Browsing with http proxy on Android phones


There are two things that I dislike the most regarding the android platform.  The first one is  no support on Cisco IPSec VPN. The second one is the lack of support (or lack of user configurable setting) for http proxy on the standard webkit browser.

I can live with the exclusion of IPSec, as general users rarely require IPSec VPN and you can subtitute it with certificate based authentication. But with WiFi becoming ubiquitous on mobile phones, it baffles me that such simple function as proxy is omitted from the android browser. Yes, you can root your phone and push the proxy setting to the browser via adb, and no, even for me  it’s not acceptable.

But fear not! The last batch of 3rd party browsers such as firefox 4 mobile and opera mobile comes with support for http proxy, and they are pretty easy to setup. For example,  here is what you need to do set the proxy on Firefox:

  • Fire up the Firefox mobile

    Firefox start screen
  • On the address bar type “about:config”, press the enter button
    type about:config

    firefox mobile configurations
  • On the search field type “proxy.http”
  • Set the network.proxy.http to the ip address of your proxy server, and the network.proxy.http_port to the port for the proxy service

    Set the proxy server address and port
  • On the “Search” field type “proxy.type”
  • Set the network.proxy.type to 1

    Set the proxy type to 1
  • Start browsing

..And voila, You can now browse with proxy on your android devices.

Be forewarned that at its’ current state, the firefox mobile for android is barely usable,  and prolonged usage of that one sorry excuse of a browser may have a negative impact on your sanity.

You’ve been warned.

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