Proxy the proxy
Many corporations prevent direct Internet connections from the internal network, enforcing the use of a proxy server. That does not have to be an issue, but in Windows shops the proxy often requires Windows (NTLM) authentication. Few Java applications support that, there are even many native Windows applications that fail.
Want to upgrade Eclipse or jDeveloper or install a cool plugin? Not very convenient, everything must be downloaded and installed manually. Want to use Maven? Again, all dependencies must be downloaded and installed manually.
Enter Cntlm, a small and efficient proxy server that supports NTLM. Install it locally and use it as a go-between. Applications such as Eclipse can connect to Cntlm without authentication and Cntlm talks to the official proxy.
There is only one snag. Cntlm needs a user id and password, or at least a password hash. Be sure to stop or update Cntlm before changing your password, or you may be locked out!