In this tutorial, I am going to explain a simple method that will allow you to set up a proxy server on Windows 10 powered PC and laptop. You will also learn the Microsoft approved a method to configure a proxy server in Windows 10.
A proxy server is a service that acts as an intermediary between your computer and the internet, like Psiphon proxy tool. When enabled, websites and internet services will be handled by the proxy on your behalf. There are many third-party VPN proxy apps available, but using the official method to set up a proxy and configure it on your Windows 10 PC is a more safe and reliable option.
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Why Use A Proxy Server?
One of the main reasons for using a proxy server connection is that it saves data and bandwidth. To lower bandwidth usage, all requests are cached in the server before they are forwarded to the end-user, or to other users if they request the same content.
Connecting to the internet through a proxy server has many advantages. It protects your identity against online thefts. Users can access blocked websites. IP address of client’s computer remains hidden while making requests to access certain information. Use of proxy is common in schools and businesses because of many benefits which the technology offers.
Security is another important aspect of proxy servers; it blocks malicious traffic and hides activities from surveillance thus protecting individual privacy. A server connected to a proxy helps block content, as per company rules, especially social networks and other inappropriate websites. There are plenty of other uses of proxy servers but these are the prime reasons people use proxies on PCs.
In the following tutorial, you will learn three ways to set up a proxy server on your PC Windows 10 without needing a third-party tool.
Configure a Proxy Server in Settings (Windows 10)
Here are the steps to configure a proxy server on Windows 10. This method applies to both Ethernet and WiFi network connections.
Note: These settings won’t be used during a VPN connection.
- Open Settings.
- Click on Network & Internet.
- Click on Proxy.
It’s important that you know the proxy server address or the address that’s hosting the proxy script before starting. A proxy address is identical to an internet link (e.g. proxy.server.com).
Set Up Automatic Proxy Configuration
There are three ways to use a proxy server, including Automatic proxy setup, which is the default option.
In case the ‘Automatically detect settings’ option is enabled, Windows 10 will try to automatically detect the settings using the Web Proxy Auto-Discovery Protocol (WPAD). This is mostly useful in workplaces and schools where admins can use it to automatically configure or change the proxy settings to a computer linked to their networks.
If you don’t want your device to connect to a proxy server automatically, or you want to set up a proxy server manually, simply turn off the Automatically detect settings toggle switch in Settings.
Set up Automatic Proxy using Script
Another way to set up a proxy server connection is by using a setup script. Here you will need to manually configure this option adding the address to the server hosting the script, but the proxy setup will activate automatically.
Follow these steps to configure a proxy server using a script:
- Go to Settings.
- Under “Automatic proxy setup,” turn on the Use setup script toggle switch.
- Now, under “Script address,”, type the address of the script (or .pac file).
- Click Save button when done.
Setup up Automatic Proxy using Manual Configuration on Windows 10
Here is how you can set up or change proxy server settings automatically on your Windows 10 device:
- Open Settings app in your Windows computer.
- Under “Manual proxy setup,” enable the Use a proxy server option.
- In the “Address” field, type the address that connects to the proxy server.
- In the “Port” field, type the port number required for the proxy to work.
- Hit the Save button.
When the proxy connection is established, network traffic will automatically flow through the proxy server. However, it’s also possible to specify a list of addresses that will not use the proxy.
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You can use the text below in the “Manual proxy setup” section to specify these addresses using a semicolon (;) to separate each entry. If you have multiple addresses from the same domain, you can use an asterisk as a wildcard.
For example, *.website.com will match the address in the asterisk part, including help.website.com, view.website.com, etc.
Basically, local network traffic needs not be routed through a proxy, unless it’s an organizational policy. If you don’t want to connect to local resources using a proxy, check the Don’t use the proxy server for local (intranet) addresses option.
Still having issues configuring a proxy server on Windows 10? Submit your queries in the comments section below.