Finder proxy support

Contents

Finder proxy support

Cloud The following content applies exclusively to the Nexthink Cloud offering.

Overview

The devices in a corporate network typically connect to the Internet through a proxy server instead of using a direct connection. A proxy server or proxy forwards the requests of client applications that run on the corporate devices to the servers that run on the Internet, as if the proxy itself initiated the requests. Then the proxy sends the responses from the servers back to the clients. By acting as intermediary, a proxy server can provide varied functionality such as content filtering (for improved security) or content caching (for better performance).

ProxySettings.png

Thus, in a Nexthink Cloud setup, Finders inside a corporate network that is equipped with a proxy server are usually required to send their traffic through the proxy to reach the Portals and Engines in the Nexthink Cloud. In this article, learn about the different types of proxies and configurations supported by the Finder.

Supported types of proxies

The Finder supports the following types of proxies without user authentication:

  • HTTP (web) proxy

The Finder should work out of the box with transparent proxies as well. Transparent proxies automatically intercept network traffic that goes from the corporate network to the Internet, so that clients are not aware that their traffic is traversing a proxy.

Supported proxy configurations

Being a desktop application, the Finder gets its proxy configuration through the Microsoft Windows Internet (WinINet) API. The WinINet API was designed to give interactive desktop applications access to standard Internet protocols such as HTTP or FTP. Other notable applications such as Internet Explorer get their proxy configuration via WinINet as well. This configuration is visible from the Internet Properties dialog of the Control Panel:

  1. Press the WinKey.
  2. Type in Internet Options and press Enter. The Internet Properties dialog shows up.
  3. Select the Connections tab.
  4. Under the section Local Area Network (LAN) settings, click the button LAN settings
    LANSettings.png
  5. Choose how WinINet should configure the LAN settings (which include the proxy settings), tick either:
    • Automatically detect settings, to use Web Proxy Auto-Discovery (WPAD) protocol, a method to set the proxy settings automatically by leveraging the DHCP and DNS protocols. WPAD uses discovery methods in DHCP and DNS to find out the URL of a PAC file.
    • Use automatic configuration script, to get a PAC file from the specified URL in Address. A proxy-auto-config (PAC) file is a JavaScript file with a single function that determines which proxy should be used for each client connection.
    • Use a proxy server for your LAN..., to manually configure the proxy settings.

Finder logic to connect through a proxy

To choose whether to use a proxy or not, the Finder follows the steps below:

  1. Calls the WinINet API to determine the proxy to use for connecting to the Portal via WebSocket with the URL:
    wss://<portal_address>:443
  2. Connect to the Portal either:
    • Through a proxy server, if the call to WinINet returned a proxy.
    • Via a direct connection, if the call to WinINet returned no proxy.
  3. If the connection fails, whatever the means to acces the Portal, the Finder calls WinINet again, but this time with an HTTPS scheme in the URL:
    https://<portal_address>:443
  4. If the connection is successful, the proxy may ask for user authentication (only Basic authentication is currently supported).
    • If a proxy dialog shows up asking for username and password, enter your credentials.
  5. The Finder should be now connected to the Portal.

The Finder follows the same logic to connect to the Engine. Note that the proxies to access the Portal and the Finder might be different depending on how the system was configured.