What is a Proxy Server?

A Proxy server is a network service that utilizes a dedicated computer on a remote network allowing Internet users such as yourself to make indirect connections to other computers (websites or services) using its own network connection.

All of your web browsing activity is transferred to a removed server first. When using a proxy server, the recipient of your communications will see an IP address of the proxy server and not yours. There are plenty of hosted proxy server implementations on the world wide web that offer free and premium online user accounts to hide your online identity. This, however, is not always safe and is a bullet-proof method. Some proxy servers are owned by individuals and utilize them to invade their subscriber’s privacy.

You should always select a VPN service very carefully, bearing in mind that a VPN service can intercept all of your communications.

Proxy tunneling

When connecting through different networks of the Internet, proxy servers along with HTTP tunnels are providing access to data on the World Wide Web. A proxy connection can be created on the user’s computer, or anywhere between the user’s computer and a destination server on the Internet. This info below outlines basic concepts about proxies and their applicable configuration options.

There are two primary types of proxies:

  • Forward proxies (gateway or tunnel)
  • Reverse proxies (utilized to protect and control access to a server for decryption, load-balancing, caching, or authentication).

Forward proxies
Forward proxies or gateways provide proxy services to a user or a group of users. The number of open forward proxies on the Internet is continually expanding. These forward Internet service data streams (like the DNS, or website pages) to control the utilized bandwidth used by the set.

Forward proxies are also can be configured to be anonymous, which allows users to conceal their IP address while accessing the Web or using any Internet services. TOR (e.g.: The Onion Router), redirects internet traffic through several proxies for privacy and anonymity.

Reverse proxies
The reverse proxies do the opposite of forwarding proxies: A forward proxy acts on behalf of clients. Forward proxies are able to hide the id of clients whereas reverse proxies are able to hide the ids of servers. Reverse proxies are used for load balancing to distribute the load to several website servers,
cache static content, compress and optimize data to speed up access and download time.