Proxy 101: The Main Types

May 12

Proxies have been around since the modern internet was a thing. They’re the humble middle man who handles every communication between the many denizens of the internet seeking information out and the servers tasked to provide them with adequate information.

Through proxies, the internet becomes a safe, fast, and optimized place for communication, meaning that every process becomes as streamlined as possible. Furthermore, it protects the interests of both the users and the servers, making the communication flow smoothly and without interference.

However, proxies aren’t only used as the middlemen for communication online – they have a wide range of different applications. They’re also very different depending on what kind of proxy is in question. In this article, we’ll talk a bit about proxies, define the different ones, and explore how they can be used in the world of business.

Back to the basics: what are proxies?

Proxies are the gateways to the internet. They’re an intermediary between a user requesting information and the server providing it. They’re tasked with speeding up the communication, securing it through encryption, and ensuring the server is not overloaded with requests.

Proxies enable top-tier data security and streamline overall network performance, all while acting as a crucial firewall and web filter.

How they work

There are more than a few types of proxies, all of which work in a different way. What ties them all together is the fact that they’re all basically intermediary servers. Every connection that tries to go through to the server with the information passes through this intermediary server and is then tested, vetted, and checked before receiving the response.

The response is taken from the server with the data by the intermediary server, so there’s no direct communication between the user requesting the data and the server providing it.

Main business uses of proxies

Businesses use proxies for a wide, wide range of things, the most popular of which is making their internet presence as safe, fast, and streamlined as possible. Through SOCKS5 proxies, companies can secure their websites and data centers while significantly speeding up the response time due to smaller data packets.

Some businesses, on the other hand, use proxies for things such as web scraping. Web scraping is a practice in which a web scraping bot collects data from servers. Depending on the sophistication of the web scraping bot, it might be able to access data that is otherwise inaccessible by traditional means.

Now, even things such as web scraping bots need proxies. When a web scraping bot is detected, an IP address is banned. Proxies can help businesses simply by switching to a different proxy, efficiently changing their IP address.

Types of proxies and their differences

There’s a wide range of proxies out there, and there are more than a few ways to classify them. Classifying them by use would be a popular way to go about it, and that’s where we get private proxies, public proxies, residential proxies, and datacenter proxies.

Other than that, you can classify them by their features, which yields you with high-anonymity proxies, distorting proxies, sneaker proxies, and so on.

However, by far, the most popular way to classify proxies is by their protocol. The most popular proxy protocols on the market are:

  • SOCKS5
  • DNS
  • DHCP
  • FTP
  • SOCKS4
  • TCP
  • HTTP
  • UDP
  • HTTPS

By far, the most popular proxy protocol and the industry standard is HTTPS. HTTPS is the evolved form of HTTP, one of the first proxies out there. It adds SSL encryption to the protocol, thus making networks that run it that much more secure in return.

While HTTPS might be the industry standard, that doesn’t mean it is the only player in the game. SOCKS5 proxy is also widely used for a range of applications, most of which have to do with speeding up connections or protecting the server even further. Click here for more info about a SOCKS5 proxy.

Conclusion

Proxies are an exciting prospect, and as the digital world continues on to evolve, it’s just a matter of time before something dethrones HTTPS as the premiere proxy protocol. Whatever the case may be, the current state of proxies opens up the entire digital realm for servers and commercial and personal users alike.

Through the advent of big data technology and web spiders and data crawlers, proxies will see an even wider use case in the internet landscape of tomorrow.


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