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How to Set Up a Proxy Server on Your PC, Mac, or Web Browser
As for what a proxy server is, think of your proxy as a gateway between you and the internet. When you visit a website, the proxy server communicates with it on behalf of your browser. Then, when the website answers, the proxy forwards the data to you.
Proxy servers can do many jobs. These include scanning for viruses, acting as a firewall, speeding up your connection by caching, and hiding your public IP address.
You have lots of choices when it comes to internet privacy. There’s a lot to learn, such as understanding what a reverse proxy is or distinguishing between VPNs, proxies, and Tor. If you want dependable protection and encryption for your internet traffic, consider a VPN. Avast SecureLine VPN hides your data from snoopers and protects your online identity, and it’s also much easier to set up than a proxy server.
There’s no similar guarantee of protection with a proxy, especially if you’re using one of the many web-based proxies available online. These public proxy services may slow down your service, and even worse, they may be insecure. Instead, we suggest you learn how to set up a proxy server on Windows, MacOS, and the most popular web browsers.
If you’re configuring your browser to use a proxy operated by a company, school, or other similar organization, some of these instructions may require you to contact your IT staff. This is the case particularly when you are asked to manually enter a script name, formally called a proxy auto-configuration (PAC) file. You may also need to type in the proxy’s IP and port numbers. In both cases, turn to your IT helpdesk if you haven’t been given this information. If you’re using a proxy that you’ve purchased or created on your own, you’ll already have these details.
How to set up a proxy server in Windows
Here’s how to set up your Windows PC to use a proxy server on Windows 8 or Windows 10:
Press the Windows + I keys simultaneously to access the Windows Settings menu.
On Windows 10, click Settings > Network & Internet > Proxy. On Windows 8, click Settings > Network Proxy.
Under the Manual Setup section, set the “Use a Proxy Server” toggle to On. Make sure the “Automatically detect settings” toggle is also on.
By default, Windows automatically checks to see if your business, school, or local network already has an automatic proxy server setup ready to run for you. If it does, Windows tells you its name, and encourages you to follow its instructions.
Assuming that Windows finds a PAC file, in the Automatic Proxy Setup, set the Use Setup Script switch to On.
Enter the script address and click Save.
Congratulations! You’re done and ready to proxy.
How to manually set up a proxy in Windows 8 or Windows 10
Not every organization sets up the process automatically. If you need to set up a proxy manually in Windows 8 or Windows 10, here’s how to do it.
To access the Windows Settings menu, press the Windows + I keys simultaneously.
On Windows 10, click Settings > Network & Internet > Proxy. On Windows 8 systems, click Settings > Network Proxy.
Scroll down to “Manual proxy setup” and set the “Use a Proxy Server” switch to On.
In the address field, type the proxy server name or IP address. In the Port field, enter the proxy port number. You can get these from your IT support tech.
If the proxy server is protected by a password, select the “Proxy server requires password” checkbox. Enter your account name and password in the Username and Password fields.
That’s all there is to it. You’re now set up to use your proxy server on Windows. The next time you use the internet, you’ll be using the proxy server.
How to set up a proxy server on a Mac running macOS
Here’s how to set up a proxy server on a Mac running macOS 10. 15 Catalina. Other macOS versions use essentially the same commands.
Open System Preferences. One way to get there is to click on the Apple menu > System Preferences.
Choose the Network icon to adjust connectivity settings.
Select the type of network you use, which is usually Ethernet or Wi-Fi.
Click Advanced > Proxies.
To automatically configure your proxy server settings, select Auto Proxy Discovery. Click on Secure Web Proxy (HTTPS). Type in the proxy server address and its port number in the fields on the right.
To use a proxy auto-configuration (PAC) file, select Automatic Proxy Configuration and enter the proxy address into the URL field.
Click OK to save the proxy setup.
You’re now ready to surf the internet via your proxy.
How to set up a proxy in Google Chrome
By default, Chrome uses your macOS or Windows proxy. To change your proxy settings from within Chrome, take the following steps:
Open the Chrome toolbar and select Settings.
Scroll down to the bottom of the display. Click on Show advanced settings…
Scroll down to “System” and choose Open your computer’s proxy settings.
Next, go back to the instructions for your operating system listed above to set up your proxy server settings and follow them.
In short, to set up a proxy server in Google Chrome, you’re just doing the first few steps in the browser, and then completing the process in your machine’s operating system.
How to set up a proxy server in Safari
Like Chrome, Safari’s default setting is to follow the proxy configurations within your OS. Here’s how to change your proxy settings from within Safari:
Click on Safari in the browser toolbar. Choose Preferences.
Click on the Advanced tab. Under “Proxies, ” click Change settings…
Next, you must go back to the instructions for macOS listed above to set up your proxy server settings and follow them.
How to set up a proxy server in Edge
Edge is Windows 10’s built-in web browser, and unless you tell it otherwise, it’ll use your proxy configurations in Windows. The latest versions of Edge are based on Chrome, so the configuration is similar. The following steps show you how to set up a proxy from within Edge:
In Microsoft Edge, at the top-right corner, click the Menu button. Select Settings.
Scroll down to the Advanced settings section and click the View advanced settings icon.
Click the Open proxy settings button.
Next, go back to the instructions for Windows 10 listed above, then follow them to configure your proxy server settings.
How to set up a proxy server in Firefox
Unlike other web browsers, Firefox doesn’t default to using your system’s proxy settings. You’ll need to change your proxy from within Firefox:
Open the Firefox menu and select Options.
Click on the Advanced icon.
Select the Network tab.
In the Connection Settings, select, Auto-detect proxy configuration for this network. When prompted, enter the proxy address.
Alternatively, in the Connection Settings, you can select, Use system proxy settings. If you choose that option, Firefox uses the proxy settings in your operating system.
Click OK to save your settings.
How to set up a proxy server in Internet Explorer
Please keep in mind that Internet Explorer is an outdated web browser. Instead, switch to a browser that’s still receiving regular updates and support, such as Avast Secure Browser, Chrome, Edge, Firefox, or Safari. Though since quite a few people and companies still use Internet Explorer (IE), you should know how to set things up when necessary.
As with other browsers, IE defaults to using your Windows proxy configurations. Here’s how to set your proxy up from within IE.
Open the IE toolbar and select Internet Options.
Open the Connections tab.
Select LAN Settings.
Check the “Use a proxy server for your LAN” box.
When prompted, enter the proxy server name and port number.
How to set up a proxy server in Android
With Android, you must configure proxy settings for each network you use. In addition, the proxy will only be used by your web browser. Other internet applications may choose to use or ignore the proxy based on their own internal settings. This is another reason why VPNs tend to be better choices — when you use one, it covers all the internet traffic from your device.
Open Android’s Settings and tap Wi-Fi to view a list of Wi-Fi networks.
Long-press the Wi-Fi network name for which you want to change the proxy settings. Tap Modify Network.
Tap Advanced Options.
Tap Manual to change your proxy’s settings. Enter your hostname and proxy port.
If you have a Proxy Auto-Config (PAC) file, select Proxy Auto-Config and Android will prompt you to enter the PAC address.
How to set up a proxy server in iOS
Go to Settings > Wi-Fi.
Select the active Wi-Fi connection.
Under HTTP proxy, click Configure Proxy.
Tap Manual to change your proxy’s settings. Enter your host name, proxy port, and, if needed, your authentication username and password.
If your provider supports Web Proxy Auto-Discovery Protocol (WPAD), tap Automatic. If required, enter the Proxy Auto-Config (PAC) file location.
Tap back to the Wi-Fi selection window.
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How to Access Blocked Websites, View Restricted Sites
Most of us find ourselves in situations where a website we wish to visit is blocked by a software or by our ISP (Internet Service Provider). So the question arises, how can we access blocked websites? The answer to this is simple: Proxy websites. Before going into details, let us know a bit about these proxy websites.
Proxy WebsitesA proxy website acts as an intermediate source between the user and server the site being contacted is hosted on. Users send requests to proxy websites which conveys them to the site’s server. The reply received by the proxy website is then forwarded to the user’s computer. This gives an impression to ISP’s and blocking software that the user is visiting the proxy website but in reality, s/he is visiting the site which was blocked. Thus, proxy servers also provide extra security to users by hiding their online activities from their ISP’mmonly Blocked Web SitesThe sites which are most commonly blocked at workplaces, schools and offices include websites like Facebook, Orkut, Blogger (blogspot), Google News, Typepad, eBay, MySpace, YouTube, MSN, Yahoo! Messenger, Bebo, Google Talk, Gmail, Photobucket, AOL AIM, Flickr, Twitter etc. In some countries, social bookmarking sites like Digg and Reddit are also blocked. Countries like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, China have even blocked access to mainstream media websites like The New York times. A proxy website can be used to easily access these blocked websites. As proxy websites hide a user’s location, they can also be used to access popular websites which are restricted to particular countries and block users from other countries from visiting them. Types of ProxiesThere are two types of proxies. First, there are web proxies which have an interactive interface; and second, the proxy servers which work on the basis of IP Addresses and port numbers. Proxies can also be segregated on the basis of anonymity into Anonymous, Transparent and High Anonymous depending upon the amount of privacy they to Find Proxy Websites and Proxy ServersA simple Google search containing the word “proxy websites” is likely to return a lot of useful results. However, most of them are likely to be lists containing proxy servers which you can setup using their IP Address and Port Number. So, in order to find interactive proxy websites, you will have to search for something like “Facebook Proxy Server” or “Twitter Proxy Server”. A search like this is most likely to return interactive proxy websites with which you can access your blocked website by simply entering the URL in URL field. If you want additional security and anonymity, you can opt for a paid proxy server.
How to Setup Proxy Servers using their IP AddressIf you wish to visit your blocked website using a web proxy, you do not need any setup. However, if you wish to use a proxy server that can only be accessed by using its IP address and port number, you must configure your browser to use it. Follow the instructions given below to setup this type of proxy in your browser:-Google Chrome and Internet Explorer UsersGoogle Chrome uses the same network settings as Internet Explorer. So, in order to configure Google Chrome to use a proxy server, you have to configure Internet Explorer. You can configure a proxy server in Internet Explorer by following the instructions given below:-Start Internet Explorer.
Click on Tools, Internet Options.
Click on Connections Tab, select your Network Connection and click on Settings.
Check on Use a Proxy Server for this Connection.
In the Address field, add the IP Address of your Proxy server. In the Port field, enter the Port Number.
Click on OK and OK again.
Mozilla Firefox UsersMozilla Firefox users can configure their browser to use a proxy by following the instructions given below:-Start Mozilla Firefox.
Click on Tools, Options.
Click on Advanced Tab.
Click on Network tab.
Click on Settings.
Encircle Manual Proxy Configuration.
Enter the IP Address and Port Number at the appropriate place. In most cases, it will be a HTTP server.
After you have successfully configured your browser to use the proxy server, you will be able to access blocked websites whenever you browse the internet with your browser.
Related – Ways to Access Blocked Websites
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