Frequently Asked Questions

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FAQ v2.0

Questions? Ask Us!

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.

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 AirBears.

Which resources can I use through the proxy server?

The proxy server provides off-campus access to electronic resources licensed by the UC Berkeley Library. These include article databases, e-journals, e-books, encyclopedias, dictionaries, numeric data, and other premium online resources available through our website and catalogs.

You can locate many of these via the Databases link on the Library website, or through links in the library catalogs (look for "Electronic Locations" or "Available online").

Some resources are not available through the proxy server, generally because they operate through specific software on your computer rather than through the web. These include ARTstor (Macintosh only), JSTOR (Mac OS X), Luna Insight, the java client in UC Image Service, and the Connect function in EndNote. UC Berkeley users can access these resources from off campus through our VPN (Virtual Private Network) system.

Why do I have to configure my browser to accept cookies?

Sending cookies to your browser is how the proxy identifies you as an authenticated user who should have access to licensed resources.

What is the proxy server?

The proxy server allows us to provide off-campus access to article databases and other licensed electronic resources to authorized UC Berkeley users, while ensuring we don't provide them to unauthorized users, as required by the terms of our license agreements.

To do this, the proxy server acts as an intermediary between your computer and the Library's licensed electronic resources by virtually providing your machine with a UC Berkeley IP address, as if you were on campus. It is active only when you are accessing these resources.

How do I access library resources from off campus?

Anyone may access the library catalogs and most of the Library's web pages from any Internet-connected computer.

Some licensed electronic resources, such as e-books, journal article databases, and online reference tools, are commercial products with access restrictions.  UC Berkeley students, faculty and staff members, and some other individuals affiliated with the University, can connect to these resources from off campus using the Library proxy service or VPN.

For more information and setup instructions, see connect from Off Campus.

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