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I own a MacBookAir and surf great from home (wi-fi with WPA2). From time to time, I'd want to bring it at work where I have a connection through proxy (i know address and port). If I do save the settings when I am at work, will I have to reopen settings page and remove proxy setting when reconnecting from home?

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You can configure two locations in your network settings and then configure the proxy for your work location in the advanced settings.

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You can setup two different network locations, one for home (no proxy) and one for work (with the proxy) and easily switch between them from the Apple menu.

  • Go to System Preferences > Network from the Apple menu
  • In the Locations dropdown, choose Edit Locations...
  • Click the "+" button to add a new location (call it "home" or any other name) and click Done
  • With this location chosen in the dropdown, modify your network settings (by clicking the Advanced button) and click Apply
  • In the Locations dropdown, choose Edit Locations...
  • Click the "+" button to add a new location (call it "work" or any other name) and click Done
  • With this location chosen in the dropdown, modify your network settings with the proxy (by clicking the Advanced button) and click Apply
  • You can switch between locations (i.e., network configurations) by going to the Apple menu and then to the Locations submenu, where you can choose the network configuration that you have setup for that location

See Making new locations in the Using network locations Apple support page.

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There are three ways to deal with this, at least, so you don't have to enable/disable the proxy depending on your location.

  1. When you click the Apple menu in the top left corner of your menu bar, you'll see "Locations" menu item, and in there, by default, you should have two locations: Automatic and Manual. You can just create another location (e.g. "Work") which has everything configured in the exact same way as your current location, with the exception of the proxy. All you'll need to do when coming into work is to choose that location, and when going back home, choose the other one. This method is still manual, but requires less clicks, and doesn't require any external software.

  2. You can use excellent program called ControlPlane which allows you to automate some tasks depending on your surroundings (e.g. WiFi networks visible, IP address assigned, Bluetooth devices visible, etc). It will allow you to change default printers, enable/disable proxies and all sorts of other things. The only problem I've sometimes had with it is it wouldn't set the default printer correctly, but all other actions worked great.

  3. Lastly, your DHCP server in work can be configured to send the proxy details to either your machine only (based on the MAC address) or to all machines. As far as I remember, DHCP server uses Option 252 to inform clients of the proxy settings. The DHCP server, along with option 252, should pass the URL of the proxy configuration file. If you google this up, you'll get a better explanation, I just wanted to highlight this method too. This method doesn't require users to make any changes to their machines at all, however it will need the Network Administrator to change the configuration of the DHCP server and to prepare the proxy configuration file.

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