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WhatsApp adds proxy support to help users get around internet shutdowns

Published Jan 5th, 2023 9:22PM EST
WhatsApp
Image: WhatsApp

WhatsApp is debuting official proxy support for users all over the world, the company announced in a blog post on Thursday. As the company explains, this will allow all WhatsApp users to access the messaging service even if their connection is blocked.

After finding a proxy, those users will connect to WhatsApp through servers hosted by volunteers and organizations dedicated to preserving free speech around the globe. WhatsApp shared a new article on its Help Center informing interested parties on how they can set up proxy servers to help others users connect to the chat app.

The company also says that connecting via proxy “maintains the high level of privacy and security that WhatsApp provides.” Personal messages are still protected by end-to-end encryption, which means no one outside of the conversation can see them.

How to connect to a WhatsApp proxy on Android

Before you actually connect to a proxy server, you’ll need to find one by searching for trusted sources on social media or search engines. Once you have found a proxy server that you want to connect to, follow these steps to connect from an Android device:

  1. Make sure you are using the most current version of WhatsApp.
  2. In the Chats tab, tap More optionsSettings.
  3. Tap Storage and Data > Proxy.
  4. Tap Use Proxy.
  5. Tap Set Proxy and enter the proxy address.
  6. Tap Save.
  7. A check mark will show if the connection is successful.
  8. If you are still unable to send or receive WhatsApp messages using a proxy, that proxy may have been blocked. You can long press the blocked proxy address to delete it, then enter a new proxy address to try again.

How to connect to a WhatsApp proxy on iOS

If you’re connecting to WhatsApp via proxy on an iPhone, follow these steps instead:

  1. Make sure you are using the most current version of WhatsApp.
  2. Go to WhatsApp Settings.
  3. Tap Storage and Data > Proxy.
  4. Tap Use Proxy.
  5. Enter the proxy address and tap Save to connect.
  6. A check mark will show if the connection is successful.
  7. If you are still unable to send or receive WhatsApp messages using a proxy, that proxy may have been blocked. Try again using a different proxy address.

Keep in mind that using a third-party proxy will share your IP address with the proxy provider.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.