How To Proxify Yourself Through FoxyProxy - A Detailed Discussion

By Angsuman Chakraborty, Gaea News Network
Tuesday, November 18, 2008

FoxyProxy is a free, open-source, advanced proxy management tool that helps you in proxying your browsing experience through Firefox. It surpasses the limitations of Firefox’s inherent one and gives you quite a wide scope to browse.

FoxyProxy automatically switches an internet connection across one or more proxy servers based on URL patterns. In other words, it automates the manual process of editing Firefox’s Connection Settings dialog box.

Foxy Proxy Tools

  1. Animated icons- It show you when a proxy is in use.
  2. Advanced logging- It shows you which proxies were used and when.
  3. QuickAdd-  Makes it a snap to create new URL patterns on-the-fly.
  4. Language Tool- It can be translated into more than 25 languages.


  • Animated statusbar/toolbar icons show you when a proxy is in use
  • You can define multiple proxies.
  • Define which proxy to use (or none!) for arbitrary URLs
  • Better support for PAC files than Firefox itself
    (The proxy auto-config file defines how web browsers and other user agents can automatically choose the appropriate proxy server (access method) for fetching a given URL. A PAC file contains a JavaScript function FindProxyForURL(url, host))
  • Foxyproxy is compatible with portable Firefox too.

Other Important Aspects

1. Foxy Proxy Doesn’t Anonymize You

This should be kept in mind while you are browsing. Our common concept is any proxy service hides our ip-address to show a new one to others. But that is not the case. Only Proxy severs do so. And FoxyProxy isn’t that. Your ip will be shown while you are browsing the web.

2.  FoxyProxy is not a Tor

There is a common misunderstanding that Tor is required to use FoxyProxy. This is not true. FoxyProxy has nothing to do with Tor. FoxyProxy is not Tor. If used with Tor, FoxyProxy efficiently loads only the URLs you define through the slow Tor network. The benefit of using FoxyProxy with Tor is simply that you can use your fast internet connection to load normal URLs and the Tor network to load sensitive URLs without constantly changing Firefox proxy settings.

3. Secure Your Privacy through FoxyProxy

If you are using a proxy for complete privacy and anonymity, there are two recommended ways to use FoxyProxy so this privacy and anonymity is maintained:

  • Use FoxyProxy in dedicated (non-patterns) mode; i.e., “Use Proxy XXX for all URLs”. This is indicated by the blue FoxyProxy icon in the statusbar and toolbar.
  • Use FoxyProxy in patterns mode but change the settings for the default proxy from using your direct internet connection to a bogus (i.e., non-existent) proxy such as localhost:55555. When a URL is reached which doesn’t match a whitelisted pattern, the URL will attempt load through this non-existent proxy. The attempt will time out and fail. In this way, you can still leverage patterns but not compromise privacy and anonymity.

4. Protect Your Privacy from perpetration of Google through Foxyproxy

Google, the best and the unparalleled search engine, whom you trust the most before anything, has a very dark side of it. Did you know that Google places a cookie inside your desktop that keeps all the searching activity of yours in their records? Will you like a third party to know everything you have ever searched for? But like it or not, Google does it.

So here is a method.

  1. Get access to an anonymous web proxy. A common favourite is the Tor network

  2. I hope you are using Mozilla Firefox.

  3. Install the FoxyProxy extension for Firefox

  4. Within FoxyProxy configuration, add an entry for your anonymous proxy. Within this proxy, add 2 whitelist wildcard rules, with the patterns:

    • https://**
  5. Clear out all your browser cookies

  6. Set Firefox so that it only keeps cookies till you close Firefox (Edit/Preferences/Privacy/Cookies)

  7. If there are any other sites that may be unduly logging your activity, and don’t have a regular log deletion policy, add some entries for these sites into your anonymous proxy matchlist in FoxyProxy.

With these measures in place, all your regular web requests will go out directly to the internet, while all requests for * will go via the Tor anonymity network. Also, since your cookies are getting deleted every time you close/restart Firefox, then Google will no longer be able to build a history of your web surfing.

In Conclusion

FoxyProxy is a very featureful and useful Proxy management tool. And it easily beats the likes of SwitchProxy, ProxyButton, QuickProxy, xyzproxy, ProxyTex, and TorButton any given day. So, I recommend it.

[thanks to:]

July 16, 2009: 1:26 am

Dude Tor is so much better than Foxyproxy I agree with you (@looey). That is exactly what I think.

May 6, 2009: 10:32 pm

torbutton is a lot better than foxy proxy.
it automatically clears cookies, disables javascript and flash etc (which can reveal your true ip).

foxy proxy is rubbish, unintuitive interface and lack of privacy features. give me torbutton any day!

February 1, 2009: 12:58 am

I uninstalled foxyproxy after 45 minutes of frustration trying to understand the new terminology and the abundance of choices I had to make with inadequate background knowledge. Certainly no designed for non-technical but regular computer users. Maybe be good, but I can’t take four hours to digest that much technical information for a simple installation requirement.

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