How to Setup a Proxy Server

In cyber networking, a proxy server is the one that sits between a client that requests a resource (your PC) and the server that provides it. It acts as a mediator between your browser and online services, such as SaaS providers. Proxy Servers can increase your online security and privacy and make your traffic go faster. 

Proxy Servers were designed to structure and concentrate distributed systems. So they function on behalf of the client upon service request, hiding the actual source of the request.

A Proxy Server functions in such a way that, instead of directly joining a server to fulfill a request, the client handles the request to the Proxy Server.  By assessing the request, the proxy server conducts the transactions. This method handles the complexity and length of the request and provides privacy and security. 


Setting Up a Proxy Server for Various Operating Systems and Browsers

A proxy cannot guarantee that you’ll be safe online, especially in case you use a proxy that is freely available over the internet. Public proxies may slow down your traffic and even put you in danger. Instead, we recommend understanding how proxy servers work and how to set up one on your device whether you use Windows, Mac, Ubuntu, or simply a web browser.

If you want to configure your browser in order to use a proxy run by any organization, you should probably contact your IT staff. This is the case especially when you have to enter a script name manually. You may also need to use the proxy's IP and port data. In either case, turn to your IT technician if you don’t have this information, or if you’re not authorized to take such actions.


Set up Proxy Server on Windows

Before putting together a proxy server, you must check the proxy settings on your Windows. The info in proxy settings may help you decide what type of proxy server you can install. You can find that data by navigating to Start Menu, then Settings, next Network & Internet, and finally Proxy. Here’s how to set up a proxy in Windows manually :

  1. To reach the Settings menu of Windows, hold the Windows key and press the I key.
  2. Go to Settings, then select Network & Internet, and finally click Proxy.
  3. Navigate to Manual proxy setup and click the Use a Proxy Server.
  4. Enter the IP address and proxy port number In the related fields.
  5. In case your proxy server is credential-protected, click the checkbox for Proxy server requires password. Put your login info and click Save.

You’re all set on your Windows. The next time you connect to the internet, you'll be operating a proxy server.


Set up Proxy Server on Mac

Here's how to install a proxy server on your MacBook:

  1. Go to the menu and then to System Preferences and navigate to the Network icon to modify connection settings.
  2. Choose the type of network you use (Ethernet/WiFi), and click on Advanced > Proxies.
  3. Navigate to Auto Proxy Discovery and click Secure Web Proxy. Put the proxy server address and port number in the relevant fields.
  4. To use a PAC file, go to Automatic Proxy Configuration and put the proxy address in the URL field.
  5. Should your server be credential-protected, check Proxy server requires password box. Use your login info and then click OK to save the proxy configuration.

You're now ready to go online through your proxy server on your Mac.


Set up Proxy Server in Ubuntu

In order to access proxy settings and install a proxy server on Ubuntu, take the following steps:

  1. Go to Ubuntu’s main Settings.
  2. Click on the Network setting on the left side menu and select the cog in the Network Proxy section.
  3. In the Network Proxy dialogue prompt, go to Manual and enter your proxy data in the appropriate field.

Now exit the dialogue box and Ubuntu will automatically apply the new proxy settings.


Connect Proxy Server using a Web Browser

Google Chrome uses your Mac or Windows proxy server. Take the following steps to adjust your proxy settings right from the Chrome browser.

  1. Go to the Google Chrome toolbar and then to Settings.
  2. Scroll down and pick Show advanced settings.
  3. Find System and go to Open your computer’s proxy settings.
  4. Now do as instructed based on your operating system to complete the process.

FAQ on Proxy

How to set up a proxy server at home?

Navigate to Start Menu on Windows, then go to Settings, select Network & internet and finally click on Proxy. You can also use a proxy on your home router.

Why set a proxy server?

A Proxy Server can observe users' internet use. You can use it to block sites with content you consider unacceptable. You can also program A Proxy Server to log all requests if you wish to find out what websites your employees go to while at work.

So a proxy server comes with certain benefits such as online anonymity and security, but its weaknesses are grave, and it's advisable to look for a safer solution.

Security Considerations When Setting Up a Proxy Server

Whenever you use a proxy server to go to a website, your device’s data is channeled through a third-party server, anonymizing your traffic. Proxy servers, however, have some security flaws, including:

1. Virus Attacks

Using a proxy server heightens the risk of virus attacks and spam. The moment you link to the proxy server, the server provider starts a session, storing your logs and showing banners and ads.

2. Security Hack

A proxy server directs your traffic via a third-party server. Whether you make transactions or simply surf the net, all your data goes through this server that some stranger owns.

3. Identity Theft

The main problem with a proxy server is logging your data and selling it to third parties. It increases the risk of data breaches.

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