What Is Proxy Server and How It Works?
Long gone are days when we were truly anonymous on the internet. Now, our browsing history gets tracked by our Internet Service Providers, which means that the ads that we find when we surf the web without Adblock are tailored to increase the chances that we might click on them. Also, if you live in an authoritarian country, you could end up in prison for posting anti-government comments on the internet. Fortunately, there are methods that you could use to make it almost impossible for anyone to track your internet activity. In a second, you’ll learn what a proxy server is and how it works. Let’s go!
What is a proxy server?
According to the experts at Security Gladiators, a proxy server acts as a middle-man between your device and the website that you visit. Usually, all the data would be sent directly from your device to the website. If you use a proxy server, all the activity will firstly go through a proxy server. The website or an app that you are using will see an IP address of the proxy. There are three types of proxies:
HTTP Proxies, which are used if you want to hide your IP address when browsing web pages
SOCKS Proxies, which can be used to mask your IP address not only when you use your browser, but also while using various applications.
On the downside, the fact that they are more useful means that there is more traffic, which is the reason why they aren’t as fast as HTTP proxies.
READ ALSO: 45+ Top Best Free Proxy Server List – 2020
Transparent proxies differ from the first two types. They are most often used in companies to control which sites the employers can visit and which are banned. Although the proxy server won’t make it impossible for the company’s private data to leak out, it could be used to track all the activity, which means that the person responsible for the leak would soon be found out.
So what are the reasons to use proxy servers?
To control the internet traffic
Proxy servers are commonly found in companies. It is an often-used practice to ban specific websites to increase the productivity of the employees. Even if those websites aren’t outright banned, it is still possible to monitor the internet activity of the employees. Alternatively, it could also be used by parents who don’t want their kids to visit sites containing porn.
To bypass geo-restrictions
Some websites are unavailable in some parts of the world, which is why many people use proxy servers to circumvent those restrictions. The governments in authoritarian countries tend to block the free flow of information. People who want to access any news that is not government propaganda have to change their IP to make it possible to access banned websites. Depending on where you live, certain companies, like Netflix or HBO GO, allow its users to access different movies and tv shows. If you want to watch movies unavailable in your country, you would have to change your IP address.
Anonymity can be useful both to private users and to companies. There are several reasons why remaining anonymous on the internet is advantageous:
If you browse the internet without any security measures, all your browsing history is tracked by your ISP. Because of that, all the ads that you see on the internet are chosen to have the greatest chance of convincing you to buy a specific product. Not everyone likes that, which is why many people use different ways – like proxy servers, VPNs, or Tor to mask their online activity.
If you engage in illegal activity on the internet, you should always use some security measures. If you intend to order various substances over the internet, criticize the government, or support people who are oppressed by the government, then using a proxy server, VPN or Tor is a must.
Anonymity in today’s world
It can be intimidating to know that everything that you do on the internet is tracked. That’s why more and more people use proxy servers, VPNs and Tor to mask their online activity. The desire to be anonymous on the internet doesn’t need to stem from the fact that you want to engage in malicious activity. Proxy servers can be used to increase your and your company’s safety, circumvent geo-restrictions and protect from the actions of the authoritarian governments.