When it was first written, Polipo was probably the best HTTP proxy available. Since then, the web has changed, and HTTP proxies are no longer useful: most traffic is encrypted, and a web proxy merely acts as a dumb intermediary for encrypted traffic.
Polipo will no longer be maintained. Here are some alternatives:
Polipo is a small and fast caching web proxy (a web cache, an HTTP proxy, a proxy server). While Polipo was designed to be used by one person or a small group of people, there is nothing that prevents it from being used by a larger group.
Polipo has some features that are, as far as I know, unique among currently available proxies:
In short, Polipo uses a plethora of techniques to make web browsing (seem) faster.
By virtue of being a (mostly) compliant HTTP/1.1 proxy, Polipo has all the uses of traditional web proxies. It is typically used as a web proxy for a single computer or a small network, although it has successfully been used by larger groups.
Because Polipo is small and easy to install (just copy the polipo binary), it has applications beyond those of traditional web proxies. I usually copy Polipo to whatever machine I happen to be using and do all my browsing through it (with no on-disk cache). I've also occasionally used it to cross firewalls that were misconfigured or overly restrictive.
Since it can speak both IPv4 and IPv6, Polipo can be used as a bridge between the IPv4 and IPv6 Internets: to allow an IPv6-only host to access IPv4 servers or vice versa.
Since it can speak the SOCKS protocol, Polipo can be used together with the tor anonymising network.
Because it has primitive filtering capabilities, Polipo can be used to remove advertisements and improve privacy. Unless you're trying to provide service to a full network, however, you will likely be happier with a suitable browser extension, such as AdBlock or Ghostery.
Download polipo sources.
The current tree is available from a Git repository:
git clone https://github.com/jech/polipo.git
Or Browse on Github.
Please see the FAQ for more information about the current tree.
Please note that Polipo builds out of the box on all of the systems mentioned below — and many more. However, the packages below tend to include lovingly crafted cron scripts and configuration files.
In addition, an experimental Windows binary might be available in my download area.
While I have looked at some of these packages, I didn't check all of them exhaustively. And of course I only examined the source packages, not the binaries.
Announcements of new versions of Polipo are sent to the Polipo-users mailing list. Any discussion related to Polipo is welcome on this list.
The list archives are available from SourceForge by HTTP (slow and unreliable), from Gmane by HTTP (faster) and from Gmane by NNTP (even faster, but then, I'm using a smart newreader and a poor web browser).
You may also be interested in at Polipo's freshmeat page, Polipo's Sourceforge page.
Here are the results of a completely unscientific benchmark of proxy behaviour.
A more scientific web server benchmark; this only measures the behaviour of Polipo when used as a web server.
Back to my software page.