What Are Proxies & Proxy Server?

In this article, you will end up knowing about the proxies & proxy server and following things:

What are proxies?
Why do we use proxies?
How do proxies work?
What are the benefits associated with proxies?
What are the types of proxies?

Let’s start with defining the proxies and then we will move ahead step-by-step so that you will easily understand each keynote.

What is a Proxy? 

The proxy can be defined as the intermediary between your internet and you. When you connect to it, it takes your request and passes it to the proxy server (I will define proxy server later in this blog). The proxy server then replaces your IP address with its assigned IP and connects you to the web.

What is a Proxy Server? 

A proxy server is an intermediary server that processes the internet requests. It uses its own IP address and manages your internet requests without exposing your real IP address. A Proxy server securely gathers responses from the web servers then conveys those responses to the users.

Why do we use Proxies? 

People around the world use itit. The main reason to use them is to maintain web anonymity. They are capable of hiding IP addresses, therefore, used to access the internet anonymously. It means when you use a proxy, your IP address will not be revealed instead; IP address of the proxy server will be shown. It provides you a secure way to surf the web which you can never get while directly connecting to the internet. In addition, you can find both free and paid proxies to access the internet safely.

How do proxies work? 

When you use a proxy and make a request to access a website then your web request is shifted to the proxy server. Now the proxy server reads and modifies your data through encryption and changes your IP address. After making all the relevant modifications, the proxy server sends back web requests to the web resource. The web resource again delivers the request to the proxy server to process further before transmitting the web page to you. This is how a proxy server works while acting as a firewall that only gets you the information that you want to access.

What are the benefits of using a proxy? 

If you’re not using any proxy, then you must make up your mind to try it once. There are many benefits that you can have while connecting the web through a proxy server. Below I am outlining a few pros of using it:

  • Improved online privacy

Proxies mask your IP address and encrypt data. It mitigates the risk of being exposed to hackers. With encryption, no one can read your data to extract personal information and hence save you from identity thefts and hacking attempts.

  • Access to geo-blocked content

Besides online privacy, this also lets you access content that is blocked in your region. For example, if a website is blocked in your region then a proxy can easily unblock it. When you use a proxy it changes IP address and your location which makes you appear from another region hence, the content gets unblocked for you.

  • Proxy cuts downloading time of a website

If you are accessing a website using a proxy server then your visited website will be saved in the cache of the proxy server. Next time when you access the same website, your proxy server will cut the loading time and you can quickly access it.

What are the types of proxies? 

There are different types of proxies that distinguish from each other on the basis of purposes and functionalities. Here I am mentioning the most common types of proxies:

  1. Web proxies 

Web proxies are widely used proxy applications around the world. These access cached web pages to respond to user requests. When a user requests any website, that’s got the requested page from cached files and web pages. Because websites are already saved in the cache, therefore, loading speed is faster. In case, if the requested source is not available in the cache then the web proxy brings the file from a remote server and saves its copy in the cache before delivering it to the user.

  1. Transparent Proxies 

Transparent proxies are also frequently used to authenticate users’ device’s internet connection over servers or on public Wi-Fi networks. The transparent proxy doesn’t modify your request and responses before redirecting to the internet. It means that a transparent proxy never hides user identity neither offers network protection while accessing it.

2. Residential Proxies

Residential proxy is an intermediary that owns an IP address provided by the ISP. These contain addresses with a physical location. Because residential proxies have physical addresses that’s why they are difficult to detect. This is used to bypass region-restricted content or website cloaking.

3. Datacenter proxies 

Datacenter proxies are opposite to residential. These use IP addresses provided by the data center, not the ISP. These maintain a higher level of anonymity with completely private IP authentication. The core benefit of data center proxies is their quick response time.

4. Shared proxies 

The shared proxy can be utilized by various users simultaneously. Since Shared proxy can be equally shared by multiple users therefore, its performance may slow down and exposure to risks is also associated.

Conclusion 

Proxies have many benefits for internet users. Some types of proxies can leave security gaps as well. Using a proxy server helps you maintain web anonymity and let you access geo-blocked content. However, trying paid on this is more secure than using free proxy services.

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