What exactly is a proxy server and what's it for, anyway? Technologically clueless? Don't stress, we've got you covered. First of all, what's a server? A server is a computer system or an application. But what's a proxy server? A proxy server is a server that acts as an intermediary (i.e. middle man) for requests from clients seeking resources (tools and goodies) from other servers. The client connects with the proxy server, requests a service (think files, connections, web pages, whatever) available from a different server. The proxy intercepts and evaluates the request according it its filtering rules. Many proxy servers are web proxies, allowing access to content over the World Wide Web.
Common Types of Proxy Servers
Forward proxy servers name the target server to connect to and forward traffic there. Open proxies are a type of forward proxy accessible by any Internet user and they can be anonymous (allow users to conceal their IP Address) or not
Gateway or tunneling proxy servers pass requests and replies unmodified.
Reverse proxy servers are internet-facing proxy servers used as a front-end (like reception in a doctor's office) control to protect access to servers on private networks.
Anonymous proxy servers identify themselves as proxy servers but do not make their IP address available and hides the IP address of users. This option protects your private information and conceals your location).
Transparent proxy servers openly identify themselves as proxy servers and make the original IP address public (not the ideal choice for those looking for antonym).
Some Benefits of Proxy servers:
- They can keep the machines (and people) behind it anonymous
- Using caching they can speed up processes.
- They can block undesired sites
- They can monitor usage
- They can scan content for malware and viruses before delivery
- They can scan outbound content for data leaks
- They can circumvent regional restrictions