Working of Proxy Server
One fine day you were browsing the internet seamlessly, but from nowhere you got an error message saying for some reason, your proxy has timed out. Ever happened to you? I could hear you saying a big YES. Not everyone knows what happened and what the error indicates. But, one thing is unfortunately guaranteed with this event; you won’t be able to use the internet via proxy any further until the issue is fixed. It is actually very irritating to get such errors when everything was running smooth. It often leads to time and capital loss. And if you are someone whose business runs over proxies, then it is not less than a nightmare for you.
You don’t need to worry about it, as we know the possible reasons, as well as effective solutions. Rest assured, you will be able to fix the proxy timeout error by the end of this article.
Before we move further to the core of this article, below is the explanation of the few technical terms which is going to be used frequently in this article.
1. Proxy server: A proxy server is actually an intermediate channel often known as a gateway between the normal users (client) and the internet(server). Proxy servers provide many functionalities, including security, and privacy. It actually depends on how you are using the proxy, and the security and privacy level you need for your purpose.
Proxy servers also act as a firewall and web filter, and in some cases, it also caches data to speed up connection and webpage loading.
2. Error codes: Whenever we try accessing a web server or a web application, we send an HTTP request that is received by a server and acknowledged with another HTTP status code. HTTP status codes are of five types and are written in the form of three-digit. The first digit is enough to get an idea about which group the particular response belongs to. Below is the list of the groups with an ample explanation :
A. 1_ _: Informational :- It means the client request has been received by the server and is under process.
B. 2_ _: Success :- It means the client request was successfully received, understood, and accepted.
C. 3_ _: Redirection :- It means further step must be practiced in order to execute the request.
D. 4_ _: Client Error :- It indicates that the error is at the client end.
E. 5_ _: Server Error :- It indicates that the error is at the server end.
3. IP address: An IP address is a logical address which is configured on a device (which can communicate in a computer network) so that the device can be uniquely identified in a network. Currently, two versions of IP address are available. First one and the older one is IPv4 (IPv4 is a 32-bit address, the total number of possible IPv4 addresses is 2^32 addresses i.e around 4 billion addresses). The second one and the latest one is IPv6(IPv6 is a 128-bit address, the total number of possible IpV4 addresses is 2^128 addresses).
Below are the few points you should know before we discuss fixing the proxy timeout error:
Every system in a computer network has a unique IP address. No two end devices can have the same IP address in the same computer network. The Internet is smart enough and it knows how to send the correct data packet to the correct computer on the basis of the IP address.
A proxy server is basically a computer(server) on the internet with its own IP address (which could be multiple in number) that your computer knows. When you initiate a web request, your request goes to the proxy server first. The proxy server then forwards your web request on your behalf to the web server, and then revert back the response from the web server to your computer.
While forwarding the request the proxy server can make changes (if it is configured in such a way) to the data packets you send. For example, a proxy server can mask your IP address, so the web server doesn’t know exactly where you are in the world. It can also encrypt your data, to prevent your data from getting intercepted by any hacker. It can also act as a firewall by blocking and allowing certain inbound and outbound traffic as per the requirement.
For what purpose people use proxies?
Below are a few reasons out of several reasons why organizations and individuals use proxies:-
- From a common parent to the managers of big companies use proxies to keep a track of internet usage of children and employees respectively. They set the proxy server in such a way that they can monitor how their employees or kids use the internet. They also use the proxy server to block certain websites which they don’t want to be seen by their employees or children.
- A proxy server is also used to reduce bandwidth consumption and improving the overall network speed. They achieve it by using proxy servers to cache (save a copy of the website locally) all or frequently visited websites, so when you or anyone else in the same network demands for the same website it can be served from the same local cache. And also when many people in the network send out the request for a website from the same proxy server, the proxy server on their behalf sends out only one request to the respective website. This also helps in saving bandwidth and improving the overall network performance.
- Individuals and organizations similarly use proxy servers to browse the internet more privately. Which means the destination server will not get to know who’s the man behind the curtain who made the original request, some use it to hide browsing history.
- Along with a great privacy, proxy servers provide security too. Proxy servers are sometimes configured to encrypt your web requests so that it doesn’t get intercepted by hackers. You can also blacklist malicious websites on the server level to prevent access to it.
- Proxy servers are also used to bypass geo-restricted websites. Let us make it more clear to you with an example: suppose there is a website which shows Geo-based TV-series and you are in Singapore but you want to see content being displayed in the US. In this case, you may use a proxy to change your location and watch those otherwise restricted shows.
What is Timeout Error
When a server takes a long time to acknowledge a request made from a client (web browser) or another server, the proxy timeout error occurs. The device that made the request on the very first place doesn’t wait for any response after timeout time is over. This is done to prevent you from ideally waiting for a page or application that is not going to come up.
When do we say that a proxy Timed Out?
As discussed above if a proxy is used, it acts as an interface between the client and the web browsers and applications. Proxy act as a middle point of the communication link. It does this by sending and receiving data requests. Whenever a server or a browser sends out a request, it waits for a pre-decided amount of time to get a response from the web server. If it doesn’t receive any acknowledgment after the pre-decided amount of time, it times out. The proxy timeout time depends on the web browser that you are using.
Yes, timeouts are really very irritating. But, it is actually very good that they happen. Otherwise, you will have no idea whether the page or application will load or not, all you have will be a blank screen with infinite validity. Anyways a clear rejection is always better than a fake promise. No one would like staring a blank screen instead of their desired page or a timeout error.
Possible reasons behind the proxy timeout error:
After understanding what exactly proxy timeout error is, you will certainly be curious to know why it occurs. It’s important to understand how they are generated before we start fixing the issue. As a clear understanding of the issue always helps in a quick fix. So, here we are to discuss the possible reasons behind the proxy timeout error.
- Server Issues:– Sometimes the web server has a very low technical configuration ( Ram, hard disk, processor and many other vital components of less capacity or bad quality). Also, when the technical configuration is good, it is not optimized properly which creates performance issues which finally leads to timeout errors. In such cases, you should upgrade your hosting plan. If you are already on a good plan, ask your hosting provider to check and provide the reason for high resource utilization or to upgrade their server.
- Network issues:– If the network link between the intermediate proxy server and the web server is weak, it will create a considerable lag between HTTP/HTTPS request and response and will produce timeout errors.You need to perform a quick network diagnostic test to see if your internet connection is up and running.
- DNS settings:– If the DNS(Domain name server) is not configured properly for the domain, there will be a problem in resolving the domain name to IP address, which our browser needs to query web pages from the web server. which can produce timeout errors.
- Browser settings: – If the browser settings are not correctly configured, it can produce connectivity problems in initiating a connection to the web server.
- Website is unavailable:- Sometimes the proxy timeouts not because of an issue with the proxy. It can also happen when the website you are trying to access is down for some of the other reasons. In such cases try loading a different website. It indicates that there is no issue with the proxy if you are able to load another website without any problem.
- Proxy server issue:- If all the connection request is going through the proxy server and the timeout value set on the proxy server is very short, it will frequently produce timeout errors.
- Firewall misconfiguration:– The web server firewall has a set of rules to control inbound as well as outbound traffic, using these rules you can allow or restrict connections to the web server. If the firewall is not configured properly or if a rule is set to restrict the connection to the server, it will produce timeout errors.
- It could be an issue with ISP.
Methods to fix Proxy Timeout Error
Now, we know what is proxy timeout error. We also know the possible reasons behind proxy timeout error. Before we dive in deeper towards the fixing techniques, there are a few things which are worth trying and which may fix the issue without doing a lot.
Few easy steps:-
1. Try refreshing the website or the application.
2. Check firewall rules.
3. Try restarting the network.
4. Cross-check the proxy server settings in the browser or application are correct or not.
5. Try loading the website in a different browser.
6. Try loading the website in incognito mode.
7. Try to force refresh the webpage to clear your website’s cache. Sometimes the issue is due to stored cache in your system.
You must be wondering what is “force refresh”? It is not that complicated as it sounds. With an intention to speed up web browsing, web browsers are made in a way to download frequently visited web pages locally on your computer which is termed as browser cache. Browser cache holds almost everything you have seen or downloaded while browsing. So when you visit the same page again, it reduces the wait time by loading the page from locally stored cache also helps in reducing bandwidth consumption.
Depending on your operating system you need to do hit following key combination while being on the browser.
Windows: Ctrl + F5
Mac/Apple: Apple + R or command + R
8. If force refreshing doesn’t help, you should try flushing your DNS(domain name system) cache.
For Windows:- Press the Windows+R key combination in order to open the Run dialog box. Type cmd and click the OK button.
A command prompt will appear, type “ipconfig /flushdns” and press enter button.
For Linux:- Open terminal and type “sudo /etc/init.d/nscd restart” and press enter button.
For MacOS:- Open terminal and type “sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder” and press enter button.
Please note that these commands may change with time.
Time to follow pro-steps
1. Proxy settings issue
To make sure that the timeout errors are appearing because of the proxy servers, not because of the web server, you need to check proxy settings on your client system. First, we need to check whether the proxy is configured on the browser level or the system level (using applications like Proxifier).
For example, here are the steps to check proxy settings for chrome browser:-
a. Open Chrome and navigate to chrome://settings/
b. Search for Proxy and click on “Open Proxy Settings”
c. Within the Connections tab, click LAN Settings
d. Untick the options that show “Automatically detect settings” and “Use a proxy server for your LAN” if either of them is enabled.
Steps to check proxy settings for Mozilla firefox browser:-
a. Open your Mozilla browser and click on “Options” available on the top right corner.
b. Scroll down to the bottom and click on “Settings”
c. Select “no proxy” option on the top.
Steps to check proxy settings for MAC:-
a. In your Apple menu, click on “System Preferences” and then click on Network.
b. Select the network service you use in the list — for example, Ethernet or Wi-Fi.
c. Click Advanced, then click Proxies.
d. Uncheck any checked field.
If disabling the proxies resolve the issue of timeout errors then the problem was with the proxies. Please cross check your proxy settings or else contact your proxy provider.
2. Keep your web browsers updated
You can try updating your web browsers(if you are not having the latest one). It is recommended to keep your web browsers updated not only to get the latest features but also because sometimes an outdated web browser can throw proxy timeout error while you are trying to connect to a website. If you are still getting a proxy timeout error, uninstall the browser, remove all the related and cached files. You need to make sure perform the reboot of your system before installing the latest one. This will fix the issue or will lead us to the conclusion that there are not any problems with your browser.
To make this point 100% sure try using different browsers before you move to another technique.
3. Use different DNS Server
By default, the DNS servers are configured as per the ISP’s DNS server. But, a good practice is to replace the ISP’s DNS with public DNS services like Google DNS, Cloudflare privacy-focused DNS, Cisco’s OpenDNS. These DNS servers keep updating their DNS records periodically.
For Example: Changing DNS server settings on Windows 7(By Google)
<img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-2930" src="/assets/12.png" alt="Step 2 Changing DNS server settings on Windows 7 width="990" height="559" />
1. To change the settings for an Ethernet connection, right-click Local Area Connection > Properties.
2. To change the settings for a wireless connection, right-click Wireless Network Connection > Properties.
3. If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
For changing DNS of other operating system with Google, please visit this link
Likewise, you can find the setup steps for several DNS services on their official websites if you want to change the DNS servers of your network. It is highly recommended to replace your ISP’s DNS entry with a public DNS.
4. Antivirus program
An antivirus software, as we all know is a program that safeguards your system from malicious files and computer viruses. Most of us are already using it for a long time(use one if you are not using any). It has the ability to stop you from accessing a website while using a proxy in order to protect your computer from all those bad viruses. Antivirus programs do not want to ruin your web browsing experience, but they keep on adding good proxy websites to their blacklist, and you can not bypass your own antivirus which is protecting you.
Disabling your antivirus to use websites through proxies may sound cool in a short run. But leaving your system open to all the viruses and malware who are already waiting for this opportunity to harm your computer and to invade your privacy is not a good deal.
Try looking for an antivirus program which can be configured along with the proxy.
5. DNS Propagation
After changing DNS settings for a domain, we need to wait for a few hours for the DNS records to get updated, the technical term for this procedure is DNS propagation.
The problem is, the IP-Hostname table within the Domain Name System (DNS) is not updated instantly. It takes time for new domain registrations to propagate across the network. Practically, it can take a few hours for your domain to update its existence globally on every DNS servers to become accessible. You are always suggested to wait for at least 48 hours before contacting registrars, as you will get the same answer from them if you contact them before 48 hours. They always want to be on the safe side because in some cases it takes around 48 hours.
If you are very curious to know about the propagation status, you may use browser-based tools like DNS Propagation checker like DNS leaf. If it shows no error or just a couple of failures you should proceed with the solution given below. If it shows many false results then you need to wait for the DNS propagation to complete.
6. Check if the server is too occupied to handle the request
Servers also give timeout errors if there is a sudden load hike on the server due to heavy traffic, sometimes it also happens due to DDoS(Distributed denial of service) attack. Change the servers IP temporarily if it is a DDoS attack.
Sometimes proxy timeout error can appear when the website or the shared server on which your website is present is getting spammed using some malicious application also known as bots, which has the capability to flood your website with an abnormal number of requests per second, which can never be generated by humans and also cannot be served by our websites.
You can check the access logs of your websites and of the server too(if the server is dedicated to you). You will surely get some regular pattern of requests from the same IP or many IPs of the same subnet which will guide you to the culprits IP. You may also ask your hosting provider to block the IP or the complete subnet from which the unusual traffic is coming from.
7. Get rid of unused Add-Ons
Are you someone who keeps on adding Add-Ons and never uses most of them? If yes, then be informed that high numbers of Add-Ons can make your system extremely slow and will often lead to proxy timeout. It’s better to get rid of unused Add-Ons. Removing unused proxies is still a good practice even if it is not able to fix proxy timeouts, as it will surely boost up your system speed.
8. Issue with WordPress Plugins
WordPress is developed using PHP (“Hypertext Preprocessor”, earlier it was known as “Personal Home Page”) all the plugins which work with WordPress are also designed in PHP to avoid compatibility issues. Unfortunately, there is one well-known issue with this one of the leading name in the world of CMS (content management system), it can only manage a limited number of requests. If a plugin is being used which is creating request more than limit which can’t be technically served will result in proxy timeout error.
The real plugin causing the issue can be found by disabling the plugins one by one until the error stops, it is more like a hit and trial method.
9. Script bugs can cause timeout errors
If proper coding is not done within the application, it can produce proxy timeout errors. You can try locating the dirty code in your application by manually debugging it. You may also need to check the application logs, logs will surely guide you to the dirty code. Testing the application on a local machine in a private network is the best you can do without affecting the real code, you will surely get the dirty code causing the issue. You should use two different screens while testing the code, first for the testing and second for watching the real-time logs.
10. Buy good proxies from Limeproxies
Sometimes we keep running around troubleshooting all the possibilities but we forget to check our core element that is proxy itself. You will keep on receiving the proxy timeout error if you are using low-quality proxies. There are many types of proxies available in the market. Let’s discuss it on a general level:
a. Free Proxies:- These type of proxies are free and are available for everyone. You have no idea how many countless people from around the globe are sharing the same proxies for different purposes these gives a clear idea that such proxies can give huge timeouts due to heavy load on it. Not only timeouts there are some disguised security as well as privacy threat linked with these type of proxies. Sometimes these proxies are actually deployed by hackers with an intention of stealing your personal and critical information. They can go down at any moment leaving you exposed to the public network. Suppose you are using a proxy for running Instagram or Facebook, which is already banned due to abuse performed by its former user, there are chances that Instagram and Facebook will block or suspend your account because you will look suspicious to them.
b. Premium (Private-dedicated-virgin) Proxies:- Premium proxies are private proxies which are never used before or not being currently used by anyone else. You will be the ultimate owner of the proxies, you can choose location based proxies as per your need. Here at Limeproxies, we have proxies from these locations . With paid proxies, it is ensured that your data is safe and the proxy uptime is also guaranteed.
We also provide 48 hours free demo of our proxies so that you can check whether our proxies are going to work for your purpose or not before you actually buy the proxies. We also provide a huge discount on prepayment as well as on the bulk proxies purchase. Along with everything we have a top-notch highly skilled technical support team that is available 24*7 to help you out and answer your queries.
For pricing details please refer to this link.
Feel free to contact us if you want a custom dedicated proxies setup from any particular location.
The proxy timeout error is very common, but it’s not very difficult to get rid of it. In most cases, you will get rid of it in seconds by following the easy steps as discussed above in this article. If you are lucky enough error will just go away after refreshing the page. Also, we discussed some Pro Steps to fix the proxy timeout issue.
After reading this blog, resolving proxy timeout error will be a child’s play for you.
Do not forget Limeproxies is always there to provide you with HIGH-SPEED PREMIUM PRIVATE PROXIES The best place to get your premium proxies with an awesome support team.
Should you have any queries related to the proxy timeout error. Write to us in the comments section below.
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A Complete Gamer and a Tech Geek. Brings out all her thoughts and Love in Writing Techie Blogs.
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