I constantly need Internet access while studying at Helsinki University. Browsing various web resources such as digital libraries and article collections is essential in today’s studies. Many of these resources are licensed to university use only and usually unreachable at home. I still like to keep studying at home and thus need access to these precious resources. Thanks to university proxy I can continue my work in the evenings as well. Setting up a proper proxy configuration needs some effort -- though -- but once in place, it works like a charm! I have gathered here step-by-step instructions on how to configure university proxy to work with browsers installed on home computers. I use Firefox browser, which can be spiced up with a small extension called FoxyProxy. This extension can use multiple proxies at the same time and it also automatically changes proxies when the address changes to a resource needing university license. These instructions require FoxyProxy extension as well as Firefox browser. They are both free to download, so surfing through university proxy needs no additional costs.
- Install FoxyProxy extension from Mozilla add-on site.
- After installation and restarting the browser you should see installed extensions in Add-Ons window found from the Tools menu.
- Click Options button and select "Use proxies based on their pre-defined patterns and priorities" from the Mode dropdown list. I will guide how to automatically change proxies depending on certain address pattern.
- Click Add New Proxy button to add a new proxy. Name the new proxy as "University" and change to Proxy Details tab.
- Select Automatic proxy configuration URL and enter http://www.helsinki.fi/remote-proxy.pac for address. Click Test button to check the configuration.
- Change to Patterns tab and click Add New Pattern button. This example will direct all request to ACM Portal through university proxy, so name the pattern as "ACM". Enter http://portal.acm.org/* for URL pattern. Each time you enter any web address starting with the entered pattern, FoxyProxy will automatically change to university proxy. Click OK button twice when finished and finally Close button to exit the proxy options window. You have now configured FoxyProxy and ready to start surfing.
- Browse to https://www-hotel1.it.helsinki.fi/cgi-bin/proxyauth to get a temporary username and one-time password to the university proxy. Enter your university username and password and click Login button.
- You will now get a temporary username and one-time password which are needed when accessing websites that have licensed their content to the university.
- Browse to http://portal.acm.org/ to access ACM Portal. You are asked to enter the temporary username and one-time password. Click OK button when finished.
- You are now browsing the ACM Portal through the university proxy. Check the Finland Consortium text under the Portal logo. This indicates that the connection to the ACM Portal actually flows through the university proxy server instead of your ordinary Internet access.
Using Firefox with FoxyProxy extension enables surfing through university proxy as well as direct Internet connection now common at most homes. Each time you browse websites including content licensed to university use only you will need to change your connection to use university proxy in order to tell the hosting service that you are actually using their website from some university computer. FoxyProxy will automatically redirect the data flow. In case you have any questions using the university proxy, consult the university instructions for more information.