Passing notes around in class was quite a bit like instant messaging, albeit in its stone age form, and we're all guilty of engaging in the practice while at school. These notes were easy to deliver if the recipient was sitting on a desk next to you, but when that wasn't the case, you had to pass the paper through a fellow classmate.
While none of this seems to have anything to do with technology, that classmate in the example above – the one who passed the note onward to its intended recipient – is kind of like a proxy server. Simply put, the latter passes information for you over the internet. Surely, you're now wondering what use does a proxy server have, and we'd gladly clarify the matter for you. Let's say that you really want to watch this YouTube video, but its uploader has made it unavailable in your country. Or imagine that a certain web site or web service would only work in a limited number of markets, and yours isn't on the list. Or perhaps you just want to watch YouTube at school. In these cases, a proxy server could be used to fetch the data and forward it to your device. Proxy servers do have many other practical applications, but we won't get into details in this post.
How do you make an Android phone or tablet connect to the internet over a proxy server? Well, the trickiest part would be finding a proxy server that works in your particular case. In the first two examples given above, you'll need to find a server based in a country where the content you want to view is available, and in the third one, you need a server that your school hasn't blacklisted. Other than that, the process of modifying proxy settings on Android is simple, and a little Googling for that right proxy server can go a long way.
Once you have obtained the address for a promising proxy server, it is time to enter it in your Android device's connection settings. The step-by-step process outlined below should be identical on most recent Android phones and tablets.