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  1. Who are you?
  2. What are the site stats?
  3. You're down, why?
  4. How anonymous is my identity when I use the Anonycat proxy?
  5. Can my online activity be traced back to me when I use the Anonycat proxy?
  6. What is my IP address when I use Anonycat? What are my request headers?
  7. Does Anonycat work with webmail?
  8. Why doesn't Anonycat act as a proxy for images and multimedia?
  9. Why should I trust Anonycat?
  10. Is the source code available? What's the licence?
  11. Help! I can't reach my favorite website using Anonycat.
  12. Help! I can't reach Anonycat from work/school/wherever.
  13. Help! I keep getting an error message that the server is too busy.
  14. Can I help?

  1. Who are you?
    Tom Cervenka. I'm a java/web instructor and programmer living in Edmonton [map], Alberta, Canada. I consult under the name Varsitech. I created this site because I had already written a flexible html parser and user-agent API in java, and it wasn't much extra work to make a web proxy. Plus I have libertarian leanings anyways.
  2. What are the site stats?
    Anonycat launched in mid-June, 2005 and currently has over 1000 active users/day, who collectively anonymize (when uncompressed) a couple Gig of text data per day. The server-side code is hosted on my own little 300-and-something mHz webserver. The domain and some static content are hosted at pair.com. Development and support forums etc. are hosted at Sourceforge.
  3. You're down, why?
    Every once in a random while my ISP assigns me a new IP Address and it can take up to 5 minutes for the change to propagate to the DNS service, during which time the site is down. Also, every once in a while the webserver hangs, and it takes a couple minutes for it to reboot. If the server is down for more than 10 minutes, something has gone horribly wrong (but that's not unusual).
  4. How anonymous is my identity when I use the Anonycat proxy?
    Your identity (IP address, browser, operating system, etc) cannot be directly discerned by any site that you visit through Anonycat, because the Anonycat proxy is making requests for webpages on your behalf. So, it's the proxy's IP address that gets logged, and it's the poxy that gets tracked/cookified/etc, not you. You are anonymous to the sites you visit, but that is not the same as being untraceable (see below).
  5. Can my online identity be traced back to me when I use the Anonycat proxy?
    Every time you use Anonycat, your IP address gets logged by the server hosting Anonycat as a part of normal webserver operations. The webserver logs are generally deleted daily. I also perform application-level logging for testing/debugging; these logs are also usually deleted daily.

    Having said that, if you download Anonycat to run on your own computer, you can scrub the logs every 5 minutes if you like. The short-term plan is to make it trivially easy to mirror this service, and to provide a current list of all mirrors, and how each mirror handles logging.
  6. What is my IP address when I use Anonycat? What are my request headers?
    Your IP address when you surf will appear to be Anonycat's IP, rather than the IP address of your own computer. Currently, Anonycat has a non-static IP with a dynamic DNS service, so the actual address changes regularly. If you want to know what it is at the moment, you can ping anonycat.no-ip.info. As for request headers: Your user-agent will be reported as Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.0). Your accept-headers will be reported as image/gif, image/x-xbitmap, image/jpeg, image/pjpeg, application/vnd.ms-powerpoint, application/vnd.ms-excel, application/msword, */*. The referer header will be maintained. You can alter your user-agent headers in the Advanced Settings.
  7. Does Anonycat work with webmail?
    Yes, you can send/receive anonymized webmail, but up/downloading attachments won't work. Currently, Anonycat supports Yahoo Mail and Gmail. Hotmail is not currently supported. A wide range of simpler email applications should also work. If your favorite application doesn't work, try the 'Remove Scripts' option in Advanced Settings, (or turn off javascript in your browser [How To for Internet Exporer]) which sometimes triggers a simpler, non-javascript version to be served instead.
  8. Why doesn't Anonycat act as a proxy for images and multimedia?
    The main site does not currently do so, since the transfer rate is already quite high without also handling images and multimedia files. If you need images, you can configure a 3rd party CGI Proxy in the Advanced Settings.
  9. Why should I trust Anonycat?
    The server is adequately secure and (relatively) free, which is why I don't place ads or datamine - there are no significant operating expenses! As for trusting me, I suppose you can't, and that's a good reason to download Anonycat and run it on your own machine (either for private use or better yet, as a mirror) after looking over the sourcecode.
  10. Is the source code available? What's the licence?
    Yes, the java source code is freely available under the GPL software licence, as part of the download. It requires an html parser library to compile correctly, which is free for non-commercial use.
  11. Help! I can't reach my favorite website using Anonycat.
    Your favorite website might be blocking connections from the Anonycat server. Try (a) respecting their wishes and not visiting, (b) using an Anonycat mirror, or (c) configuring a proxy chain in Advanced Settings.
  12. Help! I can't reach Anonycat from work/school/wherever.
    Your school/office network might be blocking connections to the main Anonycat page. Try (a) quitting your job/school, (b) checking if you can reach any of the mirrors, (c) downloading and installing Anonycat on your home computer, and accessing the service on your home machine, or (d) configuring your browser to access Anonycat through an http proxy. To do this in Internet Explorer, click on the 'tools' menu, then click on 'Internet Options', then 'Connections', then 'LAN Settings'. Place a checkmark next to 'Use a proxy server...', then enter the address and port of an http proxy, and click 'ok'. If none of that works, and you think Anonycat is being blocked (ie, you can visit other random websites) then send me an email, and I'll give you a non-listed mirror to try.
  13. Help! I keep getting an error message that the server is too busy.
    It's not really too busy, it's just being polite. This error message means that Anonycat has detected an unusually high level of activity from you. Anonycat has some (imperfect) safeguards to prevent people from flooding websites with hostile traffic. Under some conditions, you might trigger this error just by surfing too quickly or by turning off cookies in your browser. Wait for a minute and resume browsing at a slower pace and/or set your browser's cookie-handing back to the default setting [How to for Internet Explorer]. If that doesn't work, email me.
  14. Can I help?
    Yes, you can help by linking to anonycat.com from your own webpage! Or you can download Anonycat and run it as a mirror. By hosting a mirror, you help ensure that people will be able to use a proxy, even if the main site is blocked by net-nanny/blocking software. Anonycat is an open-source project, so if you want to help with development, visit the Sourceforge project page.

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