Automatically detect and change Internet Explorer Proxy settings when on other Networks

Posted on 2008-06-11
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-08
OK I'm new here so here it goes.....
At work we have users who work externally in the home offices, we supply them with broadband and a laptop with polices that lock them down. Now when using there laptops whilst plugged into the broadband there is a proxy address in there Internet Explorer settings so there Internet activity can be monitored and certain sites\files restricted. This is done through my isp, as they supply a system that allows you to register the public ip supplied on the broadband with the web filter then you can setup rules for that user.

Now the problem is when me users take there laptops away on the Train etc. for instance when you go on the train even though it's free broadband you still have to load up your browser once connected and register your email address. Then you will get a connection to the internet. But because of the proxy settings in Internet Explorer I cannot access the web as it's trying to proxy an unknown address to my isp's web filtering server. So my users in some case are stuck without a connection.

Now I would prefer not to give any of my users and access to the proxy settings, as they would abuse this.
I have thought about giving my users access to the proxy settings, and then blocking ports http and https on there home router. That way if they thought about not putting the proxy address back in then they would not get normal none filtered Internet Access and they would have to tick the proxy address back in Internet Explorer.

Any suggestions guys? I have looked at some third party software but it would need to have lock out cababilities. I thinking a peice of software that will automatically detect that its on a different network then remove the proxy settings and then when it detects that it's back on the home network, puts them back in. I maybe thinking to technical about it, that's why I've made this post as everybody seems really clued up on here.

Sorry if I've rambled.

Many Thanks in advance
Question by:bilbazafa
  • 2
LVL 12

Expert Comment

ID: 21765717

A simple way, in my opinion would be to create roaming profiles on the user PCs. that way you can set one profile called "home" with the proxy server settings and another called "away" or something that automatically detects the proxy settings (or uses no proxy at all).
If you don't want your users to use the "away" profile while at "home", you can have different settings, such as IP address, default gateway and DNS server defined for the "home profile", and lock it down (users cannot make changes to these settings).

Hope this helps.

Author Comment

ID: 21767361
Thanks for the reply,

I never thought about that, I've not actually used Roaming Profiles since NT$4 days. I must mention that these are Vista Machines and some are standalone with local polices, and some are connected to a SBS 2003 Network with Group Polices enabled. Does this matter? Do you know of a How To on the web I can look at for some examples?

Many Thanks
LVL 12

Accepted Solution

sarangk_14 earned 1500 total points
ID: 21767707
There is a document called: Managing Roaming User Data Deployment Guide (Windows Vista)


Configuring Roaming User Profiles can be a useful document for users connecting to your Win2K3 server:

Hope it helps.

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