How To Add A Proxy Server To A Wireless Connection In Android

Proxy servers are useful tools for protecting user privacy. You can browse the Internet behind a proxy server and no one will gain access to your sensitive data. While you are connected to a network that uses a proxy server, this server acts as an intermediary for network requests between you and the rest of the network, virtually filtering the information exchanged between the network nodes. But nowadays, more and more people prefer browsing the net on their mobile devices, many of which are Android-powered, rather than on a computer, does this all-too-popular mobile operating system offer the feature of setting up your network connection to use a proxy server? Fortunately, starting with version 2.3 (or Gingerbread), it does. In this tutorial, we'll teach you how to add your proxy server details to your mobile device's wireless network connection.

NOTE: We used a Google Nexus 5 device running Android 4.4.4 KitKat. The procedure is similar on all Android powered devices, so you should be good to go even if you're running a different version of Android on your device.

How To Add Your Proxy Server Details To A Wireless Network Connection

Since this is a setting that you find in the wireless connection settings section of the device, let's open this section. You can find the Settings app in the app list, so first, let's open the app drawer from your device's homescreen.

Then, scroll your apps list until you find the Settings app.

From your device's settings panel, notice that the first option on top of the screen, in the Wireless & Networks category, is Wi-Fi. Tap on its name to open the Wi-Fi options list.

Alternatively, you can also reach this options screen by dragging the notification bar on top of your screen and tapping and holding your finger on the Wi-Fi icon in the tiles drawer.

Once you open the Wi-Fi settings, you will see a list of all the wireless networks in range of your device. The one you are currently connected to will be listed first. The others that you have connected to in the past will be listed in a priority order below.

To add the proxy server details to your current connection (or to any other connection in this list), tap and hold on the name of the wireless connection. In our example, we will add these details to the Wi-Fi network that our device is currently connected to: "LANdalf".

When you tap and hold on the Wi-Fi connection name, a dialog will open with various options for this connection. We are interested in the second one in this list, Modify network, so tap on it to open the connection details.

A dialog will open containing some details regarding your connection to the Wi-Fi network. At the bottom of the dialog, you will find a checkmark that says Show advanced options. Tap on this option.

The dialog box expands, revealing a dropdown list named Proxy. Tap on this list to open it.

The list is composed of two options: None (which sets the connection's proxy mode to "off") and the one we're interested in, Manual, which lets you enter the proxy server details to be used with this network connection. Tap on Manual.

Once you choose Manual, the dialog box expands even more (you may need to drag the window contents downwards in order to get to the bottom options), making way for the text fields in which you are able to enter the proxy server details:

  • the hostname of the server or its IP address (i.e. www.google.com or 192.168.0.1)
  • the port which will be used (i.e. 8080, which is the default HTTP proxy port)
  • the URLs for which the proxy server will be bypassed or, in other words, a list of exceptions to the proxy rule (i.e. 192.168.0.5).

A Word Of Warning

As you can see in the last dialog box, before you enter your proxy server details, the system warns you that "The HTTP proxy is used by the browser but may not be used by the other apps". That is, the device's default browser will connect to the Internet through your proxy server using the connection details you provided, but this will not guarantee that any other app you have installed and are using will obey this rule and connect to the Internet through your proxy server. Some will, but some will not, it ultimately depends on the app. Be aware of this when you are using a proxy server. If you are not sure how any other app will behave, contact the developer for details.

Conclusion

The user-friendliness of Android has been proven once more. Those of you that prefer (or are constrained to) using a proxy server to connect to the almighty Internet will be able to do so, when browsing on a smartphone or a tablet running on Android. But make sure you are using at least the Gingerbread 2.3 version of the popular mobile operating system, since this option is not supported in earlier flavors of Android. Thank you for reading our guide! Post any comments and questions you may have below and we'll gladly do our best to help. Also, feel free to browse this section of our website for tutorials on Android-specific common tasks to simplify your daily digital life.