Virtual Browsers have many benefits compared to screen sharing, but one of the unique challenges they face is a direct result of their primary strength—the fact that they are located on a remote server. Many websites (especially subscription-based ones) use location data to determine not only what content is available to the user, but sometimes if the site is available at all! Because of this, a user in the United States expecting to see certain catalog items on a website may only see German options because our servers are currently located in Germany. The conventional way of overcoming this problem is to use a VPN service to change locations, however, VPN services are typically blocked by sites for this reason.
So how do we ensure that you can always access the sites available to your home location when you use Tutturu’s virtual browsers? To solve this, we created a built-in proxy available in our downloadable desktop application in early May! It lets you use your home location by functioning as a sort of ‘reverse VPN’.
Normally, a VPN works by just creating a new location for you to connect to before connecting to a website. Technically speaking, you could think of the servers that our virtual browsers are hosted on as VPNs, and they are often detected as such even if that is not their purpose. The proxy feature of our application instead flips things upside down. Instead of you accessing the web through our server’s internet connection, our servers will attempt to access the web through your internet connection! This means any supported website will see your correct location, instead of the location of the virtual browser’s server. This sort of feature was only possible with a downloaded application, so unfortunately, it is not available on our web application.
The original version of the proxy only worked for specific websites, because we were still trying to tackle the issue of minor input lag increases when enabling it for all data and all websites. With our most recent update as of August 19th, users can now enable the proxy for ALL websites!
The best part is, this feature is free for everyone forever! The way we see it, being able to access any website your normal browser could is one of the most important aspects of our virtual browsers. They need to be as close to the normal thing as possible, just a regular browser that everyone can see!