How to Use Foxy Proxy
By John Phillips
FoxyProxy is a popular Firefox add-on that makes getting a proxy IP address a snap. You might want to surf via a proxy if you are blocked by a firewall, want to access content restricted by geographical location or are concerned about online safety and want to browse anonymously. While Firefox comes with built-in proxy tools, they are severely limited, making FoxyProxy an essential tool for anyone serious about browsing through a proxy.
Download FoxyProxy from Mozilla's Firefox add-on directory (see Resources). Install the files and select "Restart Firefox" when prompted. In the status bar at the bottom left of your screen, you should see the message "FoxyProxy: Disabled" in red font, which is the default setting after installation.
Get a proxy IP address (see Resources). A quick web search will also turn up hundreds of free proxy IPs that are ready to use. On many such sites, the IP addresses are listed by country, so find one from the country you want and paste it to your clipboard. Make a note of the port number.
Click the FoxyProxy icon in the status bar at the bottom of your browser to open the settings, then select "Add New Proxy" and paste the IP address and port name into the input boxes.
Use the URL patterns feature to tell FoxyProxy which URLs you want accessed by proxy. Unless you want to access every website you visit by the proxy, these patterns are very useful and you can use wildcards to broaden the scope of the patterns. For example, "http://www.ehow.com/*" which will return true for any eHow.com URL.
Turn FoxyProxy on by selecting the mode in which you want it to run. The three options are: completely disabled, patterns mode and proxy as default for all URLs. You can easily see which mode you are in at any time by looking at the status bar.
- If you can't find reliable proxies, consider buying FoxyProxy's proxy service, which is a reliable, high bandwidth service.
- Any information you send over a proxy can be seen by the owner of the proxy, so use the URL patterns to make sure you aren't sending sensitive information, such as passwords, through the proxy.
John Phillips is full-time editor at a leading English newspaper in Asia and has been writing since 2007. He has contributed to eHow on a variety of topics, mostly related to the Internet and web development. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in politics from Loughborough University and is certified as a subeditor by the UK's National Council for the Training of Journalists.