Proxy servers work as a mediator between your computer and your internet provider and help to save your privacy and security while surfing on the web. In a few words, when you want to reach a page, proxy servers will retrieve it instead of you and then deliver to you through a secure connection. Creating a proxy server if possible for anyone, it’s not as hard to learn how to set up one.
Check out our article about proxy servers, how to create and use them. These detailed instructions apply to both major operating systems Windows and macOS.
Proxy Servers Basics
So, what is a proxy server? It is an intermediary between you and your internet service provider. Using a proxy server while browsing the web adds more privacy and security because your IP stays hidden, it may also save you a lot of bandwidth.
All internet traffic is compressed while going through a proxy server, so all the unwanted things like ads are left aside. That way, you only see what you are looking for.
Proxies are known to be useful for big companies with lots of workers who have similar web browsing habits (news sites, video sharing services, etc.).
Proxies can be also used to improve your browsing speed because they search for cached versions of websites skipping downloading unnecessary data. There are two main categories of proxy servers, private and public. Commonly, private proxies are significantly faster than public servers because fewer people use them simultaneously. That is the same reason why private proxy servers are considered to be extra secure.
Yet, using a VPN is much more efficient and provides you with more privacy and security comparing with proxies. If you are looking for a fast secure VPN service, RusVPN is one of the most reliable among the premium VPN services that cost $107,64 for three years worth of the service.
Proxy Servers Purposes
Proxy servers are usually in offices, schools, factories, and other places where a lot of people are connected to the same network. Setting up a proxy gives its owners a very clear view and control of what is happening in the network.
In many schools across the US, you must be connected to your school’s wi-fi otherwise it is impossible to access the Internet. These wifi networks follow to proxy servers and provide administrators with a possibility to check and moderate the users’ activity.
How using a proxy server protects your internet traffic
Frankly speaking, it works in the same way any firewall does. All the necessary websites are added to white-lists so if there is any traffic incoming from non-white-listed resources, the defense simply doesn’t let this data penetrate your network.
To have a necessity in a proxy server you don’t always have to have a business or be a school principal. For example, you can install it at your home in case you have multiple devices to always be up to date on your networks use. Spoiler alert, your kids aren’t going to enjoy a proxy as much as you will!
How to Set Up a Proxy Server on Windows
We want to tell you about two methods of creating a proxy server on a Windows PC. The first one using an automated script and the second is a manual way. Let’s have a look at them both:
Activating proxy with a provided script
- Open the Start menu and click on the Settings icon.
- Choose the Network and Internet option.
- Hit the Proxy settings.
- Turn on the Use Setup Script option.
- Automatic proxy setup
- Use the script address you were provided by your management, school administration, or another server owner and select Save. After doing this you can exit the settings, as the script should become active instantly.
Adding a proxy server manually on your Windows PC:
- Same in the first method, open the Start menu and click on the Settings icon.
- Select Network and Internet options.
- Hit the Proxy settings.
- Activate Use a Proxy Server under the Manual Proxy Setup tab.
- Enter the server’s IP address under the Address tab and the Port number in the respective field.
- After entering all the necessary information, hit Save to activate the changes, and exit the setup menu.
Setting up a Proxy Server on macOS
Creating and adding a proxy server on iMacs isn’t too difficult either. Here’s the is the right procedure:
- Open the search bar and look for the System Preferences menu.
- Go to the Network tab.
- Locate the Advanced option line and click on it.
- Choose the Proxy option. In the appearing menu, you are able to set up the proxy automatically if you choose the Auto Proxy Discovery, and the system will configure everything itself
- If you decide to do it manually, proceed with must choose the type of proxy connection, enter its port and address in the proper fields (the field for a port is the smaller one). You might also need to enter the proxy server credentials in case the server is password protected.
- When you’re done, click on OK to save the changes and create the proxy.
While creating a proxy, you might deal with multiple types of proxy servers. The most popular not very safe one is HTTP, while the HTTPS is a more stable version of HTTP. Finally, SOCKS is also quite popular, as it’s excellent for torrents, but it’s significantly slower than other types of proxies.
Is It Enough to Use Proxy Servers to Remain Secure?
Proxy servers might be quite useful, it all depends on your needs. If your primary concern is security and online privacy, then choosing a VPN service instead might be a better option. Nevertheless, proxies remain very popular and are used very widely all across the world. A significant amount of schools, offices, hospitals, etc., for instance, couldn’t function without them.
Are you trying to set up a public or personal proxy server? Let us know how it goes for you in the comments section below and tell us if you’re happy with the outcomes.