What is a Proxy Server and How Does it Work
The actual nuts and bolts of using a computer are considered by many to be too technical. In some ways, they would be right. There is a lot of technical aspects in the computer world. That is why some people feel more comfortable leaving things like that up to the geeks and computer wonks.
Today, I will be discussing proxy servers and how they work. I apologize in advance if this turns out to be too technical for some of you. I do feel that anyone who uses the computer should have( at the very least) a basic understanding of how computers work.
What Is A Proxy Server?
A proxy server is considered(by many) to be the corner penthouse of computer networking. A client(user) comes to the network for a request about specific resources.
The proxy server is the middleman that delivers on those requests. In lamen’s terms, it is the gatekeeper between you and what you do online.
It does everything including acting as a firewall and sharing information and network connections.
How Do Proxy Servers Work?
This next section talks about how they work. Understanding and using a proxy server is not that difficult.
In case you did not know, every computer needs to have a unique internet protocol(IP address).
Your post office has your address on file so you can get your mail delivered every day, right? Well, think of the IP address protocol as the street address for your computer.
Since the computer has your IP address on file, the system knows to deliver everything there.
Say you want information on a movie. You plug the information into the computer. The request is sent to the proxy server on your behalf first.
The response is generated back to the proxy server and then, it bounces it back to you.
The one thing that most do not know about is, that the server can make changes while this is all happening. You do not have to worry though, the information is not affected by the changes. These are just internal changes made to better the information sent.
You use a proxy for almost everything, including encrypted data. The proxy will also block pages on your behalf, especially those the proxy deems suspicious or harmful.
The other great thing about the proxy server is that anything you request is sent anonymously. That means anything you request remains unreadable before and after you get it. There are a lot of prying eyes. You need to be careful.
What Are The Advantages Of Using One
There are quite a few reasons to use one. I have a few listed below.
1) A proxy server is great for monitoring what your employees do at work. Some employees do not think their bosses are watching the sites they visit. That is not true, at all. A boss has the power to block specific sites. That way your employees will concentrate on their work and nothing more.
Parents can use the proxy server to monitor what their kids see online. Nowadays, kids are inundated with information at such a rapid pace( more so than I was a kid). Parents can feel better knowing their kids are watching something less graphic or sexual.
Now, of course, once the kid reaches 18, they can watch whatever they want. Until then, you have the power to control what you want your kids to see.
2) A good server is going to copy things that you might need later. I will also improve speed. A good proxy server will also improve your bandwidth.
Sometimes the bandwidth cuts out and leaves you hanging. A proxy server helps to prevent that.
3) Many of you( myself included) value your privacy. Proxy servers help to keep what you see and watch privately. Sometimes the proxy will change the destination IP. The proxy is protecting your privacy when that happens. No one knows who made the original request.