A proxy is a fantastic tool for maintaining the privacy and safeguarding your data. But how do you know if your proxy is working as expected? The illusion of security only has minimal benefit as a deterrent and no advantage during an actual breach.
While a proxy provider may make various claims about robust security and reliability, it’s in your interest to investigate these claims yourself. This article will walk you through basic ways to check if your proxy is everything it claims.
Is Your Proxy Working or Shirking?
Privacy-minded individuals and corporations often turn to proxies to increase their online security. But simply trusting the claims of your proxy provider is not the wisest course— especially today when online safety is more critical than ever.
Is there a way to check that your proxy is working as intended? Yes, and it’s easier than you may think. Verifying that your proxy works as expected can save you massive headaches and costly damages in the event of a data compromise. Follow the easy steps below to check whether your proxy is performing as advertised.
How To Check if Your Proxy Is Functioning
The method you use to check proxy functionality will depend on your particular setup. Your operating system, devices, and proxy provider will all play a role in the exact steps, but we will provide general outlines here.
The first rule of diagnostics is, start with the most superficial check, before progressing onto the more advanced examinations. Therefore, if you suspect that your proxy is not functioning, check the settings to ensure everything is in order.
On Windows 10:
- Click the Start button, and then click Settings.
- In the Settings window, click Network & Internet.
- In the Network & Internet window, select Proxy from the left column.
- In the proxy configuration, scroll down until you see Manual Proxy Setup.
- From this section, you can view your proxy settings.
On macOS 10/11
- Open System Preferences and click Network.
- In the Network window, click Advanced.
- In the advanced network screen, select the Proxies tab.
- From this section, you can view your current proxy settings.
If the settings look correct, the next step is a real-world proxy transfer test. You will need access to the terminal or command prompt on your computer or device. If you are checking the proxy for your personal computer, this won’t be an issue; ask your network administrator for assistance in a corporate environment.
If you are using Windows 10 with PowerShell, there is a built-in command which makes things simpler. Test-NetConnection allows you to quickly check to ensure that your internet and proxy settings are correct. Use the following example command to test if your proxy is functioning:
Windows 10 PowerShell:
Test-NetConnection -ComputerName yourserver.com -Port 1234
In the command above, replace yourserver.com, with the URL you want to check against. Also, replace 1234 with the port number of your proxy.
On macOS and other UNIX-style operating systems, things are a bit different. You can use the wget terminal command to attempt an HTTP fetch request over your proxy and check the results.
wget -q –proxy-user=account –proxy-password=yourpw –spider yourserver.com
Replace account and yourpw with the login credentials for your proxy account and yourserver.com with the URL you want to check against. The –spider option prevents wget from downloading any files, only verifying the destination is reachable.
Checking Proxy Protections
After the basic checks, there’s one more aspect to verify: if your proxy is protecting you— an area of proxy testing that is typically overlooked. Yet, assuming that a proxy is safe simply because it is functional can be dangerous.
The main security advantage of a proxy is hiding your personally identifiable details as you browse online. The two most critical details which a proxy should conceal are your ISP and your private IP address.
To check the protection of your proxy, you can use a free tool such as http://showmyip.com.
If the scan results show your actual IP address, ISP, and geographical location, then you know that your proxy is not working.
What if my Proxy Isn’t Working?
So, you’ve run the tests and your proxy’s results are less than stellar— what can you do? The good news is that there are many proxy providers to choose from. IPRoyal is a proxy provider with a trusted reputation offering fast, reliable, and secure proxies worldwide.
Don’t settle for second-rate security when your data is at stake. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.