I want to connect with Firefox to my university campus proxy, in order to access subscribed research journals, but first I need to know, which of the transmitted data through the network are visible to campus admins.

Will any of the following show up in their logs?

  • Other browser's internet activity
  • P2P
  • Anything else that doesn't go through Firefox

EDIT: HTTP SOCKS v5 proxy connection (set up through "Choose how Firefox connects to Internet")

  • Please use more descriptive titles. – schroeder Sep 3 '15 at 19:56
  • 2
    This is going to depend on how you set up your connection to the proxy. – schroeder Sep 3 '15 at 19:59

If you define the local university proxy in Firefox, every byte of traffic generated by Firefox will be available to them. And that includes:

  • Time and date of every packet

  • Source IP (that's you) and destination of every connection

  • If not encrypted (SSL/TLS/VPN), every single byte in clear

  • Amount of data transmitted

If the proxy wants to log everything, it can even log all your session for later examination.

Having the capability to log everything does not mean they do log. That would cost a lot in terms of processing power and storage media, so generally they log the origin and destination addresses, protocol, and timestamps. But that is enough to see if you are accessing a research journal or a recreational magazine.

Generally, only the traffic generated by Firefox would be routed through the proxy. But there are some programs that will try to access the Internet directly, and will search for proxy configuration in case the direct connection fails. If you have programs of this kind, they can reach the proxy by themselves.

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  • Ok, now I'm intrigued, is there a definable characteristic for such programs you mention? – Manumit Sep 3 '15 at 20:19
  • Any program that shows an option like _ Auto detect network settings_ will do it. Skype is one example. – ThoriumBR Sep 3 '15 at 20:23

If you've configured the proxy settings ONLY in Firefox, then it will not have any impact on the rest of the applications on your system, though system administrators will be able to see any unencrypted web browsing you do in Firefox.

If you configure the proxy in Internet Options (either in the Control Panel or Internet Explorer) then you are configuring the "system" proxy, which many programs will use to determine how to reach the Internet.

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