Howto use a proxy in your web browser

Written by on Sunday, August 10, 2008 22:42 - 1 Comment

What is a proxy and how to use it in web browsers

A proxy, in plain English, is a shield between a computer and the rest of the world.  Information leaving the computer must be sent through the proxy, which then relays to the information to other computer on the network, or to the Internet.  When outside information is trying to get to your computer, the proxy performs the task of making sure that your machine is allowed access to the information, or that the information is allowed to enter your computer or network.  You may enable or disable a proxy in Internet Explorer or Firefox by following the respective steps shown below.  There are volumes written on the purpose and use of proxies, but this is the basic information to explain what they do.  For more information, we suggest you refer to Wikipedia, or even a specific proxy information page.

For this article we have used Internet Explorer 6, and Firefox 3.0.  In the event that you are using a different version of these applications, the method may be slightly different, but these steps should still serve well enough for you to determine the steps needed.  Likewise, if you are using a different browser entirely, carefully reading these instructions will most likely provide you with enough information to find and implement a proxy on that software, although this may well depend on your level of computer experience, as well as other factors, such as the actual support for proxies offered by the software in question.  Both example assume that you have already loaded the browser and are starting at the main browser screen.

For Internet Explorer 6.0
1. Click Tools >> Internet Options.
2. Click the “Connections” tab, then click “LAN Settings”.
3. Under Proxy server, check the “Use a proxy server for your LAN” box.
4. Under “Address”, Enter the proxy server IP address.
4. For Port, type the port number the proxy server uses for client connections (by default, 8080).
5. You can check the “Bypass proxy server for local addresses”  box if you to speed up the LAN processes.
6. Click OK to close the LAN Settings.
7. Click OK to close the Internet Options.

For Firefox 3.0:
1. Click Tools >> Options.
2. Select “Advanced” at the top.
3. Select the “Network” tab.
4. Under “Connection”, click “settings”.
5. Select the “Manual Proxy Configuration” radio button.
6. Enter the proxy IP in the “HTTP Proxy” box.
7. Enter the port in the Port box.
8. Click OK.
9. Click OK ')}

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Aug 27, 2008 19:29

I use Opera myself and the proxy settings are found in Tools > Preferences > Advanced > Network (Mac: Opera > Preferences > Advanced > Network). Click the “Proxy servers” button to open the proxy settings dialog.

If it’s speeds up my browsing with content caching, it’s something I’m interested in but I’ve not considered using proxy myself yet til I learn more of it. Talks of malicious proxies and unencrypted logins and passwords is something I’ll need to read more on.

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