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[2024] Mac Proxy Settings - How to Configure or Change Mac Proxy Server

Proxy servers provide better security and privacy for browsing the internet. Here is how to configure Mac proxy settings.

A proxy server is a great way to bypass a firewall, unlock geographic restrictions, and hide your real IP address. You can set up a proxy for Mac to let your traffic go through it. Some apps that have their own proxy settings will use their default settings instead of Mac proxy settings.

Change Proxy Settings on macOS

The article describes the process of configuring a Mac proxy server. You can also use a VPN service to protect your online data and mask your location.

Typically, a user accesses a website by sending a direct request to its web server from a web browser via the user's IP address. The web server then sends data containing the website content directly back to the user. If you are using a proxy server, all your internet traffic flows through the proxy server instead of the web server.

In this way, a proxy server acts as an intermediary between the user and the web server. Because a proxy server uses a different address, the user's real address will be concealed.

Modern proxy servers do more than changing and masking user's IP addresses. They can help bypass firewalls, provide shared and controlled network connections, and provide extra security and privacy.

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As a Mac proxy server can bring so many advantages, you can manually set up a proxy server on Mac.

You can set up Mac proxies with different protocols such as HTTP, FTP, or HTTPS proxies all at once. The process is described in the following steps.

How to enter Mac proxy settings

Step 1: Choose the Apple menu in the upper left corner of your screen > System Preferences on your Mac.

Access System Preferences

Step 2: Click the Network icon to open network settings.

Network Settings on Mac

Step 3: Select the network connection you use. If your computer is using a wired network, click Ethernet. If your Mac is connected to Wi-Fi networks, select Wi-Fi to configure the proxies.

Mac Proxy Settings

Step 4: Click the Advanced button at the right bottom corner and select the Proxies tab.

Step 5: In the window of Select a protocol to configure, you can either configure your Mac proxy settings automatically or enable one or more of the protocol check boxes.


To configure a Mac proxy server automatically, do one of the followings:

  1. Select Auto Proxy Discovery. Then your Mac will automatically detect whether a proxy is available and necessary.

  2. Select Automatic Proxy Configuration if your business or school network administrator provided you with the address of a proxy auto-configuration (PAC) file. Then you can enter the address of the PAC file in the URL field.

Automatically Set Up a Proxy for Mac

How to change proxy settings on Mac manually? You need to leave the two boxes described above unchecked and enable one or more options in the list including:

  1. Web Proxy (HTTP)

  2. Secure Web Proxy (HTTPS)

  3. FTP Proxy

  4. SOCKS Proxy

  5. Streaming Proxy (RTSP)

  6. Gopher Proxy

Enter Mac Proxy Settings

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Step 6: Enter the correct proxy server and port number for each Mac proxy you select. If your proxy is protected by a password, enable the "Proxy server requires password" and enter your username and password. Depending on your needs and your level of permission assigned by your LSP or company.

Step 7: Click OK, then click Apply.

macOS allows you to turn on "Bypass proxy settings for these Hosts & Domains" and add a list of domains in the box. This segment is helpful if you want to receive data directly from the listed hosts or domains and not data that's cached on the Mac proxy server.

Also Read:  Proxy VS. VPN: Similarities, Differences & Which One to Use >>

A proxy server for Mac can add additional functionality by providing a varying level of permissions and caching services. It also provides security and privacy to your online experience because your traffic will be rerouted through a different IP address.

However, the protection provided by a proxy server is very limited because your data is not encrypted and still can be intercepted. A VPN for Mac is the best alternative to a Mac proxy server because it can establish an encrypted network connection and provide more server locations to work around borders.

iTop VPN is a free VPN service that provides a military-level encryption guarantee and quick access to any geo-restricted websites, apps, games, and social media. It has over 1800 servers around the world scattered mainly in Europe, North America, and East Asia.

iTop VPN is very easy to install and set up. The steps below describe how to use it on Mac:

Step 1: Download and install iTop VPN app on your Mac desktop or laptop. It supports macOS 10.15 or later (for Macs introduced mid-2012 or later). After downloading the installation file, follow the onscreen instruction to install. Then open iTop VPN in the Application folder in Finder.

Step 2: Select a protection mode from "For Gaming", "For Streaming", or "For Social" if you have a specific purpose for connecting to a different server. You can also open the "System Security" and "Privacy Protection" interfaces to enable a higher level of protection on your Mac computer.

Step 3: iTop safe VPN automatically connects your Mac device to a smart server location. If you want to use another VPN server, click All Servers to select from the list.

VPN Servers for Mac

Step 4: Click the Connect button to start protecting your online activities.

Use VPN on Mac

1. Does Mac use a proxy?

Mac doesn't have a built-in proxy server. Mac proxies are provided by your home or business network provider. You can choose the Apple menu > System Preferences > Network, select the network connection you are using, and set up a proxy server on Mac through advanced settings.

2. Should proxy settings be on or off on Mac?

It depends on your needs. If you would like all traffic to go through a Mac proxy server, you should set the proxy to be on. If you don't feel it necessary, everything should be set to off.

3. What proxy settings should I use?

It depends on what type of proxy server your network administrator provides. HTTP and HTTPS are more common for browsing websites.

To protect your data from being stolen, collected, and sold, rerouting your data through another server instead of your web server provided by your ISP is a good way. Your real IP and activities will be hidden.

You can either get a proxy for Mac or use a VPN service for Mac. A VPN connection is more secure and private as it provides more servers around the world and the tunnel is encrypted. Download iTop VPN free to enjoy a safer and more free web world on your Mac now. 

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