Using Internet Explorer with a Proxy Server

In today’s digital world, businesses cannot afford to overlook data security. Owing to the level of cybercrime, you need the best protection you can get. A proxy server is one way to ensure that your data is safe when using Internet Explorer (IE). And with IE having been officially retired (but still in use on many Windows 7 computers), you need to be extra vigilant about protecting your data. A good proxy server allows you to surf the Internet securely and anonymously. This article shows you how to configure IE to use 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.

Setting up the proxy

Internet Explorer doesn’t give you the option to set up a proxy specifically for your browser traffic. Consequently, you need to configure the device’s system settings.

For your Windows PC:

Step 1: Launch IE and go to settings.

Step 2: Click on Internet options, which takes you to system settings.

Step 3: Click on Connections. Then select LAN settings.

Step 4: Check the box for Use a proxy server for your LAN…

Step 5: Enter the IP address and port number provided by your proxy service. Click OK.

The video below demonstrates the process.

For Mac:

Microsoft no longer supports IE for Mac. It’s best to use other browsers. However, if you do want to use IE on Mac, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Launch IE Select Preferences. Then click on Advanced.

Step 2: Go to Proxies and click Change Settings. This takes you to the Network section of System Preferences.

Step 3: Check the Web Proxy (HTTP) checkbox

Step 4: Enter the IP address and port number provided by your proxy service. 

Step 5: Select Secure Web Proxy (HTTPS) and enter the same IP address and port number. Click OK.

Step 6: You may also be required to enter your Mac user name and password. After entering your username and password, click Always Allow. Then click Apply.

Configuring mobile devices

You won’t get IE for iOS devices. Since Microsoft doesn’t support IE on Mac, by extension there is none for iOS devices either. You need to use Microsoft Edge, the browser that replaced IE.

The same applies to Android devices. It is best to install other browsers for use on your Android devices. Internet Explorer was designed specifically for Microsoft and it worked best on that operating system.   

Layering up your security

You can never be too secure when protecting your data. Using your browser with a reliable proxy server is a good place to start. It adds a strong layer of security to protect you from hackers, giving you peace of mind when working online.   

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