What is Proxy Server and How it Works
Proxy Server: A proxy is a system that acts as an intermediary between the client and the server. This system can protect users from various bad things on the internet. Here’s a full explanation for you.
We cannot deny, that the internet does provide convenience to carry out various activities. We can shop, study, or work with internet access. However, you need to understand that the internet is not completely safe to access. There are many cyber threats from hackers that can make your connection insecure.
Until now, there are still many cases of cybercrime that occur in India. Some of them are cases of fraud, theft of sensitive company data, and others. As internet users, of course, we have to be careful and take various preventive measures to avoid cyber attacks by hackers.
One way that we can do this is to protect the internet network using a proxy server. So, what is a proxy?
What is a Proxy Server?
The meaning of a server is a program or device that is used to manage network resources. The server itself has various types and one of them is a proxy server.
A proxy is a gateway or gateway that connects your device to the internet. When you use a proxy server to access a website, the internet traffic that occurs will go through this proxy server first before being forwarded to the website address you requested. So, a proxy server will make sure that you are not in direct contact with the sites you visit on the web.
So that you can understand it easily, you can imagine that your device, be it a PC or smartphone, is a house with a certain address or house number (IP address). As a homeowner, when you want to send a message of course you don’t want your home address details to be known by strangers, right?
This is where the proxy server comes into play. This proxy server acts like a trusted postman who can hide your home address (IP address).
In this way, your details will be kept safe while browsing the contents of the internet. When you enter the web page you requested, the website will see the IP of the proxy server and not your IP.
How Proxy Servers Work
To know what a proxy is, it helps if you understand how these servers work. A proxy server is a system on the internet with an IP address that your computer system knows. When you send a request to access a website, the request will go to the proxy server first.
After that, the proxy server will make a web request on your behalf, collect a response from the web server, and pass the web page data back to the browser so that you can view the content of the web page.
When forwarding your web request, the proxy server may change the IP address so that the web server will not know your location. Even so, you will still get the website content you want to access.
Types of Proxy Servers
1. Transparent Proxy
There is no additional privacy or security protection in the transparent proxy. When you use it, the web server will receive your real IP address. In addition, a transparent proxy can also let you know that you are connecting through a proxy when you use it.
This type of proxy is usually used for content filtering and caching, and not for security reasons.
2. Anonymous Proxy
What is an anonymous type proxy? Anonymous Proxy does not forward your real IP address. So when you use this type of proxy and access a website, then that website will receive a fake IP address. However, anonymous proxies cannot hide the information that you are using a proxy.
Thus, if there is a website that refuses access from the proxy user, then that website cannot be visited by you.
3. High Anonymity Proxy
High anonymity proxies are also known as elite proxies. High anonymity proxies have almost the same function as anonymous proxies. One of the things that distinguish high anonymity proxies can hide the use of proxies. So, the website cannot detect that you are accessing through a proxy server.
4. Forward Proxy
The forward proxy sits between the client and the external network. This type of proxy evaluates outgoing requests and relays the request to an external resource. If you use a forward proxy, then clients can access resources outside the firewall without compromising the integrity of the private network.
Usually, this type of proxy is used to bypass firewalls so that users can visit blocked websites.
5. Reverse Proxy
Reverse Proxies are used to control access to servers on private networks. This type of proxy can perform authentication, cache, and data decryption tasks. The reverse proxy will also provide anonymity for the back-end server.
In addition, reverse proxies are also often used as security portals. These proxies can deny users direct access to the internet to the back-end operating system. So, users on the internet will only communicate with the proxy and the proxy will forward it to the back-end.
What are the Functions of a Proxy Server?
After knowing what a proxy is, you may be wondering why this server is needed. A proxy server is not only a link between your device and the internet because there are various functionalities offered. Some of the proxy server functions are as follows:
1. Security issues
As explained earlier, when you use a proxy server, your IP address will be protected. Just like your bank account details, IP address can also be one of the sensitive information that you need to protect.
Currently, there are several types of security threats targeting the IP addresses of internet users. The two most common threats are social engineering attacks and online stalking. Cyber hackers will use advanced techniques and tools to uncover your IP address.
If cyber hackers can figure it out, they can launch various types of attacks or even impersonate you. If this happens, then several security risks arise. Cyber hackers can download illegal content using your IP address, track your location, launch DDoS attacks, hack your device, and much more.
2. Access location-specific content
Many people know what a proxy is as a system for accessing the content in another region or region. Yes, one of the functions of a proxy server is to access the content provided by the region. You certainly know that there are some services on the internet that are only available for certain regions or regions. With this proxy server, you can still access it easily.
3. Filter content
Proxy servers can also act as content filters and block unwanted outgoing traffic. Usually, the company will configure a proxy server to prevent its employees from accessing certain websites while at work. The function of this proxy server can also be applied by parents to control internet access for their children.
4. Maintain privacy
You can use a proxy server to browse the internet privately because some proxy servers can change your IP address. In this way, the destination server will not know your real IP so your information and browsing habits will remain private.
5. Save bandwidth and increase internet speed
If you use a good proxy server service, then you can also experience better network performance. These proxy servers can cache websites and store copies of websites locally.
So, when you access the website www.exampleweb.com, the proxy checks if the system has a copy of the web, then sends the saved copy.
That is, when there are hundreds of people visiting www.exampleweb.com at the same time from the same proxy server, the proxy will only send one request to the web. Thus, you can save bandwidth and get better network performance.
6. Access blocked websites
Proxy servers also allow users to be able to access blocked websites. So, if there is a website that is blocked in a country, the proxy server offers a service to its users so that they can still access it.
This proxy server can mask the real IP address so that it can make the user appear to be in another country location. So, if a website is blocked in a geographic area, then you can still access it because it is connected through a proxy server.
The explanation above can help you to know what a proxy server is more clearly. A proxy is a system that acts as an intermediary between your device and the internet. If used properly, a proxy server can provide various benefits for its users such as providing privacy protection, maintaining access to sensitive company data, filtering content, and much more.
There are now more and more proxies server services that you can use. However, make sure you use quality and trusted service so that your data is properly protected. It’s best to avoid using free proxies because in general, some dangerous risks will arise.
In addition to using a proxy server, you can also improve your security system by regularly checking the health of the network or application you are using. You can ask the help security team to check whether your system is safe enough from various malicious hacker attacks.
As we all know, hacker attacks that cause data theft are now becoming more and more common.
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