What is Proxy and How it Works

Do you understand what a proxy is ? This device is very vital and very influential on data security, theft of your identity via the internet. So what actually happens when you surf the web with a proxy? When you access a website, these tools act as a gateway between you as an internet user and the internet itself. So this tool can also be referred to as a provider of various levels of functionality, security, and privacy, depending on the case, needs or policies implemented.

How proxy servers work

Server

Each computer needs to have a unique internet protocol (IP) address. This IP address can be likened to the street address of your computer. Just like the post office, which must know the destination address so that the letters can arrive. The Internet must also know the address in order to send the correct data to the computer that matches the IP address. A proxy is a computer on the internet with its own IP address that is known to the computer itself. When you send a request to the internet, the request will go to the server first. The proxy server then makes web requests on your behalf as a user, collects responses from the web server and passes web page data so that you can view the page through a browser.

When the server forwards a web request, you can change the information sent. The information ultimately sent by the server to the destination website is only information that you allow to be seen or read. The server can change your IP address, so the web server doesn’t know exactly where you are. This can be done because your data has been encrypted, so your data is not read in transit. This tool can also block access to certain web pages based on IP address. 

Why should you use a proxy?

proxy

Both offices and individuals use this tool for several reasons, such as:

To control the internet use of employees and children

Both the office and the parent set up firewalls to control and monitor how their employees or children use the internet. There are some offices that do not allow their employees to view certain sites during business hours, and they can configure proxies to deny access to certain sites. With this configuration, the internet will direct you with a note asking you not to view the website with an office network.

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Bandwidth savings and speed boost

By using this tool, you can also get a better overall network performance. A proxy is a server that can also cache frequently visited websites. So, if in one office there are many people accessing a particular website at the same time, the proxy server only sends one request to that website. This will save bandwidth for the company and improve network performance.

Privacy benefits

Both individuals and corporates, both use proxy servers to use the internet more privately. Some proxy servers will change the IP address and other identifying information that the web request contains. This means the destination server doesn’t know who actually made the original request. So, this will help keep your information private and use the internet more private.

Enhanced security

In addition to maintaining privacy, the benefit of this tool is to increase security. You can configure it to encrypt your web requests so that transactions are not read. You can also prevent malware sites through this tool. In addition, you can also pair a proxy server with a Virtual Private Network or VPN. By using a VPN, the office can provide a secure connection for users, while protecting company data.

Gaining access to blocked resources

Servers allow users to circumvent content restrictions imposed by companies or governments. Proxy servers can make you look like you’re in America, but you’re actually living in Canada. Several governments in several parts of the world strictly monitor and restrict access to the internet, and this tool will help anyone to access the internet.

The risks of using a proxy server

The many benefits of using a proxy server do not necessarily eliminate the risks. You need to be careful when choosing a proxy server. Maybe the risk that you can even negate one of the important benefits above.

Risk free proxy server

Free usually means they don’t invest much in hardware or encryption. You may notice performance issues and potential data security issues. If you ever find this tool for free, you need to be careful. Even some of them just want to steal important data that you have.

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Browsing history log

The proxy server has your real IP address and possibly unencrypted web request information, stored locally. Be sure to check if your proxy server is logging and storing that data, as well as what law enforcement cooperation policies they follow.

No encryption

If you use this tool without encryption, it’s the same as not using a proxy, because without encryption, you send requests as plain text. Anyone who can see the data can easily retrieve usernames, passwords and information. So make sure whatever server you use provides full encryption services.

Not all proxies work the same way. Therefore, it is important to understand exactly what kind of functionality you are getting from the server, and don’t forget to make sure that the server really meets your needs.

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