How to Set Up a Proxy Server?

Photo of author

By Vijay Singh Khatri

Before you dive straight into how to set up a proxy server, you must know what a proxy server is. Although a proxy server is known to act as an added layer between your device and the internet, its functionality and features are not limited to it. This guide contains everything essential that you need to know about a proxy server and how you can set a proxy server on different operating systems and browsers.

So, let’s not waste any more time and get started.

What is a Proxy Server?

A proxy server is a system with a distinct IP address of its own. It can be any machine that sits between you and the internet and provides your computer with a different IP address. As you send a request to access a web page, it goes through the proxy, reflecting the proxy’s IP address to the website, and you get your requested data back through the proxy again. They use cached data to help you access recently accessed web pages quickly.

However, It’s not the only purpose they are used for. Their functionality, security, and privacy features depend on the use. They are used on a wide basis in the offices where the employees are supposed to work and not check their Facebook messages. As a proxy server also works as a firewall, the system administrators do not allow internet access to the pages, which are not required for fulfilling official obligations. Even parents who want to keep a tab on their children’s activity on the internet can use a proxy server. These proxy servers provide a high level of privacy as well.

How Does a Proxy Server Work?

It has already been said that it acts as a layer. As you search for a web page, your computer enables proxy settings, and the data goes to the proxy server first. It has a distinct IP address of its own. Your IP address lets the internet know where you are accessing the web page from. With a proxy server, you are anonymous. The proxy requests the data from the web which reflects the proxy’s IP address and then the server forwards it to you.

It can modify the data you send and get you the information by hook or crook. While it brings you the requested data, it encrypts it, so no one knows what you have requested. And the most important thing that it does is, it can block web pages so that you can’t visit them. That’s why your office may have proxy settings enabled.

Why Use Proxy Servers?

There can be more than one reason why you may need to use a proxy server. Here are some of the most common reasons discussed below:

1. To Restrict Access to Certain Web Pages

Your employees don’t need to access social media sites during office hours. Your kids don’t need access to various websites having inappropriate content. So, what can you do to restrict access to certain web pages? Well, a proxy server is what you need. You can use a proxy server and configure it in such a way that it will restrict users from accessing particular web pages and show them a warning whenever they try to access a restricted website.

2. To Enhance Privacy

If you want to keep your location anonymous and want to access the internet privately, using a proxy server is the way to go. It accesses the requested data through its own IP address, and no one knows who made the request originally.

3. To Surf the Web Faster

The proxy server saves cached data of a web page that you have recently visited. So, if you or anyone on the network tries to access a website whose data is already cached, the server will get you the most recent copy of the website and thus load the web page faster than usual. For organizations with a proxy server in place, a single request for the entire network will be processed by the proxy server, which improves the bandwidth and connection speed.

4. To Access Blocked Sites

If there is a website that is restricted in your country or your particular geographical area, you can use a proxy server to access it. As the proxy server hides your real location by assigning your device an IP of another geographical area, you can access blocked sites with ease.

5. To Improve Security

If you deal with confidential data, proxy servers can help you improve security. You can use a proxy server to encrypt all your data that you send and receive over the internet and save it from getting into the hands of malicious entities. Pairing a proxy server with a VPN is also a good idea to enhance the security even more.

How to Setup a Proxy Server?

In this section, you will learn about the simple steps to set up a proxy server on your Windows, macOS, Android, iOS devices along with various popular web browsers. 

On Windows

Follow these steps to set up a proxy for your Windows PC:

  1. Go To “Windows Settings” by clicking Windows + I.
  2. Click on “Network and Internet” settings, then click on the Proxy option in the right menu bar.
  3. Check if the “Automatically Detect Settings” toggle is on. If it is, click on the “Manual Proxy Setup” and toggle to turn it on. 
  4. Now, follow the onscreen instructions, and Windows will find a PAC file. Turn the toggle off “Use Setup Script” on and “Save”. You are done.
  5. If you don’t find a proxy server, ask your IT support for it. They will provide you with the port address and password if any.
  6. In the Manual Proxy Setup, you must turn on the “Use A Proxy Setup” switch.
  7. Then fill in the proxy server detail. Type the password if there is any.
  8. Click “Save”.
  9. Done, your proxy server is set up.

On macOS

Follow these steps to set up a proxy server on your macOS device:

  1. Go to “Apple Menu” and select “System Preferences”.
  2. Click on the “Network” icon. Select your preferred network.
  3. Select “Advanced” and then “Proxies”.
  4. Click on “Auto Proxy Discovery” for automatic configuration proxy server settings.
  5. Choose “Secure Web Proxy (HTTPS)”, fill in the proxy address and port number.
  6. You can also use a PAC file. Go to “Automatic Proxy Configuration”, feed the proxy address, enter the password, if any, and done.
  7. Click OK.

On iOS

Here are simple steps to set up a proxy in an iOS device:

  1. Find the “WiFi” in “Settings”.
  2. Select your WiFi connection.
  3. Click on “Configure Proxy” under HTTP Proxy.
  4. If you want to set it manually, click on “Manual” and enter all the details like hostname, proxy address, password, if any.
  5. You can also go through the “Automatic” way if the provider supports WPAD, i.e. Web Proxy Auto-Discovery Protocol. A PAC file is required.
  6. Done.

On Android

In an Android device, the proxy only works for the browser, and other applications may not give it heed. Plus, you need to set the proxy settings for each network. Follow the steps to change the settings:

  1. Search for “Settings” and find “WiFi”.
  2. Choose the desired WiFi network and tap on “Modify Network”.
  3. Go to “Advanced Options”.
  4. Choose the “Manual” option and feed the details.
  5. You can use a PAC file and go through the “Proxy Auto-Config” route.
  6. Click on “Save”.
  7. Done.

On Browser

Here, you will find the easy steps for setting up a proxy on different browsers:

Google Chrome

  1. Go to “Settings” in the toolbar.
  2. At the bottom, you will see “Show Advanced Settings”.
  3. Click “Settings” at the bottom of the list.
  4. Select “Open your Computer’s Proxy Settings”.
  5. Your browser will guide you with the instructions, follow them properly.
  6. Done.

Internet Explorer

It is not a widely used and updated browser these days. You should rather use another one. But if you wish to set up a proxy on Internet Explorer, here are the steps that you need to follow:

  1. Open the browser settings and navigate to “Internet Options”.
  2. Click on “Connections”.
  3. Choose “LAN Settings”.
  4. There is a checkbox – “Use A Proxy Server For Your LAN”. Tick the checkbox.
  5. Enter the details required and click “OK”.
  6. Done.


  1. Look for “Options” in the “Firefox” menu.
  2. Click on the “Advanced” option.
  3. Go to the “Network” tab.
  4. Click on “Connection Settings”. You will see four options. Look for “Auto-detect proxy configuration for this network”. Tick the checkbox and enter the required details.
  5. You can also select “Use System Proxy Settings” to enable proxy settings in your operating system.
  6. Press “OK”.
  7. Done.


Safari comes with the ability to use your OS’s proxy settings. It can be done by following these steps:

  1. In the Safari Toolbar, click on “Preferences”.
  2. Go to the “Advanced” tab and choose “Proxies”.
  3. Click on “Change Settings”.
  4. Now follow the instructions mentioned above for macOS and you will be able to set up a proxy on your Safari browser.


It is a Chrome-based built-in browser of Windows 10 which uses its default proxy configuration. Follow the steps to set up the proxy in Edge browser:

  1. In the top-right corner, you will see the “Menu” icon. Click on it and find “Settings”.
  2. Go to the “Advanced Settings” at the bottom and select “View Advanced Settings”.
  3. Click on “Open Proxy Settings”.
  4. Now follow the instructions mentioned above to set up a proxy in Windows.

Final Words

Setting up a proxy server is easy on any device, operating system, or browser. All you have to do is follow the steps that we have specified above. Then only you can add a Proxy server successfully and browse safely on your device. For more such technical guides keep visiting us.

Leave a Comment