How to set an Android proxy server for Wi-Fi: All you need to know

Do you have to use a Wi-Fi proxy server for Android to access the Internet at school or work? Or maybe you decided to configure an Android proxy server to protect your online privacy. Proxy servers are practical tools that act as intermediaries between you and the rest of the Internet, and it’s easy to configure using one. This tutorial illustrates how to set a Wi-Fi proxy server for Android smartphones and tablets:

NOTE: This guide applies to Android 10, and it was created using Nokia 5.3 and Samsung Galaxy A51. If you do not know your Android version, read How to check the Android version on your smartphone or tablet. The procedures are similar on most Android-powered devices, although you might come across some small differences, depending on your device’s manufacturer. If you’re using a Samsung smartphone, the Android proxy settings are somewhat different, so don’t miss the dedicated chapter towards the end of this guide.

First things first: About Android proxy settings for Wi-Fi networks

You can use a Wi-Fi proxy server to protect your identity online or access the Internet when you are in a business network. While using the Android proxy, websites don’t identify your specific device, but rather the proxy server you have set for the Wi-Fi connection. If you want to learn more, we already explained, in great detail, what a proxy server is.

Even if you need to use the same Android proxy settings for different Wi-Fi networks, you must set them up one by one. To configure the Wi-Fi proxy settings, Android requires slightly different steps, depending on whether you’re setting the proxy server for an existing connection or a new one. Don’t worry, though; your Android smartphone or tablet remembers the proxy server associated with every Wi-Fi connection, so you only have to do this once. Your network administrator or proxy provider should give you the necessary details to connect.

Wi-Fi proxy settings on Android

If you’re wondering how to run Android apps on proxy Wi-Fi, the answer is a bit more complicated, and it all comes down to how each app was designed. Some apps are programmed to use the Android proxy settings, some, like browsers, can have their individual proxy settings, while others ignore Wi-Fi proxy settings altogether. That is why you could encounter certain apps that don’t work with your proxies. Unfortunately, if an app is not designed to use the Android proxy settings, there is no way to force it.

TIP: If you’re concerned about online privacy and security, you might also be interested to know When to use a proxy and when to use a VPN?.

How to set an Android proxy server for your Wi-Fi network

You can change the Wi-Fi proxy settings on Android to use a specific proxy server each time you connect to a network. As you’re about to see, the steps are similar, whether you’re setting up the proxy for the network you’re currently using or configuring a new connection. To begin, open the Settings app and tap on Network & Internet.

Access Network & Internet from Android Settings

Next, access Wi-Fi to see available wireless networks.

NOTE: To continue from this point, Wi-Fi must be active on your Android device.

Tap on Wi-Fi

You are shown a list of all the Wi-Fi networks that are available in your area. Depending on whether you’re setting the proxy server for an existing connection or a new one, accessing a network’s Advanced options is slightly different. Press the name of the network whose Wi-Fi proxy settings you want to change.

Tap on any network to change its Wi-Fi proxy settings on Android

If it’s a new network, you can now see the Advanced options in the pop-up window requesting a password. Skip the next paragraph and scroll down to the image matching the screen you see.

However, if you’re already connected to that network and tapped on the first entry during the previous step, the next screen shows your Wi-Fi connection’s Network details. Tap on the Edit button in the top-right corner. Its icon looks like a pencil.

Press the pencil button to Edit details about your Wi-Fi network

Either way, in the pop-up window showing your network’s name on top and requesting a password, tap on Advanced options to open a dropdown menu.

TIP: If this is a new Wi-Fi network, you also have to insert a password for it on this screen. Otherwise, the password field shows (unchanged), as seen below.

Access Advanced options to set a Wi-Fi proxy server for Android

The Advanced options expand, revealing the Proxy setting, which displays its default, None, and a down arrow. Tap on it to open the options for configuring the Android proxy server.

In the Proxy section, use the arrow to open a dropdown menu

The resulting menu has three options: None, Manual, and Proxy Auto-Config. Choose whether you want to manually enter the Wi-Fi proxy server or use a proxy auto-configuration address.

Select the configuration type you want

If you choose Manual, the pop-up window reveals three additional fields. Under Proxy hostname, enter either the hostname of the proxy server that you want to use (in the suggested format: proxy.example.com) or its IP address.

Enter a proxy hostname

Then, you need to enter the port (the default used by most HTTP proxy servers is 8080). You can also “Bypass proxy for” certain websites if you insert their addresses.

When you’re done setting everything up, tap the option in the bottom-right corner of the pop-up to apply your changes. For existing networks, you must tap on Save, as seen above. For new networks, press Connect, as shown in the next image.

Press Connect or Save to apply your changes

If you choose Proxy Auto-Config, you get access to the PAC URL field. The value that you enter should follow the format: https://www.example.com/proxy.pac.

Proxy Auto-Config only shows the PAC URL option

Enter the URL (web address) for that proxy or its configuration script (PAC file) and tap the button in the lower-right corner of the pop-up. For new networks, tap on Connect, as shown in the screenshot above. Press Save for an existing network, as seen below.

Press Save or Connect to apply your changes

From now on, each time it’s connected to the selected Wi-Fi network, your Android smartphone or tablet uses the proxy server you configured.

How to set a Wi-Fi proxy server for Android on Samsung devices

Samsung has slightly different Wi-Fi proxy settings on their Android devices. Open Settings and tap on Connections.

Access Connections on Samsung Galaxy

Tap the first option on the screen, Wi-Fi.

NOTE: The Wi-Fi option has to be enabled on your Samsung Android if you want to continue.

Access Wi-Fi to see available networks

You are shown a list of all the available Wi-Fi networks. The Current network is displayed on top. Depending on whether you’re setting the proxy server for an existing connection or a new one, accessing a network’s Advanced settings is slightly different. Press on the gear icon next to your Current network or on any of the available connections from the list underneath.

Select a network or use the gear icon next to the Current network

Depending on what you chose, the following screen has different settings, but, in both cases, you should press the Advanced option at the bottom. You can finally see the Proxy setting for the selected network on the next screen. Tap on its default value, None, to reveal other options for configuring the Android proxy server.

Press None to open a dropdown menu

Choose whether you want to manually enter the Wi-Fi proxy server or use a proxy auto-configuration address.

Select a configuration type from the available options

The Manual option reveals five additional fields, but only the first two are required to set up the Android proxy server: under “Proxy host name, enter either the hostname of the server you want to use (in the suggested format: proxy.example.com) or its IP address; enter a port under Proxy port - the default used by most proxy servers is 8080). Optionally, you can specify web pages to bypass the proxy and establish a direct connection to the web page. Fill in the User name and Password fields if these details are required.

Insert the proxy details and our credentials for it, if required

When you’re done setting everything up, press Save to apply your changes, as seen below.

Tap on Save to use the new Wi-Fi proxy settings

If you choose the Auto-Config setting for your proxy server, you are required to insert the “PAC web address. Enter the URL for that proxy or its configuration script, and then tap on Save.

Insert the PAC URL and Save

You are returned to the previous screen. If you’re setting a proxy for a new Wi-Fi network on your Samsung Android, don’t forget to insert a password and press Connect, as seen below.

Finish connecting to a new Wi-Fi network to use the proxy

That was it! Your Android smartphone or tablet should use the proxy server you configured each time it’s connected to the Wi-Fi network.

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

Most Android owners only use a Wi-Fi proxy server on their devices if it’s required to access the internet on a business or school network. However, there are users who think of it as a good way to protect their online identity and avoid giving away their location. What about you? Why did you decide to use a Wi-Fi proxy server? Let us know in the comments.

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