Proxy servers are a way in which you can connect to the Internet without exposing your true physical location.
The theory behind proxy servers is that you connect your computer to a secondary computer, prior to browsing the Internet. All of your Internet traffic flows through that secondary computer before being routed to you. To the outside Internet, your location appears the same as the location of the secondary computer.
Frequently, the location of the secondary computer will be far away from your physical location — even all the way across the globe.
Why Use a Proxy Server?
Proxy servers have many uses; some of which are innocent and some of which are not.
- They can be used as a way to hide your identity when you don’t want people tracing your activities on the Internet back to you.
- They can be used to circumvent company firewalls, which may well breach use of company equipment and as such is not advised.
- They can be used to download region-restricted content, which may be illegal in your jurisdiction, and as such is not advised.
- They can be used to protect your privacy.
Configuring Proxy Servers
To configure Opera 11 to use a proxy server, follow along with these steps:
- Open Opera and click on the ‘Menu’ button on the program’s title bar.
- Click on the ‘Settings’ menu item and then click ‘Preferences’ to bring up the Preferences screen.
- Click on the ‘Advanced’ tab at the top of the Preferences screen.
- On the left side of the screen there are categories of advanced preferences. Click on the ‘Network’ category’.
- Click on the ‘Proxy Servers…’ button to bring up the Proxy servers screen.
- Check the box that says ‘HTTP.’ This will allow Opera to connect over a HTTP proxy server — allowing you to privately browse the web.
- In the text box next to ‘HTTP’ is where you will enter the address of your proxy server. This address will typically be in the form of a DNS host name such as proxy.example.com but it also may also take the form of an IP address such as 127.0.0.1.
- Enter the proxy server port in the text box next to ‘Port’. Port 80 is the standard port for browsing the web, but some proxy servers will use a custom port — such as 8080 — to bypass corporate firewalls.
- Click the ‘OK’ button to close the Proxy servers screen.
- Click the ‘OK’ button to close the Preferences screen.
You’re done setting up your proxy server. Now you just need to test it out by attempting to browse the Internet.
Open a website such as http://www.example.com/ to attempt to browse the Internet. Your proxy server may require you to log in, so it might prompt you for a username and password to access the proxy server. You typically will be provided with the username and password by the provider of the proxy server when you received the address information.
If you receive an error that Opera “Could not connect to proxy server”, that may mean that you typed the hostname or IP address in incorrectly or the proxy server is not currently accepting your connection request. Check with the proxy server provider to verify your login details.