Top 4 applications for connecting a proxy on Mac OS

Using a proxy server on macOS varies according to user needs and specific scenarios. Key situations where a proxy is essential include:

  • Bypassing blocks and censorship. Proxies enable the circumvention of geographical restrictions on websites or services by changing your virtual location.
  • Anonymity and security. A proxy conceals your real IP address, adding an extra layer of anonymity while browsing the web.
  • Content filtering. Some proxies offer features to filter and block unwanted content.
  • Speeding up content loading. Certain proxy servers can cache content, enhancing loading speeds, particularly on slow or limited-speed connections.
  • Protection from malicious websites. The article below includes examples of proxies that safeguard against malicious sites and attacks, including traffic encryption and filtering.
  • Monitoring in organizations. When set up across a local network, proxies can be used to manage and monitor employee internet activity.

On macOS, proxy applications serve various purposes. These full-fledged programs allow you to configure proxy connections for applications that lack built-in proxy support.

Proxifier – what is it and how to use it

Proxifier is a versatile proxy tool for Windows and macOS, enabling the routing of application network traffic through proxy servers. It offers configurable settings to determine which applications utilize proxies. This feature is beneficial for various uses such as bypassing regional restrictions or maintaining security on open Wi-Fi networks. Key features include:

  • Directs network traffic of individual browsers or programs through proxies.
  • On macOS, Proxifier enables access to region-specific content.
  • Encrypts traffic via proxy server management, bolstering online activity security.
  • Compatible with various proxy types, including SOCKS and HTTP.
  • Allows creating detailed rules for traffic direction based on IP addresses, domains, and ports.
  • Ensures comprehensive support for modern networks.
  • Proxifier can adjust macOS system proxy settings to route all system traffic through proxies.
  • Usage scenarios for Proxifier include:
  • Changing the IP address to bypass restrictions on specific websites or services.
  • Choosing proxies in various countries to access content limited to certain regions, like streaming platforms or online stores.
  • Adds a security layer when using untrustworthy networks.

It's vital to recognize that third-party traffic routing tools like Proxifier require careful configuration and vigilance, as they might pose data security and privacy risks.

How to use Proxifier to configure a proxy

  1. Begin by downloading and installing the software directly from the official website of the program. Avoid third-party software portals for security and authenticity.
  2. Once installed, open the application. In the main Proxifier window, navigate to the "Proxies" menu.
  3. In the “Proxies” section, click the "Add" button located in the upper right corner to insert a new proxy server.
  4. In the "Address" section, specify the address of the desired proxy server. In the "Port" section, specify the port through which you will connect to the proxy. Select the "Protocol" proxy type, such as SOCKS or HTTP, depending on the type of proxy server you are connecting to. If the proxy has authentication, enter your credentials in the "Authentication" section, having first checked the "Enable" checkbox - here you need to enter your username and password. Save the changes by clicking on “Save”.
  5. Click the "Yes" button to confirm that the entered data is accurate and the proxy is set up.
  6. To create a rule for a specific program, go to the “Rules” tab on the main application screen. Next, click on the “Add” button.
  7. The rule settings window will appear, in which you need to set a name for the rule in the “Name” line. After this, you need to specify the path to the executive file of the program that should operate through a proxy, to do this, click on the plus sign. Next, you need to select the proxy profile that was created from the list in the “Action” line.
  8. After selecting the required profile, save the rule by clicking on “Save”.

To ensure that your applications are using the proxy, visit any website that shows your IP address. It should now reflect the address of the proxy server you've configured.

Proxycap - what is it and how to use the program

Proxycap enables you to set up proxy servers for specific applications or the entire system. This feature allows selective routing of software traffic through proxies, ideal for circumventing geographic restrictions, enhancing security, or maintaining anonymity. Key capabilities of Proxycap include:

  • Adding and customizing proxy servers for individual apps or system-wide use.
  • Selectively determining which applications utilize proxies, aiding in traffic and resource management.
  • Employing proxies in various countries to bypass regional limitations.
  • Offering an extra layer of security and encryption, particularly with VPNs or encrypted proxies.
  • Concealing your true IP address, thereby promoting internet anonymity.
  • Creating traffic routing rules and supporting different proxy types, such as SOCKS and HTTP.
  • Implementing proxy configurations on MAC OS for the entire system, not just specific applications.

As shareware, Proxycap requires a special key for full access to all features, enabling comprehensive internet connection management. However, its free version still provides essential functionalities.

How to use Proxycap to configure a proxy

To effectively use Proxycap, first download it from the developer's official website. Follow these steps for setup:

  1. After installation and launch, locate the Proxycap icon on the right side of the taskbar. Right-click it and select "Configuration" from the context menu.
  2. In the main program window, navigate to the "Proxies" section and click the "New" button at the bottom.
  3. Enter the required parameters: choose an arbitrary name in the "Display Name" field, and select the protocol type under "Type". Consult other articles on our website for protocol guidance.
  4. For "Hostname", input your provider's name. In the "Port" field, specify the server port you intend to connect to. There are also optional user authentication fields. After entering all vital information, click "OK".
  5. Setting up rules is akin to proxy setup - go to the "Rules" tab.
  6. In this new window, assign a name in the “Rule Name” field, then select the desired proxy profile from the context menu. Use the button with three dots to choose the executable file's path, like the Opera browser in this instance. Remember to save your changes by clicking “OK” in all open windows.

To verify your Internet connection's stability, visit any website. If it loads, your ProxyCap settings on Mac are correct, if an error occurs, adjust the settings accordingly.

Charles Proxy - what is it and how to use it

Charles Proxy is a sophisticated network traffic monitoring and analysis tool, primarily aimed at web application developers and testers. It facilitates the observation and analysis of HTTP and HTTPS requests between your computer and servers, making it an invaluable asset for debugging, testing, and diagnosing network issues. Notable features of Charles Proxy include:

  • It captures all network traffic between PCs and servers, allowing for thorough examination.
  • Records comprehensive logs of HTTP and HTTPS requests, encompassing both large and small data packets, and analyzes server responses. It can save sessions for future reference and supports importing and exporting sessions to collaborate with other developers.
  • Charles Proxy can mimic various network environments, such as slow connections or packet loss, enabling testing of application performance under different conditions.
  • The tool can proxy SSL connections, enabling the analysis of encrypted traffic. It even allows for the creation of custom certificates for testing purposes.
  • Users can modify and forward requests and responses to experiment with different scenarios and observe how the utility reacts to these alterations.

Charles Proxy for Mac is particularly useful for debugging web applications, testing APIs, conducting performance analysis, and identifying potential security issues by scrutinizing requests and responses.

Tutorial on setting up a proxy in Charles Proxy

  1. Obtain Charles Proxy from the official website and install it on your Mac.
  2. Launch the utility and install the certificate to prevent malfunctions. Navigate to the “Help” menu, choose “SSL Proxying”, and then “Install Charles Root Certificate”.
  3. Exercise caution during this step as correct installation is crucial. In the “Keychain Access”, locate the “Charles certificate”, identifiable by a small red cross.
  4. Double-click the certificate and, in the settings, select “Always Trust” for the option “When using this certificate”.
  5. Upon closing “Keychain Access”, you'll be prompted to enter the Mac administrator's username and password for security. After entering these, click “Update Settings”.
  6. Go to the “Proxy” menu and select “SSL Proxying Settings”.
  7. In the “SSL Proxying” tab, tick “Enable SSL Proxying”, then add a new location using the “Add” button.
  8. In the subsequent window, input the IP address and port in “Host” and “Port” fields respectively, then save your settings by clicking “OK”.
  9. In Charles, under the “Proxy” menu, select “Proxy Settings”.
  10. In the “Proxies” tab, define the ports and protocol, HTTP or SOCKS, for your proxies. After entering the necessary ports, save your settings by clicking “OK.”

Charles Proxy is a comprehensive tool with a multitude of functions, which might be complex for beginners. It's a proficient option for proxy setup on Mac OS but may require some acclimatization due to its extensive features.

SSH Proxy – for virtual network masters

SSH Proxy on Mac leverages the SSH (Secure Shell) protocol to establish a secure tunnel between your computer and a remote server for network traffic redirection. The primary benefits of using an SSH SOCKS Proxy include:

  • Security. It offers a high level of encryption, ensuring a secure connection for data transmission. This level of security is crucial for protecting sensitive information from potential interceptors.
  • Anonymity. Using a server for network connections conceals your real IP address. This anonymity is essential when browsing websites and using online services, as it shields your online activities from being traced back to you.
  • Bypassing blocking. The encryption techniques utilized by SSH Proxy are effective in circumventing restrictions and blocks in networks where access to specific resources is limited. This feature is particularly useful in regions or networks with heavy internet censorship.
  • Traffic control. SSH Proxy allows for granular control over your network traffic. You can configure it to route only specific types of traffic or applications. This flexibility enables you to tailor the proxy usage to your specific needs, optimizing both security and network performance.

Overall, SSH SOCKS Proxy on Mac is a robust tool for enhancing online security, privacy, and overcoming internet restrictions.

How to set up a proxy in SSH Proxy on Mac OS

Once you've installed the SSH Proxy program from the official store, follow these steps for a comprehensive setup:

  1. Open SSH Proxy and access the main menu. Select “Preferences” to enter the settings area.
  2. A window will open, typically defaulting to the “General” tab. Here, you can adjust general application settings and autorun options. For this setup, navigate to the “Servers” tab.
  3. In the “Servers” tab, click on the “Settings” button located in the lower right corner.
  4. In the SSH server settings window, enter the address and port of the SSH server along with its authorization details. Once completed, click “Create” to establish the SSH server.
  5. After creating the SSH server, switch to the “Connection” tab to configure a proxy connection for your server.
  6. In the “Connection” tab, check the “Connection through proxy” box next to the “Proxy” item. This action enables proxy connections and opens further configuration options.
  7. In the newly displayed subsection, select the appropriate protocol in the “Proxy Type” line. Enter the IP address and port of your proxy server, and provide username and password details if needed for authorization. Then, click “Create” to establish the proxy connection for the SSH server.
  8. Return to the main menu of the program and click “Turn On” to activate the proxy connection.

With these steps, your traffic should now be routed through the newly configured proxy connection. To verify, visit a website that shows your current IP address and see if it reflects the proxy's IP, indicating successful routing through the SSH tunnel.

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