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How to review current proxy settings

Posted on 2004-04-24
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Last Modified: 2007-12-19
When I visit Starbucks I fire up my browser and I get the Starbuck page.  Recently when I visted an airport I fired up my browser and I got an airport page.  Back at home, I get the normal default page I have set.  I'm trying to understand how proxies work.  Sometimes at home when I fire up my browser, I'll see the message "detecting proxy settings" in the status bar of IE.  This will last sometimes for a minute before my page loads.  Once that's done however, surfing is at normal speed.

So 1, I'm looking for a good explaination of what's going on when I on the road and simply fire up my browser, and 2, I'm looking for a way to review my proxy settings so if I want to I can see what proxy I'm connected to.    
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Question by:mskvarenina
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LeftofCool earned 500 total points
ID: 10910858
By definition a proxy is defined as a firewall mechanism that replaces the IP address of a host on the internal (protected) network with its own IP address for all traffic passing through it. A software agent that acts on behalf of a user, typical proxies accept a connection from a user, make a decision as to whether or not the user or client IP address is permitted to use the proxy, perhaps does additional authentication, and then completes a connection on behalf of the user to a remote destination.

By default, IE is set to detect your proxy settings whether you have one or not. This option can be turned off in the Internet Options Menu>Connections>LAN Settings. If automatically detect settings is checked, then IE will give the message that it is detecting your settings in your status bar. Most airports and coffee shops use proxies in order to filter what you wish to access while using their internet connection. Usually, you won't be able to disable this unless you use a proxy of your own that bypasses theirs. Such proxies are innumerable in terms of where you can find them on the web. For example, one would be http://www.megaproxy.com/ . One way to review a proxy you are connected to is to fire up your command prompt and type netstat. This shows all active connections to your computer, which usually includes the name of the proxy you are currently connected to. Sometimes, IE is already programmed to connect to a specific proxy. If you wished to disconnect from this proxy, simply go to Tools>Internet Options>Connections>LAN Settings, you will then see an option under 'Proxy Servers' that allows you to use or bypass a proxy if there is one entered in the field. The field is usually only filled in a school or library that isn't too concerned about security.
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by:djluff
ID: 10917159
Wireless access networks often run a transparent proxy that redirect all HTTP requests to their home page. This is normally so you can login or whatever you need to do to get access. Once you're authenticated or whatever you can access the internet as usual.

A transparent proxy is different to a normal proxy. With a transparent proxy, you don't need to configure the proxy in your browser. The network is configured so that all HTTP requests go to the proxy, whatever IP address they were originally addressed to.
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