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Do you need a Proxy connection?

EchoLink Proxy

Background

EchoLink is a peer-to-peer system, by design.  This means that when your node is connected to another node over the Internet, the voice and text signals are sent directly from one node to the other, rather than going through some central server.  This helps ensure that the system is scalable and reliable.

Unfortunately, there are certain situations in which peer-to-peer connections such as these are difficult to establish. A growing number of Internet providers are offering "one-way" access to the Internet — allowing your computer to initiate a connection, but not to accept one. These include wireless community networks, or hotspots . An example is the wireless Internet service now being provided by many hotels to their guests. Guests with wireless-enabled laptop computers can check their e-mail and surf the Web from their rooms. The hotel uses a router with a fast Internet connection and a single public address (or a small pool of addresses) shared amongst all guests. This arrangement does not work with EchoLink, because the guests' computers are not reachable from the Internet.

A Solution

A solution to this problem is to split the EchoLink software into two pieces — one that runs on your laptop, and the other that runs on a PC in some other location with good Internet access. With this arrangement, the laptop need only establish a single, outbound Internet connection to the PC. Then, the EchoLink software on the laptop "tunnels" all traffic through this connection to the remote PC, and the PC in turn establishes all of the necessary peer-to-peer connections to other EchoLink nodes. In this scenario, the PC is acting as a proxy on behalf of the laptop.

EchoLink now offers special software to make this possible. The proxy software, which is designed specifically for use with EchoLink, is called EchoLink Proxy. The diagram below illustrates how EchoLink Proxy can be used.

Click picture above to enlarge

Is EchoLink Proxy For You?

Consider setting up EchoLink Proxy only if both of the following are true:

  1. You have a fast, true, dedicated Internet connection at your home or office, or at some other place to which you have access to a PC, and
  2. You have "one-way" Internet service at some other location, or you often travel to such a place, such as an airport lounge or hotel room.

Note that EchoLink Proxy will not help if you are simply having trouble connecting to other stations from your home PC.  In fact, you must first ensure that EchoLink works correctly on the machine on which the proxy will be installed.

Also, note that a given EchoLink Proxy can be used by only one EchoLink client machine at a time, since each logged-in EchoLink node (or its proxy) must still have a unique public IP address.  You can run more than one instance of EchoLink Proxy on a PC only if the PC has multiple public Internet addresses, which is uncommon.

More Information

For more information about EchoLink Proxy, including installation, set-up, and frequently-asked questions (FAQs), please see the EchoLink Web site.

The current available Public proxy list can be found at: Public Echolink Proxy List

Reserved for future use.

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