Web Proxy Autodiscovery (WPAD) is a method used by some web browsers to automatically discover the URL of a proxy server. WPAD is configured using the DHCP and DNS protocols.
When a web browser is configured to use WPAD, it will send a request to a DHCP server for the URL of a PAC file. The DHCP server will return the URL of the PAC file to the web browser. The web browser will then download the PAC file and use it to determine which proxy server to use for each web request.
WPAD can be used to configure web browsers to use a corporate proxy server. It can also be used to bypass censored websites.
What is the use of WPAD?
The Web Proxy Autodiscovery Protocol (WPAD) is a method used by computers to locate the URL of a proxy server. This protocol is used by web browsers to automatically detect the presence of a proxy server on a network and to establish a connection to the server if one is present.
The WPAD protocol is based on the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) and the Domain Name System (DNS). DHCP is used to provide computers with IP addresses and other network configuration information, while DNS is used to resolve hostnames to IP addresses.
When a computer on a network attempts to access a website, the browser first checks to see if a WPAD entry exists in the DNS. If one is found, the browser then retrieves the URL of the proxy server from the DNS and connects to the server.
The proxy server then fetches the requested website on behalf of the browser and returns the results to the browser. This allows the proxy server to provide internet access to computers on the network, while also allowing the proxy server to filter or block certain websites if desired.
WPAD can also be configured manually by specifying the URL of the proxy server in the browser's settings. However, this must be done on each individual computer, which can be time-consuming and impractical in larger networks. WPAD removes the need for manual configuration by automatically detecting the presence of a proxy server and retrieving the correct proxy server settings.
Should I disable WPAD?
According to the official Microsoft documentation, Windows 10 will automatically disable WPAD if it detects that the network doesn't support it. So, if you're not sure whether or not your network supports WPAD, the best course of action is to leave it enabled.
However, if you're certain that your network doesn't support WPAD, or if you're just looking to disable it for security reasons, you can do so by following these steps:
1. Open the Start menu and search for "Edit Group Policy".
2. Select the "Computer Configuration" option.
3. Navigate to "Administrative Templates" > "Network" > "DNS Client".
4. Double-click on the "Turn off WPAD script execution" setting.
5. Select the "Enabled" option and click "OK".
After following these steps, WPAD will be disabled on your system.
What is DNS WPAD?
When configured, the browser will fetch the PAC file from a web server using either the HTTP or HTTPS protocol. Once fetched, the browser will evaluate the FindProxyForURL function for each web page request and use the returned proxy server URL to fetch the page.
DNS WPAD is a method of fetching a PAC file using DNS. The PAC file is stored as a DNS TXT record under the _wpad._tcp. DNS name. When a browser attempts to fetch a PAC file using DNS WPAD, it will perform a DNS lookup for the _wpad._tcp. DNS name. If the lookup is successful, the browser will fetch the PAC file from the resulting IP address.
DNS WPAD has a number of advantages over other methods of fetching PAC files:
* It is more resilient to changes in network configuration, as the PAC file is stored in a central location and does not need to be distributed to individual clients.
* It is more secure, as the PAC file is not transmitted in cleartext (unlike HTTP and HTTPS).
* It is more efficient, as the PAC file is