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I'm thinking of getting a proxy add-on for Firefox.

After reading information about proxies, I'm still confused as to how to use them. The add-on I'm planning to get is FoxyProxy. So is a proxy something I have to use 24/7 or just when I don't want others to know what I'm doing?
 

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These tools are often used to mask your originating IP address so it appears as if you are accessing the internet from somewhere else. It's used to get through internal blocks at schools, offices, or countries and for anonymity using the Tor network. This use will typically slow your connection considerably. Best used if you are multi-lingual as many popular sites will appear in the language of your last proxy server. :)

It doesn't have any inherent caching which can improve network performance unless you have access to a proxy server that has that capability. If you have such a local proxy server, the add-on gives you a way to quickly switch between servers from within Firefox.
 

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So can I use the add-on if there's no proxy server? Or is the add-on a proxy server???
How do I know if I have a proxy server?
If you don't know, then you don't have one or it's already provided by your isp, school, or business. You could install something like squid for performance and filtering if needed.

If you use the tor network, you install a proxy running on your computer which connects to other relays in the network. You'll find an overview here.

https://www.torproject.org/overview.html.en

You can also pay for use of a proxy for privacy purposes. The iron key has their own proxy servers in a number of locations to add security to your browsing.

If you want to visit questionable sites, you might want to use the tor network. But it can be agonizingly slow.
 
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