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Using the Internet
Connection Problems
Configuring Valley Internet's proxy server for Internet Explorer 4.0 or later users:
  1. Run Internet Explorer and get connected to Valley Internet.
  2. Pull down the View Menu, and select the Internet Options menu item.
  3. Click on the Connection tab.
  4. In the Automatic Configuration box, click on the Configure button.
  5. Click the option in the main window titled Automatic proxy configuration.
  6. In the window labeled URL: type in http://www.vallnet.com/vnproxy.pac
  7. Click the Refresh button.
  8. Click Ok.
  9. Click Ok.

Note for Internet Explorer 3.x users:
your automatic configuration is similar, but you need to go to View, Options instead.

Configuring Valley Internet's proxy server for Netscape 4.x or later users:
  1. Run Netscape and get connected to Valley Internet.
  2. Pull down the Edit Menu, and select the Preferences menu item.
  3. Click on the small, boxed plus symbol next to the word Advanced. (May be a small arrow in Netscape 6.0 or later)
  4. Select the Proxies sub menu.
  5. Click the option in the main window titled Automatic proxy configuration.
  6. In the window labeled Configuration location (URL): type in http://www.vallnet.com/vnproxy.pac
  7. Click the Reload button.
  8. Click Ok.


For people wanting to configure the proxy manually, the address is hammer.bw.vallnet.com, port 3128 If you are already using a proxy to access the internet (such as wingate) do not switch to Valley Internet's proxy. That will probably not work. Instead, configure your proxy server to use Valley Internet's proxy server as a proxy server for itself.
If you have any questions, contact support@vallnet.com.
Note for Valley Internet customers using other services for dial-up access, including iPass roaming services, the proxy server will not function for you when dialed up through non-vallnet dial up lines, and will have to be disabled (remove the automatic configuration on IE or switch Netscape back to direct connect in the proxy screen).
What does a proxy server do? It functions as a go between for your machine to the internet. When you request a page, your browser requests it from the proxy, which then attempts to find that page on the internet.

Benefits and restrictions of using the proxy server:
There are two main benefits to using the proxy server: speed, and a certain amount of protection.
Speed: The proxy server increases the speed of your internet connection by two means: 1. It caches information (just like your browser does) so pages that are commonly accessed by many vallnet customers are quite possibly saved locally, and 2. because the proxy is connected directly to our uplink, and not going through a (relatively slow) modem connection, the proxy generally downloads the data very efficiently from whatever server is sending it, thus reducing the effect of packet loss and lag times.
Protection: Every site you visit on the internet has the ability to record where you come from. The proxy server ends up being a buffer between you and them, so when a machine on the internet records the address you are from, it actually records the proxies address. This enhances your privacy* and also protects you from possible malicious web pages which would launch attacks at your system automatically.
* Valley Internet respects your privacy and does not log any information requests on our proxy server; i.e. there is not a log that says "user A accessed www.badsite.com" so you don't need to worry about that either.
There are a few restrictions / problems:
Some websites refuse to function properly through a proxy server. Also, occasionally you will get 'old' websites, though clicking reload will force the proxy to update itself.
Also, there is a privacy issue. Valley Internet has the ability to log all traffic through the server. At this time we do not. We will notify all of our customers by email before we change this policy.