What Is a Proxy Server and How It Works?
Updated on July 2, 2021 | by Austin
Over the last decade, the internet has become a crucial part of our daily lives. Although we all use it regularly and for all kinds of purposes, not many people stop to think about how the internet works and whether internet users are as safe as they believe they are.
You’re probably using a proxy server in your office, but how about your private network? With an increasing number of cyberattacks, it’s important to add an extra layer of security and protect your sensitive data.
Proxy servers offer you the chance to do that, and in this article, you can find out what proxy servers are, how they work, and learn about their numerous benefits.
Web Proxies in General
When using the internet, all the websites you visit make a direct connection with your IP address and your browser. Just like a home address, your IP address is one of a kind, and there aren’t two identical addresses in the entire world.
Unfortunately, someone can use the unique numerical code of an IP address to access private information such as real-life location, telephone numbers, bank details, personal information, and much more. Some dangerous people are always lurking online and searching for poorly protected internet connections, which is why using a proxy server is a must nowadays.
Essentially, a proxy server gives you a new IP address that can’t be traced back to your real IP address or any other personal details. This kind of gateway enables you to browse the internet freely without damaging your safety.
Mechanisms Behind Proxies
Although we’re all familiar with the fact that proxies protect us, we don’t know how they achieve this.
A proxy server protects internet users from these threats since it acts as an intermediary between the websites and an IP address. Namely, a proxy server has its own IP address, so all the websites you visit connect to your proxy server’s IP address and not your real one.
Anyone trying to harm you won’t succeed, as it’s impossible to access the real IP address masked by a proxy server. Additionally, proxy servers encrypt all your data, making it unreadable after it goes through transit. So, your online presence is completely private and secured when using a proxy.
Main Types of Proxies
Proxies come in various types, and they offer different features to their users. So, depending on what internet users are looking for, here are some of the most important proxy types:
- Anonymous Proxy – As the most widely used proxy type, anonymous proxies give their users a decent amount of protection and privacy.
- Distorting Proxy – If you want to access specific information, then a distorting proxy is the best choice.
- Residential Proxy – Sometimes, advanced servers can detect when you’re using a proxy, but not if you’re using a residential one.
- Rotating Proxy – Visiting certain websites numerous times is always possible with a rotating proxy.
Use Cases for Different Proxies
These four main types of proxies are all used for different reasons because they offer their users different things.
- Anonymous Proxy – If you’re tired of personalized ads targeting you and following you around, then an anonymous proxy is the perfect solution for you. This proxy also hides your location, so you can access websites that are otherwise unavailable to you.
- Distorting Proxy – Not only does it provide you with a false IP address, but it also enables you to choose a location you want to appear to be in. For example, if you’re looking for Taiwanese content, you can simply use a Taiwan proxy.
- Residential Proxy – These proxies use real IP addresses from real computers, so websites can’t detect whether you’re using a proxy or not. So, your online presence is unlimited.
- Rotating Proxy – Every time you make a request, a rotating proxy will generate a new IP address for you. So, it’s impossible to track down your activity since your IP address is constantly changing.
Benefits of Using Proxies
Without a doubt, there are countless advantages and benefits of using proxies. However, the two most important ones include:
- Improved Security – The most important reason for using a proxy server is improved security. Not only does a proxy server hide your physical location, but it also encrypts all your data. Additionally, proxies filter out malicious websites and give you a warning, providing you with an extra layer of security.
- Access to Unavailable Content – Numerous websites have restricted access or are available only in certain countries. That can make your internet browsing quite frustrating, but not if you’re using a proxy. With it, you can enter all geo-blocked or restricted websites and freely explore everything the internet has to offer (just like our example with a Taiwan proxy).
In sum, proxies are a great way to take your online presence to another level. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a European, American, or Taiwan proxy because one proxy can give you everything you need. From improved security to unlimited website access, a proxy server is a must-have.