You want to surf the web in peace, and everything is going fine until you get that annoying error message. For some reason, your proxy has timed out. You’re not entirely sure what that means, but one thing is certain. You can’t move forward until your proxy lets you. Let’s look at what it means when your proxy times out, and why it happens. Then, let’s go over some solutions that you can use to fix your timeout problem. Before long, you’ll be surfing the web without dealing with annoying timeout issues. At that point, you’ll forget that you’re even using a proxy.
What Does It Mean When a Proxy Times Out?
Whenever you use a proxy, it communicates with web browsers and applications. It does this by sending and receiving data requests. When a server or a browser submits a request, it waits for a specific amount of time to get a response. If it doesn’t receive a response after the predetermined amount of time, it times out. That way, you don’t have to wait forever to see if you can move forward. The amount of time that the program waits depends on the web browser that you’re using.
While timeouts are annoying, it’s actually a good thing that they occur. Otherwise, you could spend days staring at your computer, waiting to see if Netflix was ever going to load. That is not a fun way to spend a weekend. Sure, you want to watch a movie, but you don’t want to stare at a blank screen, waiting for it to load.
Now that you know what a timeout is, it’s time to look at the reasons why timeouts happen. Then, you can finally fix the issue.
Reasons Proxies Timeout
If you receive an error message, you won’t get a reason with your message. It will just tell you that the server received an invalid response. That can be incredibly frustrating. If you’re like most people, you want to fix the problem as soon as it occurs. If the error message just explained the problem, you could fix it and go on your way. While the error message doesn’t include the problem, there is a good chance that you have a common issue on your hands. That means you can do some troubleshooting, fix the problem, and start surfing the web once again.
Bad Internet Connection
You might be rolling your eyes right now, but you would be surprised at how often a bad internet connection is the culprit. Do a quick diagnostic test to see if your internet connection is up and running. Open up your Network Settings and see if your internet is working. If it isn’t, run a test to see why it is down. Sometimes, simply unplugging the modem, waiting 30 seconds, and plugging it back in fixes the problem. Electronic devices are funny like that. Sometimes, they have to be reset to work again when they are down. Once your internet is working again, you might be able to use your proxy. If that doesn’t work, it might be a more complex problem. Don’t worry, though. Just because the problem is more complex doesn’t mean that it can’t be fixed.
Website Is Down
The proxy timeout might not have anything to do with the proxy. It might be due to the website you’re trying to access. If your proxy has timed out, try a different website. You might be able to get on another website without any problems. If that happens, you don’t need to waste any time trying to figure out the problem. Instead, you can surf the web without worrying about timeouts slowing you down.
Update Your Web Browsers
Old web browsers don’t just lack features. They can prevent you from connecting to websites using a proxy. If your proxy continues to timeout, uninstall the browser you are using and then reinstall it. This will give you the latest version, and it will ensure that there are not any problems with your browser. When you finish uninstalling your browser, shut down your computer and restart it. It’s always a good idea to restore your computer anytime you do anything major to it. That gives it a chance to configure all of the settings.
If updating your web browser doesn’t work, switch over to a new one. Playing around with your web browser is an easy way to cut down on timeouts.
Run a PC Cleanup
If your PC is sluggish, you will have a hard time using a proxy. Consider using a program like iola System Mechanic to help your computer run like new again. This software will run a diagnostic test, get rid of unwanted programs, and make your computer run faster. That can help you with your proxy timeout problems. Give it a try and see if it helps.
Check Your Antivirus Software
Antivirus software is amazing. It keeps all of those bad viruses off your computer. It can also keep you from accessing some websites with a proxy, though. Sometimes, antivirus software blocks proxy sites. These antivirus programs have good intentions, but they constantly add good proxy sites to their bad proxy lists, which means they won’t let you use the proxy, no matter how hard you try.
Some people try to work around this problem by disabling their antivirus software. While that might sound like a good idea, it’s a great way to end up with a lot of malware on your computer. Your computer won’t be able to fight back against viruses and malware if you don’t use antivirus software. Instead, you need to unblock the proxy site that you’re using, but first, make sure that you’re using a safe site. You’ll learn more about safe and unsafe proxy sites later, but keep this in mind for now. If you unblock a site that isn’t safe, you are in for a lot of problems.
Also, consider configuring your antivirus software to use proxy settings. You can set your software up to use proxy settings, and if it fails to connect with the proxy, it can connect to the internet directly. That will limit your proxy timeouts. AVG is a great option if you want to do this. Keep in mind that if you do this, you won’t surf the web anonymously if it switches over to the regular web settings. Only do this if you don’t mind turning off your proxy settings. Otherwise, make sure that your computer sticks with the proxy connection.
Check Your Firewall
You likely have a firewall up and running on your website, as well. Depending on the proxy that you use, your firewall might be blocking it in order to keep your computer safe. This can be true, even if you use a safe proxy. Make sure that your firewall settings allow your proxy to get through. You might need to uninstall or disable your firewall while you use your proxy. Again, it is important that you choose a safe proxy if you do this. Otherwise, you will end up with a computer full of viruses.
Increase the Web Timeout Settings
Each web browser has its own web timeout settings. Extending the time gives your proxy longer to connect. With that in mind, increase your settings if your proxies timeout on a regular basis.
In Chrome, go to the menu on the browser toolbar and click on “Settings.” Go to “Show Advanced Settings” and scroll down to the “Network” section. Click “Change Proxy Settings.” From there, you can configure all of your proxy settings, including the timeout settings.
If you use Internet Explorer, access the proxy settings by clicking on the “Start” button. Then, go to “Tools,” where you’ll find the proxy settings.
You’ll find the proxy settings in Firefox by double clicking on the Firefox icon and then clicking on “Tools.” Then, go to “Options” and click on “Advanced.” Click on the “Network” tab and go to the “Settings’ button.
Clean Out Unused Add-Ons
If you’re like most people, you are add-on happy. You love to gather up as many add-ons as possible, and then you never use them. It turns out that they can make your computer run slowly. Clean out any add-ons that you aren’t using. Then, see if your proxy stops timing out. In addition, there is a good chance that your computer will run better in general.
Finding Proxies That Work
In some cases, you might do everything that you are supposed to do, and you still end up with proxies that timeout. That’s likely because you don’t know how to find good proxies. First, it’s important to understand that proxies come in two categories. You have your public and private proxies. Let’s look at public proxies first.
Public proxies are the proxies that are available to anyone. People from all over the world can log into the same proxy, so you are essentially sharing a proxy with countless people. Because of that, these proxies can be sluggish. That makes them prone to timing out. It also means that they might work in the morning, and then stop working in the evening. They are unpredictable.
You can improve your chances of getting good public proxies by using a scraper, like GSA Proxy Scraper. This scraper harvests and filters proxies so you can choose proxies based on their timeout rates. This is a good way to determine how fast or slow a proxy is.