How to set the use of a proxy server for Wi-Fi, on Android

Proxy servers are useful tools for protecting user privacy, or for accessing the internet when you are in a business network. While you are connected to a Wi-Fi network that uses a proxy server, this server acts as an intermediary for network requests between you and the rest of the internet. Websites are not going to identify your specific Android device, but rather the proxy server that you have set for the Wi-Fi connection. Here is how to set up the use of a proxy server on your Android smartphones and tablets:

NOTE: In this tutorial, we cover Android devices with Android 8 Oreo and Android 9 Pie. The procedure is similar on all Android-powered devices, so you should be good to go even if you are running a different version of Android. If you do not know what version of Android you are using, read How to check the Android version on your smartphone or tablet?.

How to set a proxy for an existing Wi-Fi connection, on Android

When you are connected to a Wi-Fi network, you can change its settings, so that it uses a specific proxy server each time you connect to it. To do that, open the Settings app on your Android smartphone or tablet. In Android 8 Oreo, tap Network & Internet, while in Android 9 Pie, tap on Wireless & networks.

The Settings app in Android

Next, tap on Wi-Fi to see the wireless networks in your area.

Click or tap Wi-Fi

You are shown a list of all the Wi-Fi networks that are available in your area. Tap and hold on the name of the network that you are connected to. A menu is shown with different contextual options. Tap "Modify network" so that you can set the proxy server used for that Wi-Fi.

Choose to Modify network

You are shown a list of settings for the selected network connection. Tap Advanced options or check "Show advanced options" so that more settings are shown, including those related to the use of a proxy server.

Show advanced options

Scroll down a bit, and tap the Proxy option. Then, choose whether you want to enter a manual proxy configuration or a proxy auto-configuration address. In Android 9 Pie, tap on Auto if you are going to use a proxy auto-configuration address. The other options that are shown in both versions of Android are self-explanatory.

Choose the type of proxy that you want to use

If you choose Manual, you need to enter the IP address or the hostname of the proxy server that you want to use (something using the format: proxy.example.com). Then, you need to enter the port (the default used by most proxy servers is 8080).

You can also set to bypass the proxy for certain websites, and you have to type the addresses of those websites. When you're done setting things up, tap Save.

Enter the proxy hostname and port

NOTE: If you need to set the proxy server as localhost (meaning the local device), in the hostname field, enter the value localhost instead of an IP address.

If you chose Proxy Auto-Config (in Android 8) or Auto (in Android 9), you have to enter the URL (web address) of the proxy server or the configuration script used by that proxy server. The value that you enter should be something using the format: "https://www.example.com/proxy.pac".

Enter the address of the proxy auto-configuration script

To apply your proxy settings, do not forget to tap Save. Now Android uses the proxy server that you have set when connected to the wireless network that you are on.

NOTE: If you do not know what a proxy is, and whether you should use one, read: What is a proxy server and what does it mean?.

How to set the use of a proxy when connecting to a Wi-Fi network, on Android

Android also allows you to set a proxy when connecting to a new Wi-Fi network. If this is the situation you are in, start the procedure for connecting to a wireless network. In the list of Wi-Fi networks, tap on the network that you want to connect to.

Tap on the Wi-Fi that you want to connect to

You are asked for the Wi-Fi password. Type it, and before pressing Connect, also tap "Advanced options" or check "Show advanced options."

Enter the Wi-Fi password and access the advanced options

Go to the section about Proxy and tap its entry. Choose whether you want to enter a Manual proxy configuration or a proxy auto-configuration address (Proxy Auto-Config in Android 8 or Auto in Android 9).

Choose the type of proxy that you want to use

When you choose Manual, you have to enter the hostname or IP address of the proxy that you want to use, and the port address, in the appropriate fields.

You can also set to bypass the proxy for certain websites, and you have to type the addresses of those websites. When you're done setting things up, tap Connect.

Enter the proxy hostname and port

NOTE: If you need to set the proxy server as localhost (meaning the local device), in the hostname field, enter the value localhost instead of an IP address.

If you choose Proxy Auto-Config or Auto, enter the URL (web address) of the configuration script for the proxy that you want to use. Alternatively, type the URL of the proxy server itself, and press Connect.

Enter the address of the proxy auto-configuration script

If all your settings are correct, your Android smartphone or tablet is going to connect to the Wi-Fi network of your choice and use the proxy server that you have entered, each time it is connected to that network.

Why do you use a proxy server on your Android smartphone or tablet?

Most Android users have never used a proxy server on their smartphones and tablets. However, you did, since you are reading this tutorial. Before closing it, let us know why you had to use a proxy on your Android device, and how well it worked for you. Also, if you have questions or issues with our tutorial, do not hesitate to comment below.