Should I use a proxy server or not?

I usually connected to the internet through a broadband cable router, and have previously set up IE7 & Firefox to connect directly to the internet, rather than via the proxy server of my cable service provider. When I check ipchicken, I get the same IP address every time.

However, due to recent slowdowns in download speeds, I’ve re-configured my browsers to connect via the webcache proxy server of my cable provider, which now gives me a different IP address and has improved download speeds.

My question is this: does how I connect to the internet make any difference at all to the effectiveness of CFP3 and it’s ability to block an bad stuff coming through? And if so, what changes should I make to CFP to make sure the Firewall is effective?

Aside from CFPs ability to send files & receive updates (depends on MSIE settings), I don’t think it should make any difference to CFP (as a firewall) in terms of the protection it provides.

You’ve already noted the benefits of using your Provider’s Proxy Web Cache/Server… speed (utilising your Provider’s cache) & security (shielded IP address). I think you only run into potential problems using a proxy like this when running Games, P2Ps (file sharing, torrents, etc…) or other web-side application that need to contact a specific port on your system (and this, to some extent, depends on your Provider’s proxy set-up anyway).

OK, thanks for your help on this.