What's a Browser?


What is "proxy server"? How does it work?


This question was answered on May 27, 2003. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

A proxy server is a way to connect to the Internet through a local area network (LAN) without needing to make a direct connection Generally businesses use proxy servers as a security barrier (firewall) between the Internet and the internal network of the business.

You can configure Microsoft Internet Explorer to use a proxy server to connect to the Internet A proxy server acts as a security barrier between your internal network and the Internet, keeping others on the Internet from being able to obtain access to information that is located on your internal network This article describes how to configure Internet Explorer to use a proxy server over a Local Area Network (LAN) connection and lists the proxies that Internet Explorer supports.

Internet Explorer 5

Click Start, point to Settings, click Control Panel, and then double-click Internet

Click the Connections tab, click LAN Settings, and then click to select the Use Proxy Server check box

In the Address box, type the appropriate proxy server information, and use the following format:


Click Advanced, and then type the appropriate proxy settings in the Servers area Use the following syntax for the proxy settings:


where <address> is the Web address of the proxy server, and <port> is the port number that is assigned to the proxy server For example, if the proxy server's address is "proxy.example.microsoft.com" and the port number is 80, the setting in the Proxy Server box should appear like this: http://proxy.example.microsoft.com:80

IMPORTANT: If you use a backslash (\) instead of a slash (/) in the proxy server's address, the settings disappear from the Proxy Server box and Internet Explorer does not find the proxy server

If you are using the Internet Protocol (IP) address of your proxy server, make sure not to type leading zeros For example, use instead of

If you do not know the Web address or port number of the proxy server, contact your network administrator Also, if there are any Web servers on the local network for which you want to bypass the proxy, type the appropriate host names in the Don't Use Proxy For These Addresses box For example, if you do not want to use the proxy server to obtain access to the "example.com" Web server on your LAN, type example.com in the Don't Use Proxy For These Addresses box.

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Posted by Student of Katharine Gibbs School - New York on May 27, 2003