The term “proxy” comes from the English language and freely translated means “broker”. On the Internet, you will also find the term “proxy server”, which we will take a closer look at.
What is a proxy server?
A proxy server, also known as a proxy server, mediates the exchange of information between the computer user and the target server belonging, for example, to a hosting company. The main feature of the proxy server is that it requests access to network resources on our behalf, bypassing any locks imposed on a given computer and not revealing the user’s identity.
Proxy servers are very often used by people who want to be anonymous on the Internet. This is due to the fact that most proxy servers allow us to hide our IP address, and in the history of the servers we connect to, they leave their own address.
After connecting to the proxy server, we select the address of interest in the network, and the browser first sends the query to the proxy server, which sends a request to access the page on our behalf. Proxy servers also have the ability to save visited pages in their memory. If the website address entered by us is included in the server resources, the page will be sent directly to our computer. However, if we have not visited a given address before, the proxy server will load the page, send it to us, and in the meantime save a copy of it in its resources
Types of proxy servers
There are three main types of proxy servers. They differ in the level of anonymity. The first connection is called high anonymous. In this case, all our data is protected and we do not send any information that we are using the server. The second type is an anonymous connection. By connecting via this type of server, our data is protected, but the website we visit receives information that we are using an intermediary server. The last type is a transparent connection. It only serves to speed up the loading of the website, as all our information, including the IP address, is shared with the visited website.
A specific form of proxy servers is Tor and VPN. Their operation is similar to classic proxies, but they differ in many details and technical aspects.
How to use proxy servers?
On the Internet, we can easily find websites offering free or paid access to proxy servers. When deciding to use one of them, it is worth checking the speed, access time and level of anonymity of the server in advance.
After obtaining the server’s IP address and port, we need to configure it properly in the application that we want to use anonymously. Most often it will be a web browser. To do this, go to the Internet options of our system and select the “LAN settings” option in the “Connections” tab. In the new window enter the obtained IP address and proxy server port.
Advantages and disadvantages of using proxy servers
By using proxy servers, we can change the IP address, which allows you to use Internet resources that are not available in the country from which we connect to the network.
Most proxy servers have very good data connections, so using the Internet can be much faster than it would be provided by your Internet connection.
Proxies make browsing more anonymous by hiding the identity of the user to some extent. As a result, tracking the behavior of the person using this form of protection is much more difficult. This advantage does not apply to transparent proxies.
Proxy servers allow you to block certain web addresses without any problems. This service is especially useful in schools and workplaces.
Configuring the proxy server can be problematic.
Each service (browser, email program, and other applications) requires a separate proxy server configuration, and some applications do not support this capability at all.
The most common proxies that support the SOCKS and HTTP protocols do not guarantee network security.