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

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 using this technology.

Why to use a proxy server

Using a proxy server helps to save data usage and reduce the use of bandwidth, because requests are cached in the server and then serve to you, and to 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 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 of third-party tools.

How to configure a proxy server using Settings

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.

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Network & Internet.

  3. Click on Proxy.

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 (e.g., myproxy.service.com).

Setting 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, then Windows 10 will try to 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 don’t 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.

Setting up automatic proxy using script

It’s 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.

In order to configure a proxy server using a script, do the following:

  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.

Setting up automatic proxy using manual configuration

Alternatively, you can fully set up or change a proxy server settings manually on your Windows 10 device using 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’s 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 address 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 don’t 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.