Man-in-the-middle

How to set up a proxy server on Windows 10

Here are the steps to set up or change a proxy server on Windows 10 to use a man-in-the-middle to access the internet.

Proxy server setup on Windows 10

Windows 10 makes it easy to configure a proxy server, and in this guide, we will show you how to complete this task. A proxy server is a service that acts as an intermediary between your computer and the internet. When using this service, requests you make to websites and other services will be handled by the proxy on your behalf.

Although anyone can set up and use a proxy server, typically, you will see the use of proxy in organizations and schools. The reason is because of the benefit of using this technology.

Why to use a proxy server

Using a proxy server helps save data usage and reduce bandwidth use because requests are cached in the server and then serve to you and other users if they request the same content.

It protects the computer identity by hiding the IP address of the client making an internet request. It can improve security by blocking malicious traffic and logging user’s activities. It can also block sites, as using rules, a company can stop users from accessing social networks and other websites. A proxy server can do a lot more, but these are the main bullet points of its capabilities.

In this guide, you’ll learn three ways to set up a proxy server on your Windows 10 device without the need for third-party tools.

How to configure proxy server using Settings on Windows 10

The following steps to configure proxy server settings on Windows 10 will apply to Ethernet and Wi-Fi network connections, but these settings won’t be used during a VPN connection.

To configure a proxy server using Settings, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings on Windows 10.

  2. Click on Network & Internet.

  3. Click on Proxy.

  4. Continue with the steps below to configure the proxy server on your device.

It’s important to find out the proxy server address or the address that’s hosting the proxy script before proceeding. A proxy address looks identical to an internet link (for example, myproxy.service.com).

Set up automatic proxy configuration

There are three ways to use a proxy server, including Automatic proxy setup, which is the default option.

If the Automatically detect settings option is enabled, Windows 10 will automatically detect the settings using the Web Proxy Auto-Discovery Protocol (WPAD). Usually, organizations and schools will use this feature to automatically configure or change the proxy settings to computers connected to their networks.

Proxy server automatic setup
Proxy server automatic setup

If you do not want your device to detect settings automatically, or you’re trying to set up a proxy server manually, you need to turn off the Automatically detect settings toggle switch.

Set up automatic proxy using script

It is also possible to configure a proxy server using a setup script. You’ll need to manually configure this option adding the address to the server hosting the script, but the proxy setup will happen automatically.

To configure a proxy server using a script, use these steps:

  1. Under “Automatic proxy setup,” turn on the Use setup script toggle switch.

  2. Under “Script address,” type the address of the script (or .pac file).

    Proxy server script setup
    Proxy server script setup
  3. Click the Save button.

Set up automatic proxy using manual configuration

To fully set up or change a proxy server settings manually on Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Under “Manual proxy setup,” turn on the Use a proxy server toggle switch.

  2. In the “Address” field, type the address that connects to the proxy server.

  3. In the “Port” field, type the port number required for the proxy to work.

    Proxy server manual setup on Windows 10
    Proxy server manual setup on Windows 10
  4. Click the Save button.

Once the proxy is configured, network traffic will automatically pass through the proxy server. However, it is also possible to specify a list of addresses that will not use the proxy.

You can use the text box in the “Manual proxy setup” section to specify these addresses using a semicolon (;) to separate each entry. If you have multiple addresses from the same domain, you can use an asterisk as a wildcard.

For example, *.website.com will match all the address in the asterisk part, including forums.website.com, docs.website.com, etc.

Technically, there’s no need for local network traffic to go through a proxy unless required for your organization. If you do not want to connect to local resources using a proxy, you should check the Don’t use the proxy server for local (intranet) addresses option.

If you’re having any issues configuring a proxy server on Windows 10, remember that you can submit your questions in the Pureinfotech forums.