Configuring Firefox to Use a Proxy Server

Data security concerns not only businesses, but anyone who uses the Internet. One of the best ways to safeguard your data is by using a reliable proxy server. This places your devices behind a layer of protection that keeps your identity hidden. Your requests pass through the proxy, which then forwards them to the destination servers. This article helps you configure Firefox for use with a proxy.

Authorizing/Authenticating

You’ll need to authorize your IP address to use the proxy, which will send your data requests and get back responses while protecting your identity. You can either authorize your IP address or provide basic access authentication.

With most proxy services, you can authorize your IP address to the proxy via the service’s dashboard; or you can use the service’s account-management API.

IP address authentication

  • On your dashboard, click a link that reads like “Add an IP.”
  • Fill and submit the form with your own IP address.

Now your IP address will be able to access the proxy without any further steps. If you add another IP to your proxy service account, it should be promptly authorized to the proxy. Be sure you do this first before you make requests from that IP to avoid a temporary block.

Basic access authentication

Besides IP address authentication, the other way to initiate HTTP proxy requests is basic access authentication. For this authentication, you’ll need your username and password to enter in your configuration below.

How to configure

Configuring Firefox for use with a proxy server is a relatively simple process. The steps involved are as follows:

Step 1: Open your Mozilla Firefox browser.

Step 2: On Windows, click the menu button in the top right-hand corner and then select Options. On Mac, go to the Firefox menu and select Preferences.

Step 3: Select the General panel and go to the Network Settings section.

Step 4: Click Settings, which opens the Connection Settings dialog.

Step 5. In the Connection Settings dialog, 4 options are displayed. Select option number 4, Manual proxy configuration.

Step 6: Type in the IP address or name of your proxy server and the port number. Your proxy service provider will give you this information.

Step 7: Select Use this proxy server for all protocols if the same proxy name and port number will be used for all protocols. You can find more details here.

The video below helps to demonstrate the process:

Note: You may encounter a common problem here, namely the browser’s failure to connect to the proxy server. Check the Connection Settings dialog to verify that you entered the correct information.

Mobile device settings

The configuration process for mobile devices is described below.

  1. Launch the browser and type “about:config” in the address bar.
  2. Press Enter.
  3. In the search box that appears, type “proxy.http”. Then 2 text boxes appear.
  4. Below “network.proxy.http” type the server name into the box.
  5. Under “network.proxy.http_port” type the port number into the box.

Simplifying the process

To make using Firefox even easier, add an extension like FoxyProxy. FoxyProxy automatically switches an Internet connection across one or more proxy servers based on URL patterns. This speeds up the process significantly and saves you the labor of manual configuration.

To use FoxyProxy with a proxy service such as ProxyMesh, do the following:

  1. Open FoxyProxy.
  2. Go to the Proxy Settings screen.
  3. Select the Proxy Details tab.
  4. Fill in the required information.  

Safeguarding your data

Protecting your data from cyberthieves is critical. Having your web browser data go through a reliable proxy server is a commonsense option. It protects sensitive information such as credit card details, passwords, and browsing habits. Firefox has proven to be a great browser. Using it with a proxy server will enhance the user experience.

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