I am trying to do some automated browsing but with identity-hiding/proxy servers.

One can find some public lists with http proxy servers up and running.

I am trying to instantiate a selenium web driver instance via a http proxy server. I have been unsuccessful so far, so I want to make sure these proxy servers I am getting from public lists (such as this) are indeed working.

How do I do that ?

I ping them and do not get a response (get timeouts). However, for some of them initiating a request in my browser for its ip it returns something (for instance, a Windows Server IIS page). Others return connection_reset error/time out.

2 Answers 2


Ping uses ICMP which many sites block. Browsing uses HTTP/HTTPS running on TCP. Using one protocol to see if another protocol is running doesn't work. Many things respond to an ICMP ping, but they are not running web servers so you can't browse to them. The reverse is also true.

If you want to determine if HTTP/HTTPS is running on a host, you need to test with HTTP/HTTPS.

  • Meaning, using a browser will do it. So this one is up and running, since it responds ?
    – Veverke
    Oct 15, 2015 at 15:11
  • If the site comes up in your browser, it it running a web server. I think that's what you are asking.
    – Ron Maupin
    Oct 15, 2015 at 15:17

As Ron already pointed out you would need to verify the proxy server via http(s) and not ICMP. Going beyond just a simple port probe (is server XY listening on tcp port 8080?) would be the best solution. You should use a script to check if the server can be used as proxy and the response times are fine.

Example (normally used for monitoring purposes): https://exchange.nagios.org/directory/Plugins/Network-Protocols/HTTP/check_http_proxy/details

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.