What Is A Proxy Server?

Most people may not have heard of the term proxy server, however, if you have worked in a corporate network you may have heard of it and you should know that you would not be able to access websites and service outside the company’s network without it. There are several types of proxy servers however we will be going over the most common type which is a web proxy that facilitates access to content and services found on the internet. A proxy server is an intermediary between your device and the internet. The proxy server makes requests to a website, server, and/or services over the internet for you. For example, when you are using a browser and visit https://www.kreativeteksolutions.com/ and your browser is set to use a proxy server the request will be sent to the proxy server and then sends it to you. As a result, the website host sees the proxy server’s IP address information instead of seeing your devices information.

What Is The Purpose Of A Proxy Server?

There are several purposes for a proxy server such as control internet usage on corporate networks, bandwidth saving for larger networks, improved speed, privacy, security, and bypass censorship.  Below we will go into a bit more detail regarding what is mentioned above:

  • Control Internet Usage On Corporate Networks - The biggest reasons corporate networks use a proxy is to control and restrict what employees can access over the internet. For example, several companies ban certain websites, so employees cannot access them during work hours.
  • Bandwidth Saving For Larger Networks - proxy servers can compress traffic, cache files and web pages from the internet and sometimes even strip ads before they reach the destination computer. This allows bandwidth to be saved especially when several people are accessing the same popular websites such as CNN, MSN, Wikipedia, etc.
  • Improved Speed - since information is cached and things can be stripped using a proxy server, the speed is also increased. Since the cache is already there the website can be delivered to the device without waiting for server response. Having certain unnecessary components stripped just speeds up the overall delivery process.
  • Privacy - since the connection is being initiated to the destination through the proxy server the destination retrieves a request from the proxy server’s IP address and information meaning your personal device’s information is secure and not revealed to the destination website or web application.
  • Security - proxy servers can also have a role in improving security, especially on a business network. They can block access to malicious websites that distribute malware and can even provide encryption services to the data transmitted over the internet cannot be easily sniffed by hackers and other hacking tools.
  • Bypass Censorship - bypassing restrictions is one of the biggest reasons most people use proxy servers. To explain, there are times you are on a website with content that is restricted based on the country and this is determined using your IP address. So, to bypass this restriction you can use a proxy server at specific geolocation to access this content. In a way, it is slightly like a VPN.

Should You Use Free Proxy Servers On The Internet?

You can certainly use free proxy servers on the internet, however, always be wary of using a public server which you know nothing about. Some public proxy server can be used for malicious purposes and they can expose users to problems rather than providing a benefit. We are not stating every public proxy server is this way but rather stating there is a possibility a free public proxy server can pose an issue rather than a benefit. Like we have said before it is always to be safe than sorry, especially if sorry is going to do something that may be nonreversible.