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How to Setup a Proxy Server

What is a Proxy Server?

A proxy server is a cybersecurity solution positioned between a user’s computer and the general internet. It is a bridge between a web browser and the services you connect to online, such as websites or cloud-native software solutions. Proxies can enhance speed and safety. 

Proxy server setup is similar on different operating systems, but there are some key differences as well, depending on the structure of the device’s settings.

Setting Up a Proxy Server for Various Operating Systems and Browsers

To set up a proxy server, you generally have to go to the settings or system preferences section of your device or browser. Regardless of the operating system, once you know how to find the proxy server address, adjusting your proxy server settings should only take a few minutes.


  1. For proxy settings in Windows, hit the Windows + I keys at the same time to open the Windows Settings menu.
  2. In Windows 10, select Settings > Network & Internet > Proxy. Within Windows 8, choose Settings > Network Proxy.
  3. In the Manual Setup section, turn the Use a Proxy Server setting to the On position. Be sure you have toggled “Automatically detect settings” to the On position as well.
  4. If you already have a proxy server available, Windows will tell you what it is called and will prompt you to follow the server’s instructions.
  5. When Windows finds a proxy auto-config (PAC) file, go to Automatic Proxy Setup and set the switch for Use Setup Script to On.
  6. Put in the script address, then hit Save.


How to set up a proxy server on Mac is just as straightforward.

  1. Click the Apple Menu, then System Preferences. You may also use the Finder or System Preferences icon.
  2. Select the Network icon so you can adjust your settings for connectivity.
  3. Choose the kind of network you are using. This, in most cases, will be Ethernet or Wi-Fi.
  4. Select Advanced > Proxies.
  5. You can then automatically configure your proxy settings by choosing Auto Proxy Discovery. Select Secure Web Proxy (HTTPS). Then enter the address of the proxy server and its port number in the two fields under Web Proxy Server.
  6. You can choose the PAC file to automatically configure your server by choosing Automatic Proxy Configuration and then entering the address of your proxy in the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) field.
  7. If your proxy connection requires a password, choose “Proxy server requires password,” then put in the account name and password using the fields Username and Password.
  8. Select OK to save your proxy setup.


  1. Go to your settings and choose Wi-Fi, which produces a list of the available Wi-Fi networks.
  2. Long-tap the Wi-Fi network whose proxy settings you want to change. Then tap Modify Network.
  3. Choose Advanced Options.
  4. Select Manual and put in your hostname and your proxy port. If you have a PAC file, choose Proxy Auto-Config, and then Android will ask you to put in your PAC address.
  5. Hit Save.

Google Chrome

  1. Go into your Chrome toolbar and choose Settings.
  2. Scroll to the bottom, and choose "Show advanced settings…"
  3. Scroll to System and select "Open your computer’s proxy settings."
  4. Refer back to the instructions for your operating system (Windows or macOS) and put in the settings for your proxy server.


  1. Go to the Firefox menu and choose Options.
  2. Select the Advanced icon.
  3. Choose the Network tab.
  4. In Connection Settings, choose "Auto-detect proxy configuration for this network." Then enter your proxy address.
  5. You can also choose "Use system proxy settings" within Connection Settings. If you do that, Firefox will use the proxy settings of your operating system.
  6. Hit OK, which saves your settings.

Security Considerations When Setting Up a Proxy Server

Every proxy provides a different level of protection, so it is best to do a little shopping before making a final decision. Sometimes, a free proxy may not provide the security and encryption you need. You should also beware of proxy servers set up by hackers. These are designed to steal your information. If you see a lot of ads or get sent to unwanted sites, you may be using a hacker’s proxy.

How Fortinet Can Help

Many people choose proxies for their security features, and Fortinet crypto virtual private network (VPN) solutions provide reliable, safe connectivity. You get full encryption of your data, a secure Internet Protocol (IP) address, a scalable security solution, and fully secure connections between users, machines, and applications. To further protect users, Fortinet crypto VPNs provide a network firewall and web filters to ensure your traffic is secure.

In addition, Fortinet Crypto VPNs integrate with the Fortinet Security Fabric, providing you with unified management of a diverse set of security tools. All of this can be done behind a single pane of glass, regardless of the size of your organization.


How do you setup a proxy server?

Installation of a proxy server is relatively straightforward. Go to your operating system’s settings or system preferences and adjust your network settings, choosing the proxy server and the proxy auto-config file that will run it.