How to use a proxy

Our site is dedicated to Virtual Private Networks and when wanting to encrypt your internet connection, either at home or in public when using Wi-Fi, they are the best solution. Not only does a VPN encrypt your connection but also allows you to browse the web and carry out other internet related tasks privately and anonymously.

There is however a lesser system and although I have to make it clear that it does not encrypt your internet connection, it can if used correctly allow you a more anonymous browsing experience than simply using your own connection. This or these are known as a Proxy, “Proxys (sic)” or even Proxies. Knowing how to use a proxy can give you a thin added layer of anonymity.

What is a Proxy?

A system known as a Proxy or a Proxy Server exists, which for the purpose of this article we are referring to a HTTP Proxy, there are other types of proxy available which will be discussed in later articles. These allow you to route your web browsing activity through another connection and on to your final destination. For ease of explanation, when you access a website such as Facebook you make a direct connection back and forth between yourself and the Facebook site. By using a Proxy you insert a middle man that passes on your requests and then in return passes responses back to yourself.

Why do I need a Proxy?

Whenever you visit a website your general locations details are able to be read by that website through something known as your IP Address. An IP Address is a numerical identifier that is unique to yourself for that session or can even be unique to yourself permanently on a home connection, depending how your internet company works.

This means that any requests made by yourself can be linked back to yourself via your IP Address and as such it would be easy for anyone to built up a profile of the types of websites you visit or to track you via advertising etc.

There are also occasions where simple firewall blocks are in place such as school or college networks or even public Wi-Fi systems that restrict access to certain websites, by making use of a proxy you can in some circumstances bypass these blocks. While bypassing works in certain cases it is not possible to circumvent geo-restrictions on media streaming sites such as Hulu, iPlayer, Netflix etc. These would required a dedicated VPN service.

How to use a Proxy

Setting up a HTTP proxy is actually pretty simple and can be done in the browser of your choice. The process is slightly different depending what browser you use. Below we’ve got guides for both Internet Explorer 11 and Google Chrome.

Before you set up any browser head over to our free anonymous proxy list and look for a country that is suitable for yourself. Remember, proxies are free services and so likely to be run off either slow servers, home connections or other less well resourced systems. They are also likely to be highly in use so don’t expect blisteringly fast speeds. Remember, they are not replacements for VPN services and do not offer the security that a VPN does, if you want security, privacy, fast speeds and a way to access geo restricted content then you need a VPN service.

Internet Explorer

  1. Press the small cog icon in the top right hand corner
  2. Press Internet Options
  3. Press Connections
  4. Press Lan Settings
  5. Tick “Use a proxy server for your LAN (These settings will not apply to dial-up or VPN connections)
  6. Enter the IP address and Port from our free anonymous proxy list and press OK.
  7. Press OK again

You will now be browsing via the proxy. If you find you have no connection, try a different IP and Port.

Chrome

  1. Press the three lines icon in the top right hand corner
  2. Press Settings
  3. Scroll to the bottom and press Show advanced settings
  4. Find the heading Network and select Change proxy settings…
  5. In the new window that opened, Press LAN Settings
  6. Tick “Use a proxy server for your LAN (These settings will not apply to dial-up or VPN connections)
  7. Enter the IP address and Port from our free anonymous proxy list and press OK.
  8. Press OK again

Now you know how to use a proxy you can enjoy surfing in relative anonymity. If you have any questions at all please feel free to post in our comments section as we’ll be sure to help!

Image courtesy of cuteimage at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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