx.us.teleport.to with SSL because you can't buy a cert for ..X domains, only for *.X)

There should be clickable examples so users dont have to think of an example. Youtube, etc.

Add https to the beginning and you should be able to see most ecommerce sites, like Amazon.

note: this isn't actually supported officially, but you can have the browser ignore the SSL cert mismatch

Unfortunately it's not as simple as that. You can instruct the browser to ignore an invalid cert for the site in address bar, but all background requests (images, scripts, ajax, etc.) to different domains made via https will still be silently blocked.

Puerto Rico is one of those weird places where I think content gets blocked on accident.

Why does the non-Somaliland area of Somalia have a slightly different colour?

And why are they separate?

Truth be told, I have no idea. Maybe the author of the map had an agenda :)

China would be very useful. Seem to be getting 500's though

Yeah, I should make China the default in my testing I think - it's certainly the most interesting.

Heh, when you hover over Uruguay it says Uganda! :)

Ooops, the map had a messed up ISO code. Fixed.

Perfect for browsing google play top charts!

Imgur direct links do not work

Which country were you trying?

my first try gave me a HTTP status 500! and so on..

Damn last minute changes! Fixed.

Edit: although for some countries you still need to manually try a few different proxies before it works. I have a solution to this in the works, but couldn't wait to show off.

excellent proxy

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