The word “proxy” means “substitute”, and a proxy server embodies this since it acts as an intermediary server between users and websites. The user’s request for connection goes to the proxy server first. The proxy server then filters this request and sends it to the destination website. After the website’s server responds, the proxy server filters the response before sending it to the user.
In essence, a proxy server is a remote computer that has its own IP address that is known by your computer. When you access a website, your request passes through the proxy first. The proxy modifies your request (i.e., replaces your IP address with its own and hides identifying details), sends it to the web server, and gets the response from the web server on your behalf.
Yes, there are free proxy servers available on the Internet. However, you must first ask yourself why their services are free. Some free proxy servers are there to gather your data instead of protect it, some serve up bad advertising, others are even more malicious.
The answer depends on the proxy server provider you choose. A reputable provider is a lot safer than those sprouting on the Internet out of nowhere. Read our reviews about right now to know which providers are worthy of your trust and money.
You can find the proxy settings of each browser under the settings page. However, most browsers usually use your computer’s default settings. To change the settings in Windows 7, 8, 10, and Vista, you need to go to the Control Panel. Click Start > Settings (gear icon). Once in the Settings window, click on Network & Internet. Look for Proxy on the left pane.
The common features of proxy servers are the following:
The best proxy server has most, if not all, of these features and even has unique ones such as GEO and multiple subnets.
There are several reasons why an individual or an organization uses a proxy server. Among these reasons are the following:
There are different types of proxy servers, and the functionality you get will depend on the proxy type you are using. Below are the most popular types of proxies:
When it comes to exclusivity, there are two types of proxies: shared and private. As the name suggests, shared proxies are shared among multiple users, meaning a single IP address is being used by more than one person. When one user is banned by a website, the other users are also banned. On the other hand, with private proxies, only one person uses the IP address, so there’s no risk that this person will be banned due to another person’s actions.
We listed and reviewed the best proxy servers, so take time to read and find out which proxy provider fits your needs.
No. Both solutions act as a gateway as they intercept an end user’s request and a web server’s response to this request. Also, VPNs and proxies hide your IP address. However, VPNs do more as they encrypt all data packets that you send and receive within your network, making you much safer from prying eyes.
Web servers also use proxies. A web server can make responses to connection requests appear as if the responses are coming from a proxy and not from the web server itself. The type of proxies for this purpose are called reverse proxies, and they are used to:
Aside from these, there are a lot more benefits a company can get by using reverse proxies.