​How to set up a proxy in Windows 11 & 10

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Proxy 101

Windows is the operating system developed by Microsoft and is the most popular operating system in the world. Due to its popularity, web services need to be functional on Windows to reach a larger share of PC users. The same is true for proxies, hence the concept of a Windows 11 proxy.

A Windows proxy is one that is compatible with the operating system and can reliably alter user traffic in the right way. This article explores how to find and set up proxy settings on a Windows 11 or 10 device. Furthermore, we share how to solve common proxy errors on Windows and identify the best Windows proxy servers for your needs. 

How to find the proxy settings in Windows

You can’t set up the proxy if you can’t find the settings, and there are two general ways to access these settings and set up a proxy in Windows 10.

  1. Through the settings. You can access your settings via the start menu. Once in, visit the network and internet section. Select proxy in the sidebar, and you will see the proxy settings you want to adjust. 
  2. Through the control panel. You can also access the control panel from the start menu. Once in the control panel, open the network and internet section or the network and sharing center. In the section, click and open internet options. You should see a connection tab that leads to LAN settings and, consequently, proxy settings.

It might seem like a long journey to find and modify the settings. However, we assure you that finding your settings and configuring the right setup is worth it for the following reasons:

  1. Privacy and security. The proxy server routes your traffic through secure servers, thus masking your IP, stumping online trackers, facilitating online anonymity, and protecting your data.
  2. Access control. Organizations and businesses can use proxy servers to control access to certain websites and services while on the company network. This helps to limit distractions during work hours and improves productivity. Similarly, individual users can use proxies to enforce parental control for devices connecting through their networks.
  3. Network performance. Correctly configuring your proxy can help you cycle through multiple IP addresses in search of one with a favourable internet connection. Websites also use proxies to balance load, cache web pages, and reduce network congestion.
  4. Access restricted content. The most popular use of a proxy is in accessing geo-restricted content. By rerouting, a proxy server can provide an IP address that is not subject to such restrictions. Thus, its users can theoretically access geo-restricted content from anywhere in the world, provided they have a large enough address pool.  
  5. Bypassing censorship. Geo-restrictions keep out unwanted visitors, but censorship curtails unsupported exploration. Governments use the tool to ban certain services in their countries. However, proxies can help them regain their access by rerouting requests through unaffected IP addresses outside the government’s control.

How to set up a proxy in Windows 11 & 10

The following steps should help you set up a proxy on a Windows 11 or Windows 10 device.

Open settings

Access your settings through the start menu at the bottom of the screen. Here, you can adjust and modify the settings of different components of your PC.

Open network settings

Under settings, look for the ‘network and internet” category and open it. Under this category, you can access all network-related settings, including Wi-Fi, Ethernet, VPN, and proxy settings.

Go to proxy settings

Locate “proxy” in the sidebar of the network and internet section. Click on it, and it will take you to a settings page where you can configure proxies.

Configuration

Once in the proxy settings, you can configure your proxy in three ways: automatically, manually or via script. 

  • Toggle on the switch for “automatically detect settings” for automatic configuration. 
  • To use a script, select the setup option and insert the relevant proxy server script address. 
  • For manual configuration, toggle on the switch for “use a proxy server” and fill in the details of the proxy server in the correct spaces. You can selectively choose what websites you want to access without the proxy server. Similarly, you can decide for the proxy not to alter traffic directed at local addresses.

Save your settings

After configuring the settings and proxy server details, click on the save buttons to apply them. Once saved, the proxy server will begin to exert its effect on your network connection if properly done. 

Test proxy connection

The final step here is to guarantee that the proxy settings are working. Open your browser and try to load a website. If it loads successfully, you can check your IP using a site that provides such a service. Alternatively, try to access content that is geographically unavailable for your original IP. 

Common Windows proxy errors

You might encounter some errors when attempting to configure or use a proxy on a Windows device. Do not be discouraged. Here are some of the common Windows proxy errors and how to fix them:

  1. “Proxy Server Not Responding”. You will see this when the device cannot connect with the proxy servers. First, check to confirm that your internet connection is still active. Then, confirm that there are no mistakes in the proxy server address and port number you entered into your settings. If the problem persists, disable your firewalls and Antiviruses, as they may be blocking the connection. As a last measure, restart your computer and the proxy server.
  2. “Proxy Authentication Required”. Some proxies may require authentication during setup. The error indicates that the required credentials have not been accurately provided. So, provide them if they haven’t already been entered. If they are and the error remains, check to ensure that there are no typos and that the credentials are provided in the right spaces.
  3. “Proxy Settings Aren’t Saving”. Changes made to proxy settings in between sessions might not save. As such, connection issues may occur if the settings in place are invalid. The solution to unsaved proxy settings is to disable any third-party app (like an antivirus) that may be interfering and try again. If the problem remains, confirm that you have administrative authority to change the settings. If you do have admin authority, you can use the command prompt with administrative privileges to make the changes.
  4. “Certificate Errors”. While connecting with a proxy server, a certificate error could come up due to expired certificates or mismatched information. A mismatch in data and time is a common cause of such errors. As such, you should first try adjusting your system’s date and time if they are incorrect. If that doesn’t solve the problem, confirm that the right root certificate authority certificates are in place and that they are trusted. If the problem still exists, check to confirm that the proxy server configuration supports passages of SSL/TLS traffic.
  5. “Connection Timeout”. This indicates a network issue or too long response times from the proxy server. So, check your internet connection, try connecting without the proxy, or verify that the proxy server details in your settings are correct. If none of this does the trick, you may contact your network admin to troubleshoot and solve the problem.

How to reset/stop using a proxy server in Windows

Follow the below steps to stop using a proxy server on your Windows PC.

  1. Open “settings” on your start menu
  2. Select the “network and internet”
  3. Under network and internet, select “proxy”
  4. Toggle off the switch for “automatically detect settings”. This directs Windows to stop configuring network settings automatically 
  5. Also, toggle off the switch for “use a proxy server” to invalidate any manual proxy configurations.
  6. Save changes and reconnect.

The above settings would stop proxy server use on Windows and restore a more direct connection to destination servers. If you intend to simply reset the proxy, do the following:

  1. Open “settings” on your start menu
  2. Select the “network and internet.”
  3. Under network and internet, select “Proxy”
  4. Toggle on the switch for “automatically detect settings”. This directs Windows to configure network settings according to automatically-detected proxy settings 
  5. Alternatively, toggle on the switch for “use a proxy server” to manually setup a proxy. Here, you can reset the proxy server address and port number
  6. Save changes and reconnect.
  7. toggle on the switch for “use a proxy server”.

However, if the connection is still poor or non-existent, carefully check to ensure that the new settings and details are accurate. 

How to Choose the Right Proxy Server

Selecting the right proxy server is essential for enjoying reliable service. You can use the following factors to fine-tune your decision-making on proxy servers:

  1. Identify your needs. There are many types of proxy servers, and they possess varying relative strengths and weaknesses. Ensure that you factor in your needs regarding speed, elite anonymity, degree of geographic diversity, supported protocols, and customer support. For instance, the geographical diversity of Proxy Cheap rotating residential proxies might be more suitable for scraping. The mobile proxies, however, offer better anonymity for bypassing geo-restrictions.
  2. Type of Proxy server. The above point should influence your choice here. There are different ways of classifying proxy servers, though. Based on the source and type of IP addresses, they can be residential, datacenter, or mobile proxies. That said, based on protocols employed and supported, they can be HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, SOCKS, etc. Research them and decide which one best suits your activities.
  3. Level of anonymity. The degree of anonymity afforded by a proxy varies with the type of proxy server. With that in mind, there are three types of proxies based on anonymity: elite, transparent, and anonymous proxies. Read up before making a decision.
  4. Reliability and Performance. Reliability indicates the frequency or lack thereof of interruptions. Performance, on the other hand, is all about the speed and efficiency of the proxy server. In order to guarantee both, you want a proxy provider with robust infrastructure and a pool of addresses that are nearer to your location.
  5. Geographical Diversity. This refers to the size of the address pool. Depending on your specific needs, a large or small address pool may be more ideal. Proxy Cheap offers over 8 million addresses, but there are proxy vendors offering more and less. The size of an address pool affects the prices of proxies significantly, making this an important factor. 
  6. Free or Paid Proxies. The most important thing here is to determine how much you value the reliability of service and data security. You can risk a free proxy if you’re not concerned about both. However, if they matter to you, just buy a paid proxy. They are more secure, better maintained, and more reliable.
  7. Quality of Customer Support. Customer support is especially important if you are a beginner to proxy use. They can be difficult to configure and maintain. So, opting for providers with a consistent and responsive customer support team will be very helpful. Customer support, for instance, has inspired many positive reviews of Proxy Cheap.
  8. Cost. There are many proxy providers and vendors around. Their offerings are similar as well. So, compare the prices of proxy servers and vendors to identify the best value for your money. In this regard, Proxy Cheap stands tall because of the affordability, flexibility, and scalability of its plans and pricing.
  9. Customer Reviews. Customer reviews and testimonials are the most accurate means of assessing satisfaction and effectiveness. So, read Proxy Cheap customer reviews here and learn what our customers think of our service.

 

Augustas Frost

Support Manager

Augustas Frost is a valued contributor at Proxy-Cheap, specializing in proxy-related content. With a knack for simplifying complex topics, he's your go-to source for understanding the world of proxies.
Outside his work, Augustas explores the latest tech gadgets and embarking on hiking adventures.

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