iOS Proxy 101: How to Configure a Proxy Server on iPhone

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Configure a Proxy Server on iPhone

You have landed the right place to learn how simple it is to set a proxy server. Now, you can hide your IP address and surf on the internet anonymously using your iOS device. But before that, let me explain what exactly a proxy server is.

In simple terms, a proxy server acts as a mediator to retrieve data on the internet with the IP address you provide. It offers security and privacy based on your requirements. The proxy server receives traffic flows when you initiate a request to browse the web page and provides you with the requested data. 

Proxy Server Diagram

A proxy server not only provides better network performance but also does a good job at hiding your IP address, which is visible to the public. You can also hide your location and access geo-restricted content. For example, you can use a UK proxy to access specific content only available in the UK.

Another benefit of it is tracking what the employers are surfing on the internet and keeping tabs on what exactly they are browsing and the duration of the search. Here is the best part, a proxy server also blocks access to certain websites as it respects your privacy no matter who you are. A VPN is generally used on the mobile phone, proxies come next.

You can use a proxy server for iOS to:

  • Access geo-restricted websites and app features
  • Gain access on blocked websites for iOS
  • Download apps that are restricted in your region

There are few methods to configure a proxy server on the iPhone and the steps to do it are as follows:

Steps to Configure a Proxy Server on an iPhone Using Wi-Fi:

  • Go to the settings option on your iPhone and turn on the Wi-Fi. You can also do this on the Control Center panel by swiping up from the bottom of the screen.

    Go to settings to configure a proxy server on an iPhoneGo to settings to configure a proxy server on an iPhone using wifi

  • Find a secured wifi connection, preferably a home or office network. Once you connect yourself to the available Wi-Fi, tap the button and scroll down to find HTTP Proxy at the bottom. 
  • You will find that the Configure Proxy is turned off by default. Now, switch to Manual to allow your device to access the proxy.

    Configure Proxy Manual
    After you switch to Manual, turn on the Authentication button and enter your Server, Port, Username, and Password. 

  • Once you fill in all the details, turn off the Authentication button if you choose IP authentication. In this case, the Username and the Password are no longer required. 
  • If you choose Automatic, your iOS device needs to have details of WPAD (Web Proxy Auto-Discovery Protocol). Enter the address into the URL field. The Protocol checks the necessity to use a proxy on the Wi-Fi network. If so, it will be set automatically. This feature is used mostly by business organizations and schools.
    Configure Proxy Automatic
  • If you wish to turn off the proxy server, go to settings and click on the Wi-Fi button. Once you connect to the available network, scroll down to the bottom and press Configure Proxy under HTTP Proxy. Turn off to disable the function.

NOTE: the above setting method is done through a Wi-Fi network only. If you are using the mobile network, the proxy method does not work and there is another method altogether as explained further.

Steps to Configure a Proxy Server on an iOS Device Using a Mobile Connection:

There are two ways to configure using a mobile network. It is a complicated process as it demands you to modify your global HTTP Proxy settings using Apple Configurator and a Custom Written XML- based profile. 

Apple Configurator is the simplest and the preferred method to use proxy on the mobile network. However, make sure that you have access to a Mac Computer. You can download Apple Configurator from the Appstore.

You can also set your Mac device via USB cable into “Supervised Mode” to use Global HTTP Proxy settings. Please note that the process will erase all the content, therefore backup all the data before doing this. 

To custom write an XML-based profile is technical and strenuous. A set of configuration settings, the XML-based profile format uses tags and elements as pictured below. This method is only applicable if you don’t own a Mac computer to set up your device. 

Configure User

It is better to not opt for this method. It’s fairly easy to make a mistake just by mistyping a code. You may need to find someone with deep knowledge about this one for it to work.

Steps to Configure Proxy Setting on Your iOS Device:

I suggest you follow the steps given below to confirm if the proxies are configured on your device successfully before surfing the internet. Once the proxies are configured properly, you can use your iOS device to browse safely.

Visit What is My IP address

  • The first step is to visit WhatIsMyIPAddress. You will be able to see the IP address of your device chosen by the Mobile Network Operator (MNO).

Check Ip with What is My IP address

  • Check if your IP address is similar to that of the one you just configured. If the IP address looks different or if the previous IP remains, note that your device is not configured and your real IP address will be visible to others.

Conclusion

As you have reached the end of the guide, I hope by now you are aware of the Proxy Configuration on your iPhone device. Proxies are necessary in the surfing world since every action you take on the internet is visible to everyone. 

However, I suggest you use a VPN service for better privacy. The proxy server administrator may still have access to the encrypted information transferred through the proxy. If you choose a bad proxy provider, your information may end up leaked on the Internet.

A VPN (Virtual Private Network) works on the operating system level, does a better job at hiding your IP address, and encrypts the data being transferred over the internet. You have the liberty to select trustworthy and genuine VPN companies. The guide is to help you configure a proxy on your iOS device. You can use both proxy and VPN as per your choice.