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Why can my browser reach sites on the web but Stata cannot?

Title   Using Stata with a proxy server
Author Alan Riley, StataCorp

If you have access to the Stata website from your browser but do not have access from within Stata, you probably need to tell Stata to use a proxy server to connect to the Internet.

Some institutions, for security, convenience, or other reasons, do not allow computers directly to connect the Internet. Instead, requests are routed through a centralized server located at the institution and known as a proxy server. A proxy server is merely a go-between. Your computer passes web requests to the proxy server, and the proxy server makes those requests on your behalf.

Many networks do not use a proxy server. Let's look at what happens when Stata contacts a website under this “normal” case:

  • Stata looks up the IP address of the website it is contacting (think of this as the phone number corresponding to a name)
  • Stata contacts that website at that IP address and asks that a file be sent in return
  • Assuming that the file exists, the website sends the file to Stata

When a proxy server is in use, the sequence of events changes to

  • Stata looks up the IP address of the proxy server
  • Stata contacts that proxy server at that IP address and tells the proxy server that it wants a particular file from a particular website
  • The proxy server contacts the website on behalf of Stata and requests the file
  • Assuming that the file exists, the website sends the file to the proxy server which in turn passes it along to Stata

For Stata to be able to use a proxy server, you must tell Stata two things about the proxy server: its name and its port number. Your system administrator should be able to give you both values.

In Stata, type

        . help r(677)


        . help netio 

for more information, including the instructions on how to tell Stata the name and port number.

If you need more help, you can send information to Stata Technical Support that will aid them in diagnosing your Internet connection problem. First, read the procedure to use when contacting Stata Technical Support. Then log the output of the following commands to a file and send a copy of the file to Stata Technical Support:

        . set debug on
        . set netdebug on
        . set more off
        . about
        . query
        . whatever network command is not working for you, such as update query