Proxy servers act as a firewall and web filter, provide shared network connections, and cache data to speed up common requests. A good proxy server keeps users and the internal network protected from the bad stuff that lives out in the wild internet. Lastly, proxy servers can provide a high level of privacy.
What is a Proxy Server?
A proxy server acts as a network router, hiding your location from your internet provider by routing all your internet traffic through one server. It does this by taking in your source IP address, and then forwarding the connection through a proxy server. It doesn’t matter what your actual IP address is, because the proxy server will still use that proxy server for the request. Because you are bypassing your ISP, proxy servers are a great tool for protecting your privacy. You can spoof your location so that your internet provider can’t track your movements. What this means is that your internet provider can’t see exactly where you are, but they still can map out where you are. This can result in them applying different data collection techniques.
IP Address vs. Proxy Server
Proxy servers have a few different job descriptions. One of the more commonly used roles is a web proxy. Web proxies are used by people like your ISP, or perhaps your enterprise system administrators, to provide access to corporate websites that are subject to content filtering. Web proxies make it so that web browsers don’t have to go out and ask websites for specific content. Instead, when you click on a link on your web browser, it sends the request through the proxy server. Another role for web proxies is to provide an anonymous user interface. No one should have the ability to see the data or content of other users. This is typically achieved through the use of a Tor relay. Tor is a network designed to make anonymous communication both fast and secure.
Types of Proxy Servers
Proxy servers are divided into two major categories: Single-Instance (S) Proxy Servers One-Time (O) An S server can be defined as a proxy server that operates with a single-session connection. For example, a single-instance (S) proxy server would allow you to connect and go on surfing the internet. If the server detects that the client is inactive for more than 30 seconds, the connection will be terminated immediately. O is an opposite situation. Instead of a single-session connection, O servers can exist forever. That means the server needs to be continually contacted with a single-session request, in order to download all of the requested files. In this case, O is the opposite of S, which is the opposite of S+O.
The Benefits of Using a Proxy Server
Keep your organization’s users’ privacy intact. Reduce server load. Prevent the use of an unsecure proxy, which may expose your server to man-in-the-middle attacks. Protect your data from being discovered. How to Use a Proxy Server The basic concept of a proxy server is simple: use it to access the internet. You connect to a proxy server to access web services such as Gmail, YouTube, or a file sharing system. The web service is trusted to authenticate you when you connect, and the proxy server is trusted by the web service to authenticate the request before it is handled by the server. Choosing a Proxy There are three different types of proxy servers. Virtual Private Network (VPN).
How does a proxy server work?
A proxy server is nothing more than a server that is not meant to be used directly by the people connected to it. Instead, it is meant to handle all communication between two different systems. This is why, in general, proxy servers can be used to connect to private networks – if you do not trust the network administrator and want your machines to be protected. If you are a bit more paranoid about your privacy, you can simply use a proxy server to access sensitive information. Basically, a proxy server is an internal (private) network connection that is used to get around firewalls and other security settings. This allows you to establish an encrypted tunnel between a computer you are using and the internet.
Is using a proxy server legal?
Proxy servers are not illegal in and of themselves, and using a proxy server does not make you immune to law enforcement’s attempts to block certain sites and block web proxies altogether. Users who are anonymous will almost always run into legal issues, whether that means being doxed (revealing the personal information of someone), being tracked, or being given a hefty fine by the government. As a general rule, proxy servers are mostly illegal in the United States, where the government’s Communications Decency Act of 1996 makes it illegal for ISPs to “knowingly associate” their users with web sites that may have been blocked by a government authority or a judge.
When should I use a proxy server?
If you’re a US citizen, you’ll want to use a US-based proxy server. The US has a law called the Electronic Communications Privacy Act that allows law enforcement access to your data without a warrant. By using a proxy server in the US, you can keep your information private. If you’re outside the US, you’ll want to use a proxy server that doesn’t limit the type of data that can be requested. As you can see, a proxy server is not just for porn users. There are a lot of reasons you might want to use a proxy server. For instance, using the internet in a country where the government could potentially track your activity is not an activity you should take lightly. Additionally, VPNs can cost a lot of money and may not be practical for people who simply need to check email from time to time.
How do I configure my browser for a proxy server?
There are a number of different ways to configure your browser so you get access to the proxy’s internet access. Use Chrome With Chrome, you need to install a couple extensions that let you choose your proxy settings (it’s the little ‘Options’ menu) and switch the proxy on and off: All Request Requests Adds a “trusted proxy” tab to Chrome. You can view the list of proxies that Chrome trusts and allows access to. “Default” Displays all the default proxies. This is the same thing as the ‘Options’ menu, but without the option to choose from multiple proxy servers.
With this article, I hope you have a better idea of what a proxy server is, what benefits they provide, how they can be used, and how they work. You might be thinking about switching to a proxy server but feel like you don’t have time for an extended technical conversation. I’ve made it easy. Download the Google Chrome Extension (Google does support proxies! 😉 ), which will make searching proxy servers incredibly easy. Then you can refer back to this post when you need to look into new proxy servers. Thanks for reading!