Wednesday, May 2, 2012

HandyCache - Windows software proxy with graphical user interface

HandyCache Proxy

HandyCache is a caching proxy server software for Windows available in Russian, English and other languages. You can use it for free on your personal computer or small business network to share your connection with up to five users. It's a great alternative for Privoxy and Squid, because it has a completely graphical user interface that works on any modern Windows version, which means no confusing text files to edit or messing up with a command line.

I'm not personally involved with the developer of HandyCache, but I used to be a loyal user who have played with most options. After an extensive research, I haven't found any other graphical proxy software for any operating system with as many useful options as HandyCache.

Features overview

  • Blacklists to block unwanted websites, time-wasters and adverts
  • URL-rewritting to redirect any domain or URL pattern to another URL
  • Caching of files based on URLs or file extensions to load webpages quickly after the second access
  • Port mapping
  • Proxy forwarding - so you can open certain domains or URL patterns with a third-party proxy or VPN service
  • Support for extensions written in the Lua scripting language
  • Detailed statistics and reports on demand
  • Real-time HTTP/FTP monitor to keep track of all URLs being accessed through the proxy (alternative and replacement to web debugging and HTML sniffer tools)

Download and installation

The official Handycache website doesn't have an English version, even though there's an English forum and you can change the interface language after downloading it.

  • Go to the HandyCache website
  • Open the download page for the most recent version (look for the link below Новые файлы)
  • Click on Скачать (Download)
  • I'll be redirect to the "downloading" page. If it doesn't start automatically after a few seconds, click on Скачать again to start the download automatically
  • HandyCache doesn't come with a installer. It is a "portable" zip file. In other words, you just need to unzip it somewhere and it'll be ready for use, and once you set up it, you will be able to copy all configuration files to other computers. Due to the Windows Vista and Windows 7 User Account Control settings, running HandyCache from the Program Files directory can be a bothersome task. Because of that, unzip it to some other directory, such as c:\handycache
  • If you are updating an older version, close it, and just unzip the new version in the same folder, overwriting the previous files. HandyCache will keep your existing setting files if they already exist. If this is the first time you use it, the program will create all the lists automatically
  • After you unzip the file, double click on the HandyCache.exe file to run it for the first time

Changing the interface language to English

The default GUI is in Russian. To change it to English, click on the second tab on the top, which reads Настройки (Preferences) if you have the right font on your system. After that, use the Use Interface Language option at the end of the page to change it to English or some other language.

Further information

For help, see the official English forum.