Learn Everything About Proxy Settings
With the help of a proxy server, things are better and more secure. But if you’re experiencing slow internet speed, certain website blocking, and frequent error messages like ‘Windows could not automatically detect this network’s proxy settings’, don’t panic. You can easily fix this issue by modifying several proxy settings in your computer as a proxy server is in action.
The proxy server works silently, and it’s hard to detect its presence. Even though its activation means improved system security, it can be trouble-causing sometimes as it slows the speed and will stop you from accessing certain websites. In this post, we will talk about what are proxy settings and how you can change them in your system.
You will be interested to know the following:
- 10 Best Proxy Server Service Providers: Free and Paid – 2023 Review
- Browser Proxy Settings Guide [Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge & Opera]
- Proxy v/s VPN – Know The Basic Differences Between These Two Security Tools
Proxy Server And Settings – What Are They?
Let’s start with a proxy server. It’s an intermediary between your data-driven device and the ISP to filter the incoming data before it reaches you.
As soon as the end-user requests to access a certain website, the proxy server comes into action. It will assess the request and replace crucial details like IP addresses with proxy IP addresses. This modified request then reaches the website server.
A proxy server helps improve your digital presence and keeps it secure. Admins manage its implementation fully.
The server, upon receiving the request, starts preparing the response. Before the end-user, it reaches the proxy server that scans the response to see if it has any malicious elements.
Proxy server deployment is possible only after making certain changes in the PC settings. The PC or other data-driven device needs to be prepared for proxy installation. What changes one has to make in the PC settings for proxy server installations and their usage are called proxy settings.
The proxy server installation settings generally involve using an intermediary server port and IP address. Once you have these two details, you need to enter these details in the ‘Parameters’ section, present in the ‘Network and Internet category. Once you enter these details, save all of them.
Why Learn About Changing Proxy Settings?
A proxy server aims to make the internet safer by hiding actual IP addresses, filtering traffic, and ensuring that only trusted websites are accessible. But there are times when you need to get rid of the safety of a proxy server. For instance, if you need to do a speedy download or access a blocked website to extract crucial information.
In that case, activating the proxy server will not make it happen. You need to deactivate it for a while and get the job done. It isn’t going to happen unless you change proxy settings. So, you must know about proxy settings and processes to modify them.
What All Things You Can Do By Changing Proxy Settings?
Even though manual proxy settings could be a little daunting on a few devices, we still recommend you put effort on the job because activating proxy comes with tons of benefits that include:
- Anonymous browsing – As a proxy server is capable of hiding the real IP address of the internet user, it’s very useful for anonymous browsing. Anonymous browsing is useful for those trying to access blocked websites because government bodies and agencies keep an eye on people trying to access blocked websites.
If you’re browsing anonymously, then no one will be able to find out what you’re up to. You can continue unblocking without being worried about getting caught.
- Easy web filtering – Transparent proxies are useful to control employee access to certain websites and web pages. These proxies can keep a watch over the employee’s activities and let the employer learn what they are accessing and what they are not.
- Quick web acceleration – Proxies are of great help when one needs to accelerate the data transfer process while saving bandwidth. This is possible because the proxy server keeps a cached copy of the database, and cached data is useful for controlling web requests. When a proxy server is receiving less number of requests, its response is quick, and data retrieval is quick.
- Load balancing – If you’re fed up with uneven traffic load that is causing server breakdown, then you should learn how to configure proxy settings because reverse proxy can help you with equal load balancing. Each of the servers will be handling an equal number of requests. Hence, no server will be overloaded, and every server will be used equally.
- Bypassing geo-location – This is one of the most basic use and benefit of setting up a proxy server. With the use of rotating proxies or SOCKS5 proxy servers, it’s easy for internet users to bypass geolocation. Rotating proxies are useful for conducting internet-based marketing activities without any geo-restrictions. This way, you can fix price aggregation issues, carry out web scraping, and conduct market research at large.
The SOCKS5 proxy server is useful for accessing geo-restricted streaming sites. But, you need to understand that streaming is not possible with proxy servers because they lack the bandwidth and traffic that is required for uninterrupted streaming. For a better streaming experience, we will still recommend you use a VPN over proxy.
What Are The Security Risks Linked With A Proxy Server?
Any technology, which deals in internet space, comes with certain risks, and proxy server is not an exception. So, you start setting up the web-based proxy server and place to have secure internet access, you need to know the dangers associated with this technology. Here are some of the most certain threats and risks involved.
- No power of encryption – Encryption is useful for protecting the traffic and data it is transferring. This makes the communication and data transfer hard to decode. Sadly, proxy servers lack encryption, and they let you browse the internet without any encryption. This is a great challenge and threat because cybercriminals can easily intercept traffic and steal sensitive information from it.
Transferring sensitive data over encrypted traffic is also very dangerous because it has a high data breach risk. If you’re looking for encryption, then you better use VPN. With the best VPNs, you get to enjoy powerful encryption with strong security protocols. Hence, you’re data always remains in safe hands.
- Keeping data logs – We have reviewed many proxy services, and we are yet to find one proxy provider that claims to keep zero logs of the user data. Hence, the risk of user activity logging is always there. However, this is not good. If you want to avoid data breaches and want to keep your user data protected, it’s important to have zero data logging, which is mostly offered by quality VPN services.
- Risk of open ports – One key risk behind using a proxy server is that open ports are used most of the time. These open ports are of great risk as cyberpunks can easily access these ports and exploit them. So, if you’re seeking 100% secure web access, then you need to fix the hassles of open ports.
- Restricted privacy – Not many web proxy users know that they come with very limited privacy. The concealing of the IP address is only happening as long the web proxy server has access to the request. Beyond that, there is no IP address protection, which is not good from a privacy point of view. This makes malware insertion possible.
- Speed variation – Even though a proxy server provides a better speed than a VPN, you will still face the issue of inconsistent speed. It’s because of irregular bandwidth distribution. Some of the servers are overloaded, while many remain idle most of the time. This is why there is no assurance that you will get a decent speed with every proxy server.
Who Should Learn About Proxy Settings?
Learning about proxy settings and configuration is going to bring the most relevant in certain situations. For instance:
Organizations of all sorts are currently dealing with issues like data theft, access to social media during working hours, data leaking, accessing blocked websites, and so on. While it’s not easy to keep an eye on every employee and their activities, setting up a proxy can make things easier.
Enterprises can set up a transparent proxy and find out which all employee is doing what and accessing which website. The tool is useful for set-up the internet access limit to control social media usage during working hours.
Schools and Universities
Schools and universities have to make sure that students have access only to useful internet resources. They have to block adult content, restrict social media platforms, and even have to keep students away from corrupted websites.
A web proxy will help them in all these and more tasks. It will replace the original IP address of the students and keep their online presence utterly secure. They can also block multiple websites and use transparent proxies to watch out for which all websites students are accessing during their class duration.
The use case of proxy configuration is not limited to these two options. Anyone who is involved in web scraping and wants to access blocked internet resources and wants to hide the real IP address can automatically configure a proxy and enjoy its facilities.
How To Use Setup Script Address To Configure Proxy Settings On Windows?
Before you get excited and want to use a proxy, you need to understand that finding a few proxy addresses is important. Most of the proxy servers in use will have an URL just like any other website. So, you need to know that for setting up a proxy, it is important to learn how a proxy URL looks different from other URLs.
This is where you need the help of a script address that you can use to set up a proxy server. Script address is the IP address of the URL of a proxy configuration script. Script address needs to be preloaded by Windows 10 for proxy server set-up. If you don’t want to get into the hassles of manual script address loading, you can select the “Automatic proxy setup” option as well. This way, your job will be done automatically.
However, it will only work if the automatic detection of proxy settings is active. If it’s not active, then just activate the “Use setup script”. Just type the proxy URL in the “Script address” section. Click on Save to save all the script address details. The proxy configuration for Windows 10 is complete.
How To Find And Change Proxy Settings On Different Devices?
Let’s start learning how to find the proxy settings, do an effective proxy server setup, and modify the proxy settings easily.
Chrome Proxy Settings
If you’re interested to know about Chrome proxy settings, you start learning about OS proxy settings because browsers, Chrome, or any other, use the proxy settings of the OS installed on the devices.
Even though every browser, including Chrome, features a separate proxy settings configuration page, the device’s proxy settings dominate by default. This is why we’re going to explain the ways to find and change the proxy settings in different OS types.
Windows Proxy Settings
When you’re interested in finding and modifying the Windows proxy settings, you must understand that you’ve two options to make it happen.
- Use the Settings app to change proxy settings in Windows
- Use Control Panel to set up the proxy server and change the settings
We’re going to explain both ways:
Changing Windows proxy settings with the Setting app
- Open your system featuring Windows OS, and click on Start
- Go To the Windows Settings option and select Network & Internet
- Look for the Proxy option on the left side of the menu
Here, you will have details about every proxy server settings activated on your Windows. It has two categories: Automatic and Manual proxy set-up. Check whether the proxy server is ON or Off. It’s ON; slide the bar, and it will be off.
Using Control Panel To Change Proxy Settings
Control Panel is an integral setting section that every Windows version will have for sure. You can know the proxy server settings and change them from this section. Here is what you must do for these options.
- Go to the Start menu and access the Control Panel.
- Expand the menu and select Internet Options.
- Go to Connection and expand the LAN settings option.
Everything related to the proxy server is clearly present in this section. From here, you can learn whether the proxy server is activated or not. Modify the proxy settings as needed.
Mac Proxy Settings
The layout of Mac OS is a little different from Windows. Hence, you must take a different route to access the proxy server. Here is the step you need to follow to access Mac OS proxy settings.
- Open the start menu by clicking the Apple logo and going to System Preferences.
- As you click on System Preferences, you need to expand it to find the Network option. Generally, it remains at the end of the System Preference section. If you’re having trouble finding the Network option, you can easily find it by typing it in the search field.
- Once you access the Network section, look for the Advanced section. In most cases, it’s the last option offered on the page.
- In the Advanced section, you can find the Proxies section. Click on it, and proxy settings will be in front of you. In Mac OS proxy server isn’t activated by default.
- Its activation isn’t challenging. All you need to do is enter the proxy server details manually.
- IP address must be provided for proxy set-up. But, if you’re using backconnect proxies, provide a hostname while configuring Mac proxy settings. People with IP whitelisting support can begin proxy server settings by simply entering the username and password details.
Linux Proxy Settings
Finding Linux proxy settings is a little different. It depends on the kind of distribution your system is using. So, the distribution variation used will slightly change in the proxy settings. However, the standard process is as explained below:
- Open Ubuntu and go to System Settings and Access Network.
- In the Network section, go to Network Proxy. Now, select what kind of proxy activation you need. You have both Automatic and Manual options.
- You have multiple Linux proxy setups. For instance, you only need the IP address to set up a proxy that doesn’t ask for a login. You can also use the login credentials to set up a proxy server. If you have the domain name details, you can use them to set up a proxy on Linux. These methods will help you set up temporary servers on Linux.
- To set up a permanent proxy server, use the environment variable. Enter this # echo “http_proxy=http://proxy.example_site.com:3128/” >> /etc/environment command, and you’re good to go.
- Depending on the distribution you are using, you might have to authenticate the proxy server.
iOS Proxy Settings
A proxy server can protect your iPhone and iPad if you follow these simple steps.
- Go to Settings >Wi-Fi. Make sure you’re connected to a network.
- At the bottom of the page, look for HTTP Proxy and select Configure Proxy option.
- You can set up a proxy manually and automatically. Manual proxy set-up is tedious, and you must enter all the details like IP address or hostname. Both the port and host details will be entered differently. If you have a link to the proxy configuration file, it’s better to use the Automatic Configuration option.
- If you need the proxy, just go to the Configure Proxy option and turn it Off.
That’s it! The proxy server is activated on iOS devices.
Android Proxy Settings
Android is one of the most loved OS types and is very user-friendly. Activating the proxy settings Android is easy and simple.
Look at the steps that you need to follow to activate the proxy server on Android:
- Go to Settings> Wi-Fi to ensure an active internet connection is in place.
- Click on the current Wi-Fi connection and go to the Modify option.
- Once the modify option expands, scroll down to find the proxy settings. If you see the ‘None’ option showing under the Proxy option, expand it, and select the Manual configuration if you have an IP address and hostname details handy. The automatic option is quick and works only when you have the proxy configuration file by your side.
Authenticating the proxy server is an additional set in the Android proxy settings. When you access the browser after setting up the proxy on Android, authentication will be required. The task is simple; you only need to provide a password and username. But, if you’ve IP whitelisting addresses, then no authentication is required. After this, you’re all set to start using a proxy server on Android.
Google Chrome Proxy Settings
If you want to set-up proxy for Google browser then you need to understand that the default proxy settings of Windows or macOS are enough for this action. Here are few steps to follow to configure proxy on Google Chrome.
Go to Google browser and access the Setting section from the toolbar.
Scroll down and go to System from the left-hand side menu.
As you will click on System, you will see three options on the right-hand side of the page.
Out of these three options, you need to select the ‘Open your computer’s proxy setting’ option.
As you will click on this option, a new window featuring the proxy setting of your device will show up. This is what you will see if you’re using Windows.
In the Manual proxy set-up section, you have to On the ‘ Use a proxy server’ section and enter the port and script address details.
That’s it. Complete the manual proxy setup by providing asked details, and the proxy is all set to help you in the Google browser.
How To Disable The Proxy Settings?
Even though a proxy is a great help, one might not use it always and want to turn it off for certain actions. For instance, if you’re transferring sensitive data, you might need to replace the proxy tab with VPN so that encryption can be applied to the traffic. In that case, you should know how to turn off proxy settings.
Disable Proxy Settings Using System Settings (Windows 10)
If you own a system running on Windows 10, you can turn off the proxy settings in the simple steps that we have explained next.
Go to Settings and access Proxy settings. In that section, you will see the ‘Advanced detect setting’ option active as it’s green.
Just slide the toggle and turn it off.
As it is off, your automatic proxy configuration settings will be at rest. Whenever you want your proxy configuration settings to be active, you can activate the ‘Advanced detect settings’ and enter the proxy configuration details.
How To Test Your Proxy?
If you don’t have a pre-activated proxy server and have activated it by yourself using the above methods, it’s important to check whether the proxy server is working. The easiest way to do this is to check the actual IP address and ensure it’s hidden.
Various free IP address testing tools can help you in this task. You can try Show My IP, Check My IP, or any other website. Visit the website and enter your actual IP address. If the website isn’t able to track or website or display a different IP address, the proxy server is working, and you’re protected. This method works on every device.
Having the aid of a proxy server is great when it comes to securing the internet and keeping an online presence hidden. So, you must learn about its activation, how to change settings, and how to keep it On or Off. The post explained all the key methods different OS types follow to activate, change, and deactivate proxy settings.
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If you’re a heavy internet user and want to protect your key information, then it’s better to keep your proxy settings On as it will protect the internet connection. But, it will also slow down the speed a little bit. Anyway, it’s not tough to get On or Off the proxy settings. So, you can easily modify the settings when you want to do so.