How to Setup a Proxy Server: A Beginner's Guide

how to set up a proxy server

Did you know that 25% of all internet users use proxy servers to mask their location? Out of these, 50% use proxies to access better entertainment, and the other half use it to hide their location for varied reasons.

The proxy server technology is not new, and it helps internet users mask their true location by routing their access to the website they wish to visit through another country. If you want to remain anonymous and overcome restrictions on some sites, you should know how to set up a proxy server. 

In this guide, you will learn more about proxy servers and also how you can set it up in your windows or Mac computer.


What Is a Proxy Server?

Proxies sit between the computer and the internet. It acts as a connection between the user’s web browser and internet services such as software-as-a-service (SaaS) platforms and websites. To use a proxy server, you should first buy proxies here, then learn how to set it up. 

The proxy server can also make some changes to the data that you have sent and still deliver the exact information that you wanted. It will change your IP address so that the server does not know where you are in the world.


How They Work

A proxy server can do several jobs; it can act as a firewall, hide your IP address, make your internet faster, scan for viruses, act as a firewall, and improve on your security and privacy. A good proxy server will keep your internal network safe from hackers. 

Computers using the internet must have an Internet Protocol (IP) address. This address is unique to every computer. Just like the post office needs to have your correct address so that they are able to deliver your mail to you, the internet uses your IP address to send the accurate data to the right computer.

As you send your web request, the request will go to the proxy first. The proxy then makes the request to the internet on your behalf, collects the response, and forwards the data collected to you.

It encrypts your data so that it remains unreadable during transit and can block access to some. A proxy will protect you from cyber-attacks and data breaches and give you the ability to monitor any abnormalities. You will get an alert on all suspicious activities and also know how to investigate and deal with it. 


Setting Up a Proxy Server on Windows

Windows software identifies proxy settings automatically. To set it up, go to the settings screen, view, and then under Network and Internet section, select the Proxy tab and choose the proxy from the available proxy settings.

Setting it up on Windows 8 is slightly different. First, open the Settings applications, click on the Proxy icon, and choose a proxy from a selection of available proxy servers. You should then enter the URL and save.

If the network cannot detect the proxy automatically, you will have to manually set it up. Type the precise IP address and the port number. You will get this information from your proxy provider. 


Setting Up a Proxy Server on Mac

Open the System Preferences on your Apple Mac by opening your System Preferences and then click on the Network icon. After that, scroll down, click the advanced button, and click on the Proxy tab on the right. 

Select the network you are using, whether Wifi or Ethernet, click advanced, and then proxies. You will see a list of several proxy protocols. 

Check the Auto Proxy Discovery box if you want your Mac to determine if using a proxy is necessary. Configure this setting to automatic. 

To set it up manually, select the proxy you wish to and type its port number and address. If it is password-protected, enter the username and password and click Ok. 


Setting Up a Proxy Server in Google Chrome

Chrome uses your Windows or macOS proxy by default.

To change the settings from Chrome, open the toolbar and Settings. Scroll down to the Show advanced settings button, scroll to the systems and click on Open your computer’s proxy settings. Go to either the Mac or Windows instructions above and set your proxy. 


Setting Up a Proxy Server in Safari

Just like Chrome, Safari will have the settings as a default.

To change, click on Safari, choose preferences, click on the advanced tab, and under proxies, click change settings. From there, follow the instructions on setting up a proxy on Mac. 


Setting Up a Proxy Server in Firefox

Firefox does not use your system's proxy settings by default. To use your proxy server, open the menu, select options, and click on the advanced icon. Select the Network tab, and in the connection settings, select the auto-detect for that network.

Enter the proxy address when prompted. You can also choose to select system proxy settings in the connection settings. With this option, Firefox will use the proxy settings in your operating system.


Setting Up a Proxy Server in Edge

In Windows 10, Edge is a built-in web browser. Therefore, it will use your proxy configurations in Windows. The latest version of Edge is also based on Chrome, so you can set it up using the same prompts. 

To set it up within Edge, click on the menu button, select settings, and click on the advanced settings icon. Open the proxy settings button then follow the instructions for Windows 10 to configure the settings. 


Follow This Guide to Know How to Set Up a Proxy Server

Proxy servers are very common today. By getting rid of protections, Internet Service Providers (ISP) can control user's internet traffic and bandwidth. 

While no one is certain about what will happen with Net neutrality, proxy servers will provide its user the ability to work around any restrictions on an ISP. Know how to set up a proxy server and enjoy the benefits it offers.

Check out our other articles for more informative content. Visit the Tech section of the Bootstrap Business Blog to learn more about proxy servers, IP addresses, VPNs, and servers.

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