No Proxy Setting Question: Security And Speed

#1
Proxies have always confused me. Here's my question. If I'm on a home computer, using OPEN DNS and I have a modem provided by Charter (the service provider), and it goes to my Netgear Router, is the Netgear router acting like a proxy? Is Open DNS? Or, the FIREWALL setting in System Preferences>Security>Firewall on? If "none" is the answer, how do I set that in Safari (Auto Detection, Auto Connection, but there's no "NO" like in Firefox. In all the explanations, the answer is "choose this, this or this" but I have no clue as to what to choose. I am assume since we aren't an office, or an org or school (just at home, two of us on the 'net), no parental control issues, etc., that NO PROXY is okay ... but does that mean I eliminate security? I have noticed when choosing NO PROXY with Firefox an increase in 'net speed. I also run SOPHOS app for malware detection. Thanks and I look forward to learning about proxies ... and my situation.
 
#3
Thanks. I understand how one works and why one may want to use one, but I guess the question is if I'm using OPEN DNS to connect, is there any security in setting "Auto detect" vs "No proxy" in my browser settings?

And, I wonder if there's a way to find out if people using OPEN DNS or services like Ghostery, AdBlockPlus or Sophos have any connectivity issues if they go with a PVN. I don't get that much crap re: the internet, and I think I've got pretty good security with my Netgear settings, but there's apparently no such thing as too much. However, there can be too much hassle. :)
 
#4
As you don't use a proxy server, nor connect to a network that uses proxy server, then Auto Detect or No Proxy would have exactly the same result.
A proxy server is local to your network. If you don't have one set up, then don't give your system an opportunity to lose your connection. Leave the proxy settings off (No Proxy), unless you have a proxy server set up (and you would know this if you have a proxy server, as you would be restricted from any internet connection if you don't use the proxy server settings)
Enough said on proxy,
Don't try to configure your own connection for settings that don't exist, as that can leave your connection in a possible no-connect situation when your system tries to use settings for non-existent services. Better to keep it simple, eh?

PVN? I guess you mean VPN.
Couldn't tell you much about those services that you listed, and the performance effects when using a VPN with all of those going at once.
If you use Sophos, you would notice that you already have a noticeable performance hit if you leave that in background scan. That's one of the reasons I stopped using all antivirus apps. None are foolproof, and can give you a false sense of security.
But, that subject has been worked to death on the various Mac forums. You would already know that most long time Mac users think that antivirus software is mostly a placebo, and not particularly effective in THAT role either, because of the performance hit just from using the stuff.
I DO run Malwarebytes once or twice a month. It only hits on anything once or twice a year. Keeps me ahead of the occasional malware that appears now and again because of the shopping sites that I choose to live in
I don't think a VPN would make all of that better, and you may find that your various network services might work against you in a VPN. You might want to ask your question at one of the major players, such as support at OpenDNS. They might be a good one to ask about this.
 

Cheryl

Rosie Moderator
Staff member
Mod
#5
a proxy server is a server (a computer system or an application) that acts as an intermediary for requests from clients seeking resources from other servers.[1] A client connects to the proxy server, requesting some service, such as a file, connection, web page, or other resource available from a different server and the proxy server evaluates the request as a way to simplify and control its complexity. This is mostly used in work places.

A virtual private network, also known as a VPN, is a private network that extends across a public network or internet. It enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network. This is used for those who work at home and connect to the work network. This is usually used when the work network or the work servers have high security.

In a home setting, you would not be using these. You are not eliminating security. You just do not have the requirement to use them.

Open DNS allows you to connect quickly to internet pages quickly without going through your ISP’s servers (which can slow you down). Keeping your Firewall on will prevent others from ‘looking into your computer like a nosey brat’. You want that on. That is part of your security.
 
#7
As you don't use a proxy server, nor connect to a network that uses proxy server, then Auto Detect or No Proxy would have exactly the same result.
A proxy server is local to your network. If you don't have one set up, then don't give your system an opportunity to lose your connection. Leave the proxy settings off (No Proxy), unless you have a proxy server set up (and you would know this if you have a proxy server, as you would be restricted from any internet connection if you don't use the proxy server settings)
Enough said on proxy,
Don't try to configure your own connection for settings that don't exist, as that can leave your connection in a possible no-connect situation when your system tries to use settings for non-existent services. Better to keep it simple, eh?

PVN? I guess you mean VPN.
Couldn't tell you much about those services that you listed, and the performance effects when using a VPN with all of those going at once.
If you use Sophos, you would notice that you already have a noticeable performance hit if you leave that in background scan. That's one of the reasons I stopped using all antivirus apps. None are foolproof, and can give you a false sense of security.
But, that subject has been worked to death on the various Mac forums. You would already know that most long time Mac users think that antivirus software is mostly a placebo, and not particularly effective in THAT role either, because of the performance hit just from using the stuff.
I DO run Malwarebytes once or twice a month. It only hits on anything once or twice a year. Keeps me ahead of the occasional malware that appears now and again because of the shopping sites that I choose to live in
I don't think a VPN would make all of that better, and you may find that your various network services might work against you in a VPN. You might want to ask your question at one of the major players, such as support at OpenDNS. They might be a good one to ask about this.
Yes VPN... I guess the reason I said "PVN" is that I was reading about "Private Internet Access VPN" which was being touted on a tech site as the best in the U.S. ... and it all started swirling in my brain.

I'll check out Malwarebytes. Yes, I agree about the Sophos, but it does occasionally catch something. Ironically, it has suddenly stopped working on one of our computers and I just don't have the energy to deall with it
 

fryke

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
#8
The only security issue between Auto Detect an No proxy I can see is that theoretically, someone could enter your network and provide a (fake) proxy somehow, which your client then might pick up. Since you're probably going to use different networks from time to time (at least on a portable device), an automatic setting might be more comfortable, but theoretically more insecure. I don't think I've used a proxy in the past 15 years on my personal devices. We've had one at work for some time to limit internet traffic. Most people deactivated it on their devices because of trouble with sports tickers and the likes.
 
#9
Well, NO PROXY is not a choice in Safari apparently, but I have unclicked everything. I did go into FIREFOX and choose No proxy. I deleted the *.localhost that shows up in the Manual settings. Interesting, those were different on the two computers in the same house on the same network. I actually think I see a little better connectivity, ironically, in the other side of the house vs. the computer that is just 20 feet away from the router. But it is 2009 :)
 
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