The most common proxy server settings are for direct connections to the Internet, auto detect, and manual configuration. Hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP) proxies, and SOCKS, network proxy protocol, proxies can also be selected. Additional settings include clearing the cache and secure bind.
The direct connection setting is used when a user wants to access the Internet directly, even though the browser is configured for proxy usage. It is one of the simplest and most common proxy server settings and is a handy feature when a user needs to switch between his or her real IP address and the proxy. When this setting is used, the proxy is bypassed.
Proxy server settings can also be detected automatically. When networked computers need to use the same proxy settings, a server can be set up and a special profile can be created using the .ins and .cab files. This is a quick and easy way to control proxy settings from one central location since the computers automatically detect the correct settings.
Manual configuration allows users to enter proxy server settings by hand. This function can normally be accessed through the "Tools" menu of the Internet browser. The settings panel will offer the option of no proxy, auto detection, system proxy settings, and manual configuration. If manual configuration is selected, the user will be able to select the type of proxy he or she is going to use. The correct information can then be inserted to complete the configuration.
Users will often be given a choice between HTTP proxies or SOCKS proxies, especially when proxy server software is used. The user enters the proxy address and port. If it is a secure proxy, the software will prompt the user to enter a user name and password as well.
Clearing the cache is another proxy server setting. It protects user data in the case of saved passwords. Some proxy server software packages also offer the option of clearing cookies and temporary browser files after the user disconnects from the proxy.
Some proxy software packages offer a secure bind setting as well. When this is enabled, the user is protected even if the proxy server fails. This setting interrupts the Internet connection if the proxy stops functioning while in use, preventing the user's real IP address from being revealed. This is a handy feature when using secure sites or when "leaking" the IP address is a concern.