About Proxy Server and how does proxies work ?
In computer networks, a proxy-server is a server (a computer system or an application) that runs as an intermediary for requests from clients seeking resources from other servers.
If you’re using a proxy server, internet traffic flows through the proxy server on its way to the address you requested. The request then comes back through that same proxy server (there are exceptions to this rule), and then the proxy server forwards the data received from the website to you. An online proxy can only do so much for you: in short, it hides your real IP address. A web proxy, even a truly encrypted and anonymous one, won’t mask your identity if you’re using an online account that’s tied to your real identity.
Modern proxy servers do much more than forwarding web requests, all in the name of data security and network performance. Proxy servers act as a firewall and web filter, provide shared network connections, and cache data to speed up common requests. A good proxy server keeps users and the internal network protected from the bad stuff that lives out in the wild internet. Lastly, proxy servers can provide a high level of privacy.
How a proxy operates.
A proxy server is a computer on the web that redirects your web browsing activity. Here is what that means.
- Normally, when you type in a website name (Amazon.com or any other), your Internet Service Provider (ISP) makes the request for you and connects you with the destination—and reveals your real IP address, as mentioned before.
- When you use a proxy your online requests get rerouted.
- While using a proxy, your Internet request goes from your computer to your ISP as usual, but then gets sent to the proxy server, and then to the website/destination. Along the way, the proxy uses the IP address you chose in your setup, masking your real IP address.
Types of proxy-servers
Even though all proxies help you access websites you might not otherwise get to, not all proxies behave the same way. A proxy can fall into one of four categories:
- Transparent proxy. It tells websites that it is a proxy server and it will pass along your IP address anyway.
- Anonymous proxy. It will identify itself as a proxy, but it won’t pass your IP address to the website.
- Distorting proxy. It passes along an incorrect IP address for you while identifying itself as a proxy.
- High Anonymity proxy. The proxy and your IP address stay a secret. The website just sees a random IP address connecting to it…that isn’t yours.
As mentioned before, you can find proxy servers easily for free; but as with any free service, you should be aware of the risks involved, because a free proxy may not be as safe or secure as you hope it would be.
- Security Hack
- Spam and Virus Attacks
- Broken Internet
- Identity Theft
And More Risks Here.
So, should you just stay away from proxies?
Not really. As with everything you do online, think before you click. There are a lot of proxies out there with trusted name brands and good user reviews. You might have to pay a little fee for those, but considering what’s at stake, it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you can’t afford to spend any money and are only looking at free proxy servers, check out those that are “HTTPS.” Then make sure that you’ll only be surfing on HTTPS enforced sites. But there’s a better way to go.