On one hand, people fight for open internet, however on other hand there are good reasons for blocking the access. Many schools, educational institutions and organizations block access to specific websites that shows explicit and vulgar content. Unfortunately, it does not stop there; they also block social platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. In such case, for good reasons you can use VPN or proxy for unblocking the sites anonymously.
In our earlier article, we have explained how to connect VPN in Windows 10. We highly recommend using reliable VPNs like ExpressVPN to browse safely and securely. However, you may need premium account for using the reliable VPNs with no logging and secured connection. This may not be possible for those who simply wanted to unblock social sites. In addition, your school or organization may also restrict adding VPN profiles and block VPN server’s IP addresses.
In all such cases, the workable and alternate solution is to go for a proxy.
What is Proxy?
Proxy works similar to VPN to bypass the internet connection through different servers. The advantage of proxy is that you can configure script URL or server IP/port in computer’s settings instead of using a separate app or profile. If one proxy is not working, you can try hundreds of free and premium proxies available on the web.
How to Setup Proxy in Your Browser?
Depending on the browser you use, there are two ways to setup proxy. Google Chrome, Edge and Internet Explorer uses the default Windows proxy settings. This means all your network activities will be routed through proxy server. If you do not want to do this, choose Mozilla Firefox to configure at browser level. This will only route the network from Firefox to go through proxy and all other network will go through default route.
Changing Proxy in Google Chrome
- On Google Chrome, go to “chrome://settings” URL.
- Scroll to bottom and click on the “Advanced” option.
- Again scroll to bottom and click on “Open proxy settings” under “System” section.
Change Proxy in Microsoft Edge
- On Microsoft Edge, click on the three dots settings button on top right corner.
- Scroll down and click on the “Settings” option.
- Look for “Advanced Settings” section and click on the “View advanced settings button”.
- Click on “Open proxy settings” button under “Proxy setup” section.
Change Proxy in Internet Explorer
- If you still use Internet Explorer, click on the gear icon nearer to the top right corner.
- Select “Internet Options” and go to “Connection” tab on the pop-up.
Setup Proxy in Firefox
- Go to “about:preferences” URL in Firefox address bar and scroll down to the “Network Settings” option under “General” tab.
- Click on the “Settings…” button that shows against the “Network Settings”.
- Unlike other browsers, Firefox offers built-in proxy settings. Auto-detect and system proxy settings will use the proxy from “Internet Options” settings.
- If you have a manual configuration URL enable the option “Manual proxy configuration” and type the HTTP / SSL / FTP / SOCKS proxy with the relevant port number.
- Enable “Automatic proxy configuration URL” option to enter the configuration script that works for all protocols. You can also provide exceptions in the “No proxy for” text box.
- As mentioned, the configuration URL settings will only work inside Firefox browser. This is an ideal option when you can install Firefox on your computer. Because you can use Firefox for unblocking websites and use Edge or Chrome for using school or organization’s network.
Setup Proxy Servers in Windows 10
As you can see, Windows 10 allows changing the proxy in two places. One in Internet Options pop-up that opens from IE and Chrome. Other is in Settings app that opens through Edge browser. However, changing the proxy in one place will automatically change in other place also.
Change Proxy in Internet Options
When you are in “Internet Option” dialog, go to “Connections” tab. Click on the “LAN settings” button.
Follow the below steps to properly setup proxy:
- Disable “Automatically detect settings” checkbox.
- If you have proxy script URL, enter it in the address text box after enabling “Use automatic configuration script” option.
- If you have a proxy server IP and port then enable “Use proxy server for your LAN” checkbox and enter the server IP / port. You can exclude the local addresses like intranet URLs to skip proxy and use default network settings. Enable the “Bypass proxy server for local addresses” option and click on “Advanced” button. Type the local addresses in the exceptions.
Change Proxy in Windows Settings App
When you are in the Settings app (from Edge), you can see similar proxy options available under “Proxy” section. You can disable the automatically detect settings option and use script or manual proxy setup as explained above.
Change Proxy in macOS
You can access the network preferences in Mac using the following two ways.
Change Proxies from Safari Settings
Follow the below instructions from Safari:
- Open Safari and go to “Safari > Preferences…” menu.
- Go to “Advanced” tab and click on the “Change Settings…” button against “Proxies”.
- This will open the network settings, however it will be in non-editable mode. You need to go one step back and unlock for editing.
From macOS Preferences
Similar to Windows, you can also directly access the network preferences in Mac.
- Go to Apple menu and click on the “System Preferences…”. click on the “Network” option to open network preferences.
- On the pop-up, first click on the padlock icon, provide your administrator password to unlock the settings.
- Select your active wireless network from the list and click on the “Advanced…” button.
- Go to “Proxies” tab and enter the “Automatic Proxy Configuration” URL or enter manual proxy details under “Web Proxy (HTTP)”.
On Android and iOS mobile devices, you can go to wireless connection settings page and change the proxy server setup.