3 Ways to Configure a Proxy Server on Android

Configuring proxy servers directly from your smartphone shouldn't be a hard task. You're all set with just a few taps—whether you're using a Wi-Fi network or your mobile data. You can also use apps to do the work for you.

A proxy server is basically an intermediary server that separates the user from the website they browse. With it, traffic goes through the server before it reaches the requested address. That request will come back through the same server and then the data will be forwarded through the user.

Sounds complicated? It's simpler than it sounds.

The purpose of a proxy server is to be a firewall—or a filter—in order to protect data and the performance of your network. Additionally, they can provide a level of online privacy. But, in the end, your information is still available to the administrator of the proxy server you're using.

Now, how does this work?

Long story short, it masks your IP address. The proxy server acts as a virtual computer, with its own IP address. All the requests and received data will go through the server before it comes back to the user. But this also means that you surrender your IP address and requested data to a third party.

With a proxy server, you can hide your IP address online. It can also encrypt data so that nobody else can read it. Additionally, you can even block out certain web pages, if you're browsing on either a computer or network that is shared.

So why should you use a proxy server?

Most people use them for privacy reasons or to protect other users from checking unwanted websites. But here are the most frequent reasons:

  • Control Internet Users

    You can set up a proxy server to monitor or control internet use by either your employees or children. You can choose to just monitor all web requests or block certain websites completely.

    This is especially important if, as a company, you want to save some bandwidth by restricting access to unnecessary websites. It can also help you increase productivity levels during working hours.
  • Improve Speed

    With a proxy server, you can achieve better network performance overall. These servers can save a copy of the websites you're browsing locally. When you return to the site, you'll browse the saved copy; saving you some bandwidth as well as improving the performance of your network.

    This can come in helpful if you're looking for limited edition items online. For example, many people use sneaker proxies. You can find more information about this on blazingseollc.com
  • Privacy and Security>

    By using a proxy server, the destination server will never know who made the requests. This keeps your IP address private and untrackable. The only person who will have access to this kind of data will be the server provider. So make sure that they are trustworthy before you do business with them.

    Security is also improved. These servers can be configured to encrypt your data so that you're the only one who can read it. You can pair it with a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to enable your team to securely access the internet through the company proxy.
  • Access Blocked Resources

    Since your IP address is hidden, you can go around any content restrictions. You can use proxy servers to have access to an unrestricted internet connection. All that matters is where your server is located. And in case your proxy is somehow blocked, you can consider using rotating proxies like that of Geonode which provide millions of rotating proxies to keep yourself truly untraceable.

    Even though they're pretty easy to configure, not many people dig deep enough to reach the proxy setting area. However, there are different ways to configure proxy servers for mobile data and Wi-Fi, so let's go through them together.

1. How to Configure Proxy Servers on Android Devices for Mobile Data

a. Go to Settings

Go to Settings
From your home screen, go to your menu and select settings. No matter which type of device you have, this app usually has a cogwheel for an icon. Tap on it.

b. Go to "Networks & Internet"

Go to Networks & Internet
From the options in your settings, pick the one that will take you to your mobile network settings. The most probable name for it will be "Networks and Internet", but it might vary from case to case.

c. Tap on "Mobile Network"

Tap on Mobile Network
This might vary from one Android version to another. The point is that you need to get to your mobile network settings.

d. Tap on "Advanced" and "Access Point Names"

Tap on Advanced and Access Point Names
Again, these headings might vary. Tap on "Advanced," if available, and make your way to "Access Point Names." It could be called "APN" for short.

e. Go to the Currently Used APN

Go to the Currently Used APN
There will be a list of all Access Point Names available. Tap on the one you are currently using.

f. Edit Configuration Details

Edit Configuration Details
Now, you will see a list of configuration options. The options of interest right now are called "Proxy", "Port", "Username" and "Password." In case you use IP Authentication, you don't have to bother with entering a username or a password. All you have to do is whitelist your device's IP from the dashboard of your proxy provider.

g. Reset Your Mobile Connection

All you have to do now is just turn your mobile data off, and then back on. From now on, all your internet traffic will go through the proxy server you just configured.

2. How to Configure Proxies for Android when Using Wi-Fi Networks

a. Go to Settings

Go to Settings
Just as before, you need to go to your settings app on your phone. It will be the same cogwheel icon in your menu.

b. Go to "Networks and Internet"

Go to Networks and Internet
This is the same step as before. The only difference is that now your target is your Wi-Fi connection, not your mobile data.

c. Tap on Wi-Fi

Tap on Wi-Fi
From the provided options, tap on the one called "Wi-Fi".

d. Hold and Select "Modify Network"

Hold and Select Modify Network
Look for the Wi-Fi network that you are using or you are interested in. Tap on it and hold until other options pop up. After that, just select "Modify Network."

e. Click on "Advanced" and Tap On "Manual"

Click on Advanced and Tap On Manual
Now a new interface will pop up. From there, you need to select "Advanced options," from the drop-down menu. Afterward, select "Manual" in the same manner.

f. Edit Configuration Information

Edit Configuration Information
This step is very similar to the one from the mobile network configuration. Edit your details such as hostname, port, username, and password. After you're done, just tap on "Save." And you're done!

3. How to Use Proxy Setting Apps

Not everybody is comfortable with going through all of those settings and options. Some people might not even find them as the name of these options can differ with every Android or device version.

But there is an easier way through—proxy setting apps. These will make your life easier. There's only one catch—your device needs to be rooted before you use these apps.

a. Proxy Droid

proxy droid
With this app, you can use your proxies with other apps on your device. However, whatever settings are done through the app will only be available on the application layer. Once you step out of that, they will not affect other apps.

Download it here.

b. Cactus VPN

With this app, you can use a VPN with your proxy server for even more privacy and security for your data. It lets you choose the VPN server location and use it with 5 devices at the same time.

Download it here.

c. Proxy Manager

This is another free app that can help you set up a global proxy for your whole device at once. This means that with Proxy Manager, you're no longer limited to one application layer. However, in order to configure your proxy server, you need to buy the pro version of the app.

Download it here.

Are There Any Dangers When Using a Proxy Server?

As with anything, where there are benefits there are some risks as well. The following are a list of the main dangers you should be aware of, before using these kinds of servers.

Spam and Viruses

There is a possibility that you will see more ads when using a proxy server. It often happens that the server providers will load your session with links to ads to generate revenue.

In worse case scenarios, server providers might even infiltrate the session you're in with viruses, potentially damaging your device.

Identity Fraud

When you connect to a proxy server, you basically give up your hostname to some third party. This means you can use someone else's IP address, but, at the same time, you're exposing your own address to that third party.

Without your knowledge, proxy providers can sell your IP address to marketers or even law enforcement.

Security Breach

All of the data you send when browsing a page—email, credit card, etc.—go through a third party server. If they aren't reliable or trustworthy, this data is not always encrypted.

This means that your data can be potentially recorded and your accounts can be hijacked without your knowing.

Slower Internet

Oftentimes, users rely on one server to send data back and forth. However, proxy servers need a lot of bandwidth to support multiple workstations—which costs a lot of money and time.

This means that if the server providers can't or won't invest in the experience they offer, your web browsing experience could be actually worse than without a proxy server.

Is Using a Proxy Server Legal?

Most of the time, yes. Even though most people associate them with hackers or unblocking restricted websites, they can do much more than that.

Proxy servers make remote work a possibility for some companies. Additionally, it can help you set up a support system for people that are outside a certain network that you are using.

If used correctly, a proxy server can protect your session from malicious content and increase the user's online privacy. And, sure, you can also use it to stream content from outside your country if it's restricted.

Nevertheless, there are some circumstances where it is illegal to use a proxy server. For instance, if you want to access content from a blocked website without paying the license fee—if it's required.

It's good practice to read the website's terms and conditions before accessing restricted content through a proxy server. This will help you make sure that you're not doing anything illegal without your knowledge.

Do You Need a Proxy Server?

Before trying to configure one, ask yourself if you really need it. If you are a company that wants to enable working from home, then yes, you do. Or if you want to restrict certain pages for the people that use the same network as you. And even if you want to stream content that is not available in your country.

However, if you are just curious, you might want to be more aware of the dangers. Free proxy servers can be risky, so you will have to invest in a secure one. And, even so, you can end up with a bad connection and overall bad experience.

So, in order to do what's best for you, try to balance your needs and the potential exposure to security threats. If the benefits outweigh the dangers, then you can safely say that you need that proxy server in your life.

What to Keep in Mind

Proxy servers are a gateway between you, the user, and the websites you're browsing. Their main function is to send and receive your requests and the data that you receive. It can be used as a firewall or a filter for you and the other people that are using the same network or devices as you.

A proxy server can help you save bandwidth and increase the speed of your network. It does that by saving a copy of the website you visit and loading the saved copy when you return. It also protects your data online and can encrypt your information.

It's really easy to configure a proxy server on your Android device, for both mobile data or Wi-Fi networks. But, in case you don't feel comfortable with all of the technical steps, you can always use proxy setting apps to make things easier.

Just be sure that you really need it before you start working with it. Even if you don't take it seriously, using a proxy server—no matter how secure you think it is—exposes you to some risks.


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