A proxy (or proxy server) is a computer that serves as a way station between the user and the Internet. If you have a proxy server set up, you send all Internet traffic to that proxy server.
- That server then forwards your Internet traffic to your final destination on the Internet, captures the returning traffic and sends it back to you. In this way, your identity and location are (partially) hidden.
- You can access the Internet via online web proxies or configure your browser/router to route all Internet traffic through a proxy.
How does a proxy work?
A proxy server is usually a remote server and thus acts as a way station between the user and the rest of the Internet. The computer (or laptop, tablet or smartphone) connects to the proxy server and, because it forwards all the data, it is not the user’s IP address that arrives at the final destination on the Internet, but the IP address of the proxy server. A proxy server can perform other actions besides forwarding data. For example, it can temporarily store (cache) certain data, allowing for faster delivery of this data. Also, content can be analyzed and filtered, another question that you need to answer is if you want to buy IPv6 or IPv4 proxies because there is a difference between both options.
Types of proxy servers
There are different types of proxy servers. First of all, a classification can be made between proxy servers that are used by ééone user or ééone group of users and proxy servers that can be used by large groups with diverse users. With the second type of server, it is more difficult to find out the underlying user. In addition, proxies can be classified into the following groups: Web proxy, Transparent proxy and the well known proxy provider ColdProxy.
A common application is a cached web proxy. This keeps a copy (cache) of web page’s, allowing them to be delivered to the user faster. So a copy of a website is stored by the web proxy and when you request that website, you get to see the copy.
- If the visitor requests a website via a caching proxy, the proxy will first search its local storage (cache). If the website is found in there, the proxy can immediately send the data back to the user. If the proxy does not already have the website in its cache, it will fetch it from the relevant web server and send it back to the requester.