Why Proxies Should Be on Your Tech List

September 20, 2023

A proxy or proxy server acts as an intermediary or go-between between a request made by a user and a particular server. There are different types of proxies available on the market, and they also serve various purposes, so the type you use depends on what you want your proxy to do.

As society now revolves around the internet, it is important to be security conscious whenever online. The main purpose of a proxy server is to protect the direct connections between internet users and internet resources. You may read more to find out what else a proxy can do to enhance your online experience.

The Secure Nature of Proxies

Proxes or proxy servers act as an extra layer of security for your devices. They are commonly set up as firewalls or filters that protect your computer against threats such as malware. Using a proxy means you can easily filter traffic according to how safe it is. This extra security is essential, especially when used with other email security products and secure web gateways. You can use a proxy for personal purposes such as hiding your location online or accessing an entertainment site.

A company may choose to use a proxy to secure employees when they use the internet, or in some cases, to control the websites that employees can access in the office.

More Reasons Why You Should Use a Proxy

Proxies can be a valuable piece of technology, and here are a few more reasons why you should consider getting one:

They Control Internet Access

Proxies can be used to control internet access. This is a feature that can be used by concerned parents or employers that have productivity in mind. Proxies can monitor a user’s internet access when set up to block specific sites. You set up the proxy by letting it block content that you deem inappropriate for children or a distraction to employees. You can also set it up to log all web requests to help you see all websites accessed by your children or employees.

Access Blocked Sites

A proxy is a two-way street that allows you to block access to specific sites and, at the same time, allow you access to blocked sites. This is a common feature for gamers who want to access certain games or sites that are deemed inaccessible within their country. Simply put, you can use a proxy server to sign on to a blocked site.

Save Bandwidth and Improve Internet Speed

Proxies work by caching web pages. This means they can save a recent copy of an often-used website. If several people or employees frequently use this website, rather than reloading it whenever someone wants to access it, the proxy will have it readily saved in the cache. This can improve connection speeds and save on bandwidth.

Improves privacy

A proxy improves privacy by changing your IP address and other identity data, so personal information is made private. This means whatever server you connect to, you can’t be identified, and even if the IP address is stored, the proxy would have changed it so it would not be your original IP address.

Types of Proxy Servers

There are four main types of proxies, all based on the purpose they serve. They can be divided according to their specific functions. These include CGI proxies, caching web proxies, reverse proxies, and filtering proxies.

They can also be categorized based on the level of privacy required. In this case, we have anonymous proxies, transparent proxies, and high-anonymity proxies.

CGI Proxies

A CGI proxy is an online proxy that looks like a website. With the CGI proxy, a user can instantly access a specific page. This type of proxy uses CGI or PHP to function. CGI proxies also give access to blocked websites while hiding your IP address, making you anonymous.

Caching Web Proxies

This is a common type of proxy that is used more often. It works by keeping a copy of the website you visit, meaning the next time you visit that page, the process will be much quicker. It does this securely by saving to the cache to which the proxy sends the information.

If the proxy hasn’t saved the data, it will send it back to the user and then save a copy to use later. The information on the web pages isn’t kept there permanently. The system can later delete the data based on how old or big it is.

Reverse Proxies

As the name suggests, a reverse proxy works opposite to a typical proxy. In this case, instead of protecting the user, this proxy works to protect the web server. This can protect the servers’ online information. Specific information can either be denied or granted access to with the proxy. They are also a valuable tool for eliminating static pages.

Filtering Proxies

This is a simple type of proxy that works by filtering content on web pages. Strict rules on the internet in China and North Korea use this type of proxy to limit internet access for its users. It works by blocking any sites on the internet that aren’t supposed to be accessed by users. In some cases, they can also filter pages for a specific audience.

Anonymous Proxies

This is a type of proxy that works by changing the original IP address of the user. This means the user stays anonymous.

Transparent Proxies

This type of proxy doesn’t hide your IP address. The transparent proxy feature is common with caching proxies; you don’t need to stay anonymous.

High Anonymity Proxies

This type of proxy doesn’t reveal that it’s a proxy server. It doesn’t even show the IP address of a user. It’s an invisible type of proxy on the website and can’t be detected.

Disadvantages of Using a Proxy Server

Despite having so many advantages, there are also some disadvantages associated with using a proxy server. Here are the common disadvantages:

  • There’s no complete anonymity, as a user with a reverse proxy could easily access all the information you sent and received. The free versions are commonly high-risk.
  • Most proxies are not encrypted. This means the website can still monitor what you do online even though it can’t trace and connect it to your real IP address.
  • Your original IP address could still be leaked, making you vulnerable to internet onlookers.

What Makes a Proxy Safe?

There are multiple factors that determine your anonymity when surfing the web using a proxy server. Here are a few things to consider in deciding if your proxy is safe.

  • The configuration of the proxy should be done correctly. If properly configured, a proxy gives a decent level of privacy. Proper knowledge is required to ensure the installation is done correctly. After that, your proxy will need proper maintenance to ensure it continues to do what it’s programmed to do.
  • Consider who owns the proxy server. Always go with a proxy that is made by companies with a good reputation.
  • Consider if the proxy allows you to use HTTPS websites. If a proxy doesn’t allow an HTTPS website, it means it’s not as secure to use it.

Final Thought

With so many companies offering proxies, users may be confused about the type of proxy they want. Remember to do due diligence and look up reviews on the selected proxy.


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