How to Set Up a Proxy Server on Your PC, Mac, or Web Browser
As for what a proxy server is, think of your proxy as a gateway between you and the internet. When you visit a website, the proxy server communicates with it on behalf of your browser. Then, when the website answers, the proxy forwards the data to you.
Proxy servers can do many jobs. These include scanning for viruses, acting as a firewall, speeding up your connection by caching, and hiding your public IP address.
You have lots of choices when it comes to internet privacy. There’s a lot to learn, such as understanding what a reverse proxy is or distinguishing between VPNs, proxies, and Tor. If you want dependable protection and encryption for your internet traffic, consider a VPN. Avast SecureLine VPN hides your data from snoopers and protects your online identity, and it’s also much easier to set up than a proxy server.
There’s no similar guarantee of protection with a proxy, especially if you’re using one of the many web-based proxies available online. These public proxy services may slow down your service, and even worse, they may be insecure. Instead, we suggest you learn how to set up a proxy server on Windows, MacOS, and the most popular web browsers.
If you’re configuring your browser to use a proxy operated by a company, school, or other similar organization, some of these instructions may require you to contact your IT staff. This is the case particularly when you are asked to manually enter a script name, formally called a proxy auto-configuration (PAC) file. You may also need to type in the proxy’s IP and port numbers. In both cases, turn to your IT helpdesk if you haven’t been given this information. If you’re using a proxy that you’ve purchased or created on your own, you’ll already have these details.
How to set up a proxy server in Windows
Here’s how to set up your Windows PC to use a proxy server on Windows 8 or Windows 10:
Press the Windows + I keys simultaneously to access the Windows Settings menu.
On Windows 10, click Settings > Network & Internet > Proxy. On Windows 8, click Settings > Network Proxy.
Under the Manual Setup section, set the “Use a Proxy Server” toggle to On. Make sure the “Automatically detect settings” toggle is also on.
By default, Windows automatically checks to see if your business, school, or local network already has an automatic proxy server setup ready to run for you. If it does, Windows tells you its name, and encourages you to follow its instructions.
Assuming that Windows finds a PAC file, in the Automatic Proxy Setup, set the Use Setup Script switch to On.
Enter the script address and click Save.
Congratulations! You’re done and ready to proxy.
How to manually set up a proxy in Windows 8 or Windows 10
Not every organization sets up the process automatically. If you need to set up a proxy manually in Windows 8 or Windows 10, here’s how to do it.
To access the Windows Settings menu, press the Windows + I keys simultaneously.
On Windows 10, click Settings > Network & Internet > Proxy. On Windows 8 systems, click Settings > Network Proxy.
Scroll down to “Manual proxy setup” and set the “Use a Proxy Server” switch to On.
In the address field, type the proxy server name or IP address. In the Port field, enter the proxy port number. You can get these from your IT support tech.
If the proxy server is protected by a password, select the “Proxy server requires password” checkbox. Enter your account name and password in the Username and Password fields.
That’s all there is to it. You’re now set up to use your proxy server on Windows. The next time you use the internet, you’ll be using the proxy server.
How to set up a proxy server on a Mac running macOS
Here’s how to set up a proxy server on a Mac running macOS 10. 15 Catalina. Other macOS versions use essentially the same commands.
Open System Preferences. One way to get there is to click on the Apple menu > System Preferences.
Choose the Network icon to adjust connectivity settings.
Select the type of network you use, which is usually Ethernet or Wi-Fi.
Click Advanced > Proxies.
To automatically configure your proxy server settings, select Auto Proxy Discovery. Click on Secure Web Proxy (HTTPS). Type in the proxy server address and its port number in the fields on the right.
To use a proxy auto-configuration (PAC) file, select Automatic Proxy Configuration and enter the proxy address into the URL field.
Click OK to save the proxy setup.
You’re now ready to surf the internet via your proxy.
How to set up a proxy in Google Chrome
By default, Chrome uses your macOS or Windows proxy. To change your proxy settings from within Chrome, take the following steps:
Open the Chrome toolbar and select Settings.
Scroll down to the bottom of the display. Click on Show advanced settings…
Scroll down to “System” and choose Open your computer’s proxy settings.
Next, go back to the instructions for your operating system listed above to set up your proxy server settings and follow them.
In short, to set up a proxy server in Google Chrome, you’re just doing the first few steps in the browser, and then completing the process in your machine’s operating system.
How to set up a proxy server in Safari
Like Chrome, Safari’s default setting is to follow the proxy configurations within your OS. Here’s how to change your proxy settings from within Safari:
Click on Safari in the browser toolbar. Choose Preferences.
Click on the Advanced tab. Under “Proxies, ” click Change settings…
Next, you must go back to the instructions for macOS listed above to set up your proxy server settings and follow them.
How to set up a proxy server in Edge
Edge is Windows 10’s built-in web browser, and unless you tell it otherwise, it’ll use your proxy configurations in Windows. The latest versions of Edge are based on Chrome, so the configuration is similar. The following steps show you how to set up a proxy from within Edge:
In Microsoft Edge, at the top-right corner, click the Menu button. Select Settings.
Scroll down to the Advanced settings section and click the View advanced settings icon.
Click the Open proxy settings button.
Next, go back to the instructions for Windows 10 listed above, then follow them to configure your proxy server settings.
How to set up a proxy server in Firefox
Unlike other web browsers, Firefox doesn’t default to using your system’s proxy settings. You’ll need to change your proxy from within Firefox:
Open the Firefox menu and select Options.
Click on the Advanced icon.
Select the Network tab.
In the Connection Settings, select, Auto-detect proxy configuration for this network. When prompted, enter the proxy address.
Alternatively, in the Connection Settings, you can select, Use system proxy settings. If you choose that option, Firefox uses the proxy settings in your operating system.
Click OK to save your settings.
How to set up a proxy server in Internet Explorer
Please keep in mind that Internet Explorer is an outdated web browser. Instead, switch to a browser that’s still receiving regular updates and support, such as Avast Secure Browser, Chrome, Edge, Firefox, or Safari. Though since quite a few people and companies still use Internet Explorer (IE), you should know how to set things up when necessary.
As with other browsers, IE defaults to using your Windows proxy configurations. Here’s how to set your proxy up from within IE.
Open the IE toolbar and select Internet Options.
Open the Connections tab.
Select LAN Settings.
Check the “Use a proxy server for your LAN” box.
When prompted, enter the proxy server name and port number.
How to set up a proxy server in Android
With Android, you must configure proxy settings for each network you use. In addition, the proxy will only be used by your web browser. Other internet applications may choose to use or ignore the proxy based on their own internal settings. This is another reason why VPNs tend to be better choices — when you use one, it covers all the internet traffic from your device.
Open Android’s Settings and tap Wi-Fi to view a list of Wi-Fi networks.
Long-press the Wi-Fi network name for which you want to change the proxy settings. Tap Modify Network.
Tap Advanced Options.
Tap Manual to change your proxy’s settings. Enter your hostname and proxy port.
If you have a Proxy Auto-Config (PAC) file, select Proxy Auto-Config and Android will prompt you to enter the PAC address.
How to set up a proxy server in iOS
Go to Settings > Wi-Fi.
Select the active Wi-Fi connection.
Under HTTP proxy, click Configure Proxy.
Tap Manual to change your proxy’s settings. Enter your host name, proxy port, and, if needed, your authentication username and password.
If your provider supports Web Proxy Auto-Discovery Protocol (WPAD), tap Automatic. If required, enter the Proxy Auto-Config (PAC) file location.
Tap back to the Wi-Fi selection window.
Protect your online anonymity the easy way
Proxy servers have their uses, particularly within large organizations. However, setting one up requires a bit of work, and this is a job typically entrusted to network administrators and other IT professionals.
Avast SecureLine VPN is an internet privacy solution that’s both simpler to use and far more protective of your identity and online activities. A single click or tap of a button gets you encryption that keeps you anonymous online and prevents anyone from snooping on your sensitive personal info, such as your online banking, health info, or private photos. Enjoy true online privacy on your desktop, laptop or mobile device with a VPN that’s as convenient as it is secure.
Add an Exception to Your Proxy Settings – City of St. Louis
Some users are having trouble editing content on the CMS, usually when editing text blocks, and adding a proxy exception for has been effective in most cases.
All content contributors should add this exception.
What is a proxy?
Why create an exception?
Adding an exception in Firefox.
Adding an exception in Internet Explorer.
My Settings Don’t Save!
What is a Proxy?
A Proxy Server is an intermediary that sits between a network and the outside internet. When you go to a web address in your browser, your request goes to the proxy server, which downloads the page, then sends it to your computer. Many networks do this because the proxy server acts as a safety buffer for web traffic.
Proxy servers can also cache, or take a snapshot, of popular websites, then serve the saved copy to the user without actually downloading a new copy of the page. This speeds up web browsing, but it can also mean seeing old data if the cache isn’t refreshed often Create an Exception?
Creating an exception for internal websites like and means that your web requests have to travel less distance, so the pages on those sites will load faster. Instead of going outside the network and then back inside, your requests will go straight to our web servers and back to you.
Creating an exception will also make sure that pages you are working on won’t be cached by the proxy server, which could cause some confusion if you see a snapshot of old an Exception in Firefox
Go to Tools >> Options
Click on Advanced
Select the Network tab
Click on the Settings button in the Connection section
Add your exceptions to the No Proxy for field, each separated by a comma. We recommend you add:
Adding an Exception in Internet Explorer
Go to Tools >> Internet Options
Click on the Connections tab
Click on LAN settings in the Local Area Network (LAN) settings section
Click on the Advanced button in the Proxy Server section
Add your exceptions in the Exceptions section, separated by semi-colon. We recommend adding:
Some people have reported that their settings revert when they restart their browser.
This is likely the result of your browser settings being locked down by the IT department, or rewritten after they push a browser update. We recommend giving them a call.
If you’re using Firefox, here are some troubleshooting steps:
Some troubleshooting steps for Firefox
How to Know If You’re Behind a Proxy Server
A proxy server acts sort of like a middleman between your browser and servers that display Web pages. They do this by receiving page or link requests from your browser and then passing them to the Web server that hosts them. Many businesses use proxy servers to block access to certain sites or provide network users with more anonymity while surfing the Web. However, some sites restrict access to computers that connect through a proxy server. If you are having trouble accessing some sites, it might be because your computer connects through a proxy. Therefore, if you are having access problems, you should know how to determine whether your computer connects through a proxy. Firefox Launch Mozilla Firefox on your computer. Click “Tools, ” click “Options” and choose “Options from the menu that slides out. Click the “Advanced” tab in the Options window. Click the “Settings” button in the Connection box. Locate the selected connection option in the list on the Connection tab. If your Internet connection uses no proxy server, the “No Proxy” connection setting option is enabled. If either the “Use System Proxy Settings” or “Manual Proxy Configuration” setting is selected, then your computer accesses the Internet via a proxy server. Internet Explorer Click the “Tools” drop-down arrow in the upper-right portion of the browser window. Select “Internet Options. ” Click the “Connections” tab in the Internet Options window. Click the “LAN Settings” button. If there is a check mark in the box next to the “Us a proxy server for your LAN” option, then your PC accesses the Web through a proxy server. If there is no check mark in the box, your computer does not use a proxy server. References Resources Tips Google Chrome uses the same network settings as Internet Explorer. If you use Chrome as your browser, you can determine if you are behind a proxy server by checking the connection settings in Internet Explorer. There are many sites on the Web that can help you determine whether you access the Internet through a proxy server. Sites such as, and all allow you to view proxy settings on your computer with a couple of mouse clicks. Writer Bio Jeff Grundy has been writing computer-related articles and tutorials since 1995. Since that time, Grundy has written many guides to using various applications that are published on numerous how-to and tutorial sites. Born and raised in South Georgia, Grundy holds a Master of Science degree in mathematics from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Frequently Asked Questions about use proxy server to access websites
How do I allow a website to use a proxy server?
Adding an Exception in Internet ExplorerGo to Tools >> Internet Options.Click on the Connections tab.Click on LAN settings in the Local Area Network (LAN) settings section.Click on the Advanced button in the Proxy Server section.Add your exceptions in the Exceptions section, separated by semi-colon. … stlouis-mo.gov.
Do I use a proxy to access the Internet?
Click the “Connections” tab in the Internet Options window. Click the “LAN Settings” button. If there is a check mark in the box next to the “Us a proxy server for your LAN” option, then your PC accesses the Web through a proxy server. If there is no check mark in the box, your computer does not use a proxy server.
Is it illegal to use a proxy server?
Yes, it is legal to use a proxy server. Proxies have many different uses, including enabling remote work; setting up a support system for users who are located outside a particular network; protecting networks and Internet users from malicious content; streaming online content from outside a country and more.