What is proxy servers

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Proxy servers are middlemen in the communication between two computers. The proxy server takes requests on behalf and then forwards them accordingly. You can read about what you could need a proxy server for and what a proxy server is in this practical tip. In times of firewalls, VPN services and Tor, a practical method to disguise the IP address and speed up the Internet has fallen a little behind: the proxy server. Proxy comes from the Latin "proxus" and means "next" or "substitute". And that is exactly what a proxy server is: It is a proxy server for a network or a computer and connects between the Internet and the computer.

There are basically two types of proxy servers: Those that run locally in the network - this makes sense, for example, in companies to relieve the Internet lines. And those that are provided by the provider. While the former serve primarily as a cache, i.e. ensure that data does not have to be reloaded from the internet every time, the provider proxy is particularly interesting for everyday private use: it not only speeds up the internet Access, but can also disguise the IP address. This means that a provider proxy leads to significantly more speed and security - and is also easy to set up.

A proxy server is a communication mediator in a computer network. He directs inquiries via his own address (of DNS client ) , for example for calling up a website or downloading a file, to the corresponding recipient ( server ) without the two having to be directly connected to one another.
A visual comparison would be, for example, the waiter in a restaurant where you place your order: he accepts your request and forwards you to the kitchen without you having to personally contact the cook. Your answer, i.e. the dish you ordered, will be delivered to you in the same way.

With a proxy server, you can not only filter your network communication and cache data, but also surf the Internet anonymously. We'll explain these three options in more detail in the next section.

Proxy servers can be used for various purposes:

Anonymization: your own IP address You can hide by switching the proxy so that only the address and location of the proxy are visible to the other network participants. In order to surf anonymously with a proxy server, you have to pretend an incorrect internet address . Be careful though! The operator of a proxy server has full control over your session, can record all your communication and even manipulate web content.

Caching: Here data from the proxy in the cached order to process recurring requests faster. If, for example, the client regularly requests the same Word document, this can be called up directly from the proxy server without having to connect to the actual target server. This often saves bandwidth and therefore money in companies.

Filtering: Proxy servers can also use filters to evaluate incoming requests and only allow certain types of requests to pass through. This is often the case in company networks where certain services, such as file sharing or game websites, are blocked.

Created20 Jul 2020
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