At times your access to the internet may be restricted due to firewalls at school or work. Oppressive governments and ISP can at times try to limit freedoms as well. It’s an annoying circumstance but totally avoidable for a little tech know-how. Whatever your reason for opting to use a proxy server, plugging-in an IP address in Internet Explorer couldn’t be easier.
Changing your Proxy Settings in IE, Step-by-Step
Double-click on the Internet Explorer icon on your desktop or launch the application from the Start menu in Windows.
Select “Tools” from the top of the screen then click on the last option that appears on the contextual menu, “Internet Options.”
Choose the “Connections” tab at the top of the “Internet Options” window. Now click on the “LAN settings” or “Settings” button at the bottom-right.
To use a custom proxy server, check the box next to “Use a proxy server for your LAN”. This option will allow you the flexibility to add a port number, which in most cases in necessary when using a proxy from free lists.
Copy and paste the server IP address in the text box next to “Address.” Now paste the Port number from the corresponding IP.
Click on “OK.” Your proxy settings have now been modified. Load a web page to test if the proxy server is responsive.
A Few Tips for Newcomers
There are new sites showing up all the time that offer lists with free proxy servers. Unfortunately many of the IP addresses are painfully slow or fail to work. Furthermore, easily-accessible lists have often been spoiled by spammers, so an IP address may not work because the site you are trying to view has banned the IP.
To save yourself the hassle of finding fresh, working proxies you may want to consider downloading Tor. It’s not a magic bullet either as the Tor network can be really slow at times. It works by creating a community in which users swap IPs. Setting it up on Internet Explorer is a hassle, while it’s super easy with Firefox so you may want to change your browser for tasks that require a proxy. For the best speeds available, think about subscribing to a VPN service.
Note on Internet Explorer Versions
This tutorial was created for IE 7 users. If you’re using an older version and can’t find the proxy settings, consider upgrading your software.
Never use a proxy server with a computer that doesn’t have virus protection. To be safe, download AVG Free or Trend Micro Internet Security and be sure to have the latest virus definitions.