středa 19. října 2016

.NET and Windows proxy problems

Windows has two HTTP APIs, which are unfortunatelly not 100% compatible in case of proxy settings:
  • WinINet, used by Internet Explorer and most of the Windows C/C++ applications. Window proxy settings dialog sets the proxy for the WinINet
  • WinHTTP used by .NET.
So, when you develop a .NET application, is may happen that on a certain computer the Internet Explorer and other apps are connecting well, while your .NET app cannot connect to the Internet.
Since some proxy settings are hidden to the user by the "Automatically detect settings"checkbox, I have made a simple program WinProxyViewer, which may be run with a inexperienced user and the result sent to the application authors.

Default Credentials

.NET does not pick up the proxy credentials entered in the Windows proxy settings, e.g. see this StackOverflow thread. One solution is to add to the application config:

<system .net="">
  <defaultproxy usedefaultcredentials="true" />
But I preffer the solution in the code (at least for the desktop apps):
    System.Net.IWebProxy proxy = System.Net.WebRequest.DefaultWebProxy;
    PropertyInfo propInfo = proxy.GetType().GetProperty("WebProxy", BindingFlags.NonPublic | BindingFlags.Instance);
    ((System.Net.WebProxy)propInfo.GetValue(proxy)).UseDefaultCredentials = true;
catch (Exception ex)
    // log the exception

More proxies

The automatic proxy script for the WinINet may contain more proxy servers. The WinINet chooses next cycle the list until it finds the first proxy working. While the .NET (WinHTTP) use the first proxy from the list always, event when it does not work. So the .NET app may be disconnected, while the Internet Explorer is working. There is not known remedy for that. Fortunately, such situations are very rare.

NTLM proxy

.NET (WinHTTP) cannot automatically detect NTLM proxy and use Window credentials for it like the WinINet. There is not known remedy for that. NTLM proxies are sometimes used in the enterpise environments.


.NET app cannot be 100% compatible with all the Windows proxy settings. A possible solution for that is to have own proxy settings in the app. But the app may be used by people who cannot (security or have no knowledge) to set the proxy settings in the .NET app. So they may be situations, when .NET stays disconnected.

2 komentáře:

Gloria Walton řekl(a)...

Hey i have same issue with .NET and Windows proxy. I am using Microleaves dedicated proxy service. Ans still now resolve it. please help me.

Ondrej Medek řekl(a)...

Do you have a problem with all apps or just .NET? E.g. does your web browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Chrome) use your proxy? If not, then you have a general problem. This article is focused to the .NET apps only.