If you feel like your internet connection is slower than it should be, or you notice that certain websites are being blocked while you browse, it could be because all of your internet traffic is going through a proxy server.
A proxy server is just another computer that sits between you and your ISP. Typically configured in corporate environments to filter web traffic to and from employee computers. In this article, I will show you how to check your proxy settings to find out if your computer is actually using a proxy or not.
In most cases, it is virtually impossible to disable the proxy server as it is controlled by the administrator. However, there are times when personal computers are accidentally or maliciously configured to use a proxy server.
Check proxy settings in Windows
On Windows, most browsers will use the proxy settings installed on the computer. Each browser has a settings page for configuring the proxy server, but usually they just link to the settings dialog in Windows itself.
In Windows 10, there are two ways to change settings: through the Settings app or through the traditional control panel. I will mention both methods here because the Control Panel method is what you need to use for Windows 7, 8 or Windows Vista.
Windows 10 Settings app
Windows 10 Settings app
Click Start and then click the gear icon (Settings) in the far left corner. In the “Settings” section, click “Network & Internet”.
In the left pane, click Proxies at the very bottom.
Here you have all the settings related to proxy setup in Windows. Basically, it is split into two configurations: automatic or manual proxy configuration. In 99% of cases, everything should be disabled. If anything is enabled, your web traffic can go through a proxy.
If you are using an older version of Windows, or just like the old way, you can change the same settings through the Control Panel. Please note that whichever method you choose to edit the settings, there is only one set of proxy settings in Windows.
With Control Panel open, just click on Internet Options.
In the Internet Options dialog box, go to the Connections tab and then click on LAN Settings at the bottom.
Here you will see all the same settings as in the Settings app shown above. Anything you set up here will appear there and vice versa.
Check proxy settings in Mac OS X
If you are using a Mac with OS X, the procedure is the same. You need to change your proxy settings in System Preferences as most browsers check them automatically.
Open “System Preferences” and click “Network”. On the left side, be sure to select a connected or active network connection. You can have different proxy settings for each type of network connection.
At the bottom, click the “Advanced” button. Click on the Proxies tab and you will see many different protocols that you can configure.
For example, if you click on Web Proxy (HTTP), you will be able to enter the proxy server IP address, port number, username and password.
Check proxy settings in Linux
On Linux, it really depends on what distribution you are using. However, it will mostly be some kind of KDE or GNOME version. For example, in Linux Mint Cinnamon, which is heavily based on GNOME, you have to click a button and then click System Preferences.
Then scroll down to Hardware and click Network.
Finally, if you click on Network Proxy, you can choose Automatic or Manual.
This is much the same procedure for Ubuntu, which uses Unity and GNOME. Things will be different if you are using a different desktop environment. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to comment. Enjoy!