WhatsApp officially announced the launch of proxy support for users globally in a blog post on Thursday. This allows users to access the messaging service even if their internet connection is blocked or disrupted.

Proxy support enables users to connect to WhatsApp via servers set up by volunteers and organisations across the world, said the blog post. WhatsApp maintained that a high level of privacy and security will still apply, and chats will have end-to-end encryption.

Also read: WhatsApp is working on new chat transfer option

The blog also mentioned that connection by proxy would provide a solution to users experiencing internet shutdowns. “Our wish for 2023 is that these internet shutdowns never occur. Though in case these shutdowns continue, we hope this solution helps people wherever there is a need for secure and reliable communication,” it said.

In a tweet, WhatsApp said, “We continue to fight for your right to communicate freely and privately.”

How to access WhatsApp by proxy

To use this feature, users will require the latest version of WhatsApp, and will need to find a trusted proxy via social media or search engines, while they have internet access.

Also read: WhatsApp: Top features to expect in 2023

Connect to a proxy on Android

Step 1: In the Chats tab, select ‘More Options’, then Settings

Step 2: Tap ‘Storage and Data’, then click on ‘Proxy

Step 3: Select ‘Use proxy’

Step 4: Click ‘Set Proxy’ and enter the proxy address

Step 5: Tap ‘Save’

Also read: WhatsApp to let users pin up to five chats soon

Connect to a proxy on iPhone

Step 1: Go to WhatsApp Settings

Step 2: Select ‘Storage and Data’

Step 3: Tap on ‘Proxy’

Step 4: Switch on the ‘Use Proxy’ button and enter the proxy address

Step 5: Click ‘Save’ to connect

In both cases, a checkmark will appear if the connection is successful. If users are still unable to send or receive messages after this, the proxy might have been blocked by WhatsApp, and a different proxy will need to be used.

Also read: WhatsApp: Soon, users can select multiple chats

WhatsApp states that it does not provide third-party proxies.