Frustration is the name of the game when your proxies stop working, but rather than tearing your hair out, getting stressed and decrying the complete and utter uselessness of the technology that surrounds you, take a deep breath and investigate five of the most common reasons that proxies stop working.
This is where you should start checking, and is a particularly important start point for the novice or uninitiated. Ask yourself if you have a firewall running. In general, the answer will be “yes”. Perhaps you are even certain that you have ticked the right configuration boxes to ensure a particular software program was deactivated. Get used to the fact that lots of programs can re-activate – anti-virus packages are good examples of this.
Firewall settings can be checked fairly easily in both Windows and Mac, so do that first. This is checking the OS-level firewall. Of course, there are often third-party firewalls running in the background to consider. If your initial investigation did not yield the required results look closely through your computers activity log to spot any problems there.
It is important to be clear on one thing: Firewalls will de-activate any proxy networking you are carrying out. This is because proxies by nature need open ports. Turn off any firewalls and your ports will be open, leave them active and problems will occur.
If the number one culprit is not the problem, then you need to check your general router settings. To do this you will require the manual of your router. If this is not easily at hand, it should be found through a quick search of the internet for your specific piece of hardware.
Log into the router via any web browser and go to the settings. The first check is to see if the router has any firewalls activated. If this is not the case, you should methodically work through each setting to see which, if any ports are blocked. As the majority of us know, proxies tend to use Port 80 (similar to all HTTP requests), but it is not impossible for other ports to be used.
If so, and any of these ports are blocked, unblock them. Other router settings that can cause problems are if the UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) setting is enabled and don’t forget parental control settings which could be limiting your access.
Home Network Connection
This one may seem pretty basic, but it is important that you independently check to see that your internet connection is working well. Those on limited usage plans may find their ISP has deliberately throttled back the connection due to over-aggressive use.
Ping Your Proxy
Rather than giving up too quickly on straightforward ways to fix your proxy, do not hesitate to ping individual proxies. There are lots of ‘ping’ sites available and they will quickly tell you whether your proxy is responding or not. It should also be remembered that a professional proxy provider company will do everything they can to assist.
Find Your Solutions Online
There are a host of user forums and communities out there that are made up of like-minded people. If you have a proxy problem look through these communities to see which best suit. Check their FAQ sections, but also do not be afraid to lean-on others who have more experience or who have been through issues you are facing. Remember, they would not be part of the community if they did not want to assist or receive assistance. On that point, do try giving something back to the community that helped you. If you can answer a problem or assist with a comment then do so. This is more than sufficient payment for groups that can help with many technical issues.