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Frequently Asked Questions

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FAQ v2.0

Questions? Ask Us!

Will the proxy server monitor my regular Internet use?

No. Automatic Proxy Configuration causes your browser to request only the Library's licensed electronic resources (as listed in a file that is loaded into your computer when the browser starts up) through the proxy server. It lets the browser send all other requests directly over the Internet. Thus, your personal use of web pages, e-mail, chat, etc. are not recorded or observed by the proxy server.

Which web browser should I use for the proxy server?

A browser that supports an Automatic Proxy Configuration feature is required. We recommend that you use a modern browser for which security updates are provided, such as Firefox 10+, Microsoft Internet Explorer 8+, Google Chrome 17+, or Safari 4+.

If I have two browsers installed, do I have to configure both of them to use the proxy service?

No, but you will need to set up each browser that you plan to use with the proxy server. Configuring one browser will not automatically configure the other one.

Do I have to set up my browser to use the proxy server every time I surf the web?

No. Once you've set up your browser to use the proxy server, the setting will be saved until you change it.

How do I turn off the Automatic Proxy Configuration setting?

If you no longer need to use the proxy server, you can easily disable the the Automatic Proxy Configuration setting.

To do this, go to the setup instructions for your browser and follow the instructions for turning off the setting.

Once you do this, you will be unable to use the proxy server until you turn the setting back on.

What if I need to use another proxy server?

You would need to reconfigure your browser each time you want to switch proxy servers. There may be extensions available for your browser to facilitate this, such as FoxyProxy or Proxy Selector for Firefox.

Will other people who share my computer also be able to use the proxy server?

If your computer is accessible to other people in your household or off-campus work site, we recommend that you either delete your browser's cookies or log out by clicking on this logout link.

This will protect your privacy and prevent others from using licensed resources under your login. When the browser is restarted, you will be required to log in again before using the proxy server.

Can I use the proxy server from behind a firewall?

Many companies have firewalls to prevent outsiders from accessing their internal networks. If your computer is behind such a firewall, you may not be able to use the proxy service.

Some ISP's use firewalls or caching servers to minimize the amount of data their servers have to obtain from sites on the internet, thus increasing their apparent speed. In this situation, your browser may not be able to engage the Library's proxy server.

In either case, your system administrator should be able to clarify whether a firewall is blocking your access, and to discuss options with you.

As internet security has become a major problem, many users are choosing to run personal firewalls on their own computers. Some users have implemented firewall products such as Black Ice, Zone Alarm, and Symantec without negatively effecting their use of the proxy server. However, it is possible that the presence of a personal firewall may interfere with the browser's ability to access the proxy server.

If your browser is configured correctly but fails to engage the proxy server, this may be due to the presence of a personal firewall. If you are willing to run your system without the firewall, you may be able to determine whether this is the problem by turning the firewall off.

Some users have reported that wireless routers may also interfere with the browser's ability to access the proxy server. Clearly not all wireless routers have this effect. You may be able to determine whether the wireless router is the cause by disabling the wireless, and connecting by means of a conventional wire.

The Library is unable to provide specific recommendations for configuring wireless routers or personal firewall hardware or software.

Will the proxy server slow down my connection?

No. The proxy server will only be used when you attempt to access a website that requires a UC Berkeley IP Address. Once you log in and gain permission to access the site, the proxy server will not perform any actions that use your bandwidth. In other words, it should not affect your download times at all.

Will the proxy server work with my Internet connection?

The proxy server will work with DSL, cable, ISDN, or dial-up modem connections from most third party Internet Service Providers (AT&T, Comcast, Earthlink, etc.).

If you connect to the Internet through a firewall, you may experience problems.

You do not need the proxy server if your computer is connected to the Internet through the UC Berkeley network in a campus building or residence hall, or via AirBears2.

If you connect to the Internet through CalVisitor, you will not be able to access licensed library resources, or use the Library Proxy Server to access licensed library resources.