Proxy servers are one of those things that have been around for years, but no one seems to know what they do.
They actually have quite a few benefits to them, but to understand these benefits you first must understand how they work. This article will cover everything about proxy servers, which includes how they work and why everyone seems to be using them.
As the name suggests, a proxy server is just a fancy way of saying a server that connects for you. It basically serves as an intermediary between you and the rest of the internet. When you spend time researching to find the best proxy providers you will be much safer online.
To better understand this you need to understand how the internet works. When you connect to a website without a proxy, your computer will directly access the web server (website). This means the web server will know your IP address, which can be used to track you.
However, if you connect through a proxy server, then things are a little different. When you visit a website, your computer does not actually interact with the web server. Instead, your computer will direct the proxy to connect to the web server. The proxy will then relay that information back to you.
As mentioned earlier, the proxy server is basically a middleman between you and the rest of the internet. Having a middleman while on the internet is very important. The next section will cover exactly why you may want to use a proxy server, middleman while using the internet.
One significant benefit of using a proxy is that it hides your real IP address. Your IP address is a unique identification number assigned by your internet service provider (ISP) that can be used to track you across the internet.
It also has important information like your location and your ISP, which can be used to track and segment you.
Sometimes your IP address will get banned from certain websites for a variety of reasons. Some of these reasons are legitimate and some might be erroneous. Either way, if you want to re-access the website, then you must change your IP address.
The fastest and easiest way to change your IP address is just to use proxy. Just make sure that the IP address of the proxy is not banned too.
The most common reason that internet users use a proxy server is so they can access geographically restricted content. Many media companies have licenses to play content in certain countries and not in others.
If your country is one of the blocked countries, then you will not be able to access the content. This is a particularly big problem for people that live outside the United States and still want to access American content.
A proxy server based in the United States will allow the person to get around this. However, some content providers have a blacklist of proxy IP addresses. All this means is that you have to keep changing your proxy server until you find one that is not blocked.
An everyday use for a proxy server is as a corporate firewall. Most companies do not want their employees on Facebook or YouTube all day at work, so they have a firewall in place.
A proxy server makes an excellent firewall because it can be set up centrally and will also keep logs of all internet access. This means that employees in Los Angeles and employees in New York City will all access the same proxy server.
The proxy administrators can set the server up so certain websites do not load, which is effectively a firewall. Administrators can also have cached content served instead of pulling content from the web server.
Using a cache can save a considerable amount of bandwidth when you have thousands of users visiting the same website each day.
Another benefit, or disadvantage depending on the circumstance, is that a proxy server can log all your traffic. This is most commonly used by employers to monitor their employees’ internet usage.
Proxy server logs are how companies know if employees spend too much time on certain websites. It is also how they are able to monitor everything that you do over the internet.
Logs are also the method that free proxy providers use to make money. They will log all your traffic and then sell it to advertisers or anyone else that wants that data. The administrators can even inject advertisements into the webpages if they’re going to monetize their service further.
Proxy servers are not without their disadvantages. The main downside is that they do not use an encrypted connection when they connect to the proxy server. This is in stark contrast to the best VPNs you can buy.
This means that anyone with the right software can intercept your internet traffic and read it. In other words, do not use a proxy server if you plan on doing any online banking or other online activities that require maximum security.
The lack of encryption does make the proxy have a faster connection speed. A faster connection speed means that you can download videos faster and your connection speed will just be faster. This makes proxies excellent if you just want to watch videos or post on forums.
All in all, proxy servers are an excellent way to hide your IP address and even change it to a different country. This makes it great for watching geographically restricted content and evading any kind of blocks on your IP address.
However, the lack of an encrypted connection makes a proxy an unappealing choice for those looking for a more secure browsing experience. Other options, such as a VPN, offer all the benefits of a proxy with even more security. The only drawback with a VPN is that the encryption does slow the connection down by a significant amount.