Do you ever feel like someone is continuously monitoring you online? Data breaches, cyber assaults, and government monitoring have made online anonymity a priority for many internet users. According to a report by Statista, the global number of data breaches reached 1,001 cases in the first half of 2022, exposing over 155 million records.
Proxy servers provide a solution. Proxies protect your online anonymity as a middleman between your computer and the internet. They prevent third parties from tracking your IP address.
However, various sorts of proxies make it challenging to pick. Let’s discuss the kinds of proxies, how they function, and how to use them effectively and safely to protect your online privacy.
So let’s get started.
What is a proxy server?
The term proxy server refers to a computer that acts as an intermediary between a user and the internet. Proxy servers mask your IP address and online identity. Typically, they ensure that your data traffic can’t be linked to you. A proxy server is another method for evading web-based censorship based on physical location.
A proxy is a computer that sits between the consumer and the internet. The user’s entire online traffic is routed through the proxy server. The server then transmits your data to its internet destination. The user’s identity and location are (partially) concealed with a proxy. Proxy servers are typically employed by those who wish to access a site that has been restricted in their region. Numerous corporations and businesses use proxies to establish a private business network.
How do proxies work
A proxy server is positioned between a local computer or network and a more extensive network (typically the Internet). Usually, a proxy is an external server, an additional stage in the online procedure. Your data flows from your computer to your internet service provider (ISP) router when you insert a website URL into your address bar and hit enter without a proxy server. The connection then proceeds to the server of the requested website. The site’s response is returned via the same route.
Using a proxy server modifies the path between your computer and the website. For example, the user (you) communicates to the proxy server using a computer, laptop, or smartphone. The proxy server forwards your request to its Internet destination. The remainder of the web sees the proxy’s IP address instead of your own.
In brief, a proxy transmits data. However, it has additional capabilities. Using a proxy adds an extra level of security when browsing online. There are even various proxy types, each with its unique functions. There are web proxies within your browser, but install a proxy on your router so that all your data traffic is automatically routed.
Varieties of proxies
There are various types of proxy servers. First, one is able to separate them into proxies for one user or group and public proxies used by large organizations. Since so many users share the same IP, it’s much more difficult for third parties to determine which data belongs to which user in the latter case.
Additionally, proxies are categorized based on their unique functions. Several of these varied functions include:
- Caching web proxies
- Filtering proxies
- Reverse proxies
- CGI proxies
In addition, proxies are classified according to their anonymity level. This leads to the following categorizations:
- Transparent proxies
- Anonymous proxies
- High anonymity proxies
- Caching web proxy
Caching proxies are often used. This proxy saves your browsing history. Caching proxies speeds up and secures page delivery. A caching proxy searches its cache before showing a webpage. The proxy transmits cached websites straight to users. If the proxy hasn’t saved the webpage, it’ll get the information from the proper server and deliver it to the user. The webpage is stored for later use.
After a given time, proxies empty their caches. Depending on its age, size, and frequency of use, cache data is deleted. The LRU and LFU cache algorithms are straightforward.
- Filtering proxy
Web proxies also censor content. They implement some internet limitations and censorship, such as China’s state-controlled censorship. These proxies restrict internet access.
Other web proxies customize pages for a specific audience. This happens when your phone or tablet loads a website’s mobile version automatically. These proxies also protect ISPs from malware and viruses. A web proxy filters material and restricts your online freedom but boosts your safety.
- Reverse proxy
Reverse proxies function oppositely from typical proxy servers. This proxy benefits the web server rather than internet surfers. Reverse proxy firewalls safeguard server data online. The proxy controls page access. This prevents bank customers from visiting a stranger’s online bank. To avoid server overload, reverse proxies cache static pages.
- CGI proxy
Web proxies include CGI proxies. This website-shaped proxy lets visitors instantly access a specific page. PHP or CGI powers these sites/proxies. CGI proxies unblock websites prohibited by schools, companies, and governments. They sometimes provide anonymity by hiding the user’s IP address.
- Transparent proxy
You also categorize proxies by how well they protect your online anonymity. Transparent proxies don’t mask user IPs. They advertise as proxy servers and show websites the user’s IP address. Caching proxies aren’t utilized for internet anonymity.
- Anonymous proxy
This proxy server doesn’t reveal the user’s IP address. Anonymous proxies safeguard users. Netflix doesn’t allow anonymous proxies and blocks you if they detect a proxy.
- High-anonymity proxy
This proxy hides its proxy status. It also hides user IPs. Websites can’t detect it, unlike a normal anonymous proxy. High-anonymity proxies are closest to VPNs in anonymity. It lacks VPN-level internet security.
Here’s the latest proxy for staying anonymous.
A mobile proxy, also known as a mobile IP gateway or mobile IP proxy, is a gateway that provides users with mobile IP addresses rather than traditional IP addresses or virtual private network connections. Mobile proxies hide a user’s true location by making it appear as though they are accessing the internet using a mobile data network. Buy mobile proxy to stay anonymous in a secure manner.
Advantages of using a proxy server
Utilizing a proxy server has numerous advantages. Proxy servers, for instance, affect your internet performance and online security. In addition, many proxies offer additional benefits, such as the ability to blacklist websites or bypass other proxies and online blocks. Lastly, some proxy servers conceal your IP address. Read on to learn more about each of these advantages.
Caching proxy servers maintain a file of the visited websites. It substantially speeds up your perusing, as you don’t have to re-download previously viewed pages. Additionally, it conserves bandwidth while browsing.
Proxy servers are used to analyze websites for malicious code. Then, these malicious portions of websites are prohibited. Thus, a proxy adds a layer of security between you and the malicious code on the website you are visiting. The likelihood of a computer virus or other digital infection decreases significantly.
- Pose restrictions
Specific proxy servers enable you to blacklist websites and prevent anyone using the server from accessing those websites. Schools and businesses use proxies to block access to social networking sites like Facebook during work hours. In addition to imposing restrictions, a proxy grants access to the browser histories of all computers connected to its network. Anyone possessing the proxy server, such as your employer or internet service provider, monitor and record your online activity.
- Conceal your IP address
Many people don’t want websites and corporations monitoring them online for good cause. Nobody cares about your internet behavior. A proxy (unless it’s transparent) hides your IP address online. Others see the proxy’s IP address. Hide your IP address to prevent websites from detecting your location and creating a profile. A proxy hides your identity from websites and external parties. Proxy servers evade some browser-based personalized advertising.
- Bypass a second proxy
Lastly, a proxy server is used to get around web-based censorship or even other proxy servers. As mentioned, a company or government blocks specific content on its proxy servers. To avoid these blocks, use your proxy server while accessing this page. Want to go around a firewall and read a news website that is unavailable where you are? Employing a reliable proxy gets you far.
Who is the proxy server’s owner
Proxy owners matter too. Good intentions are crucial. Malicious parties own several free proxy servers to steal your data or generate money through adverts. Proxy servers are expensive to run. Thus, most owners try to make money by selling user data, adding ads to online sites, or distributing malware and viruses.
Browse the internet anonymously
Proxies route your internet connection through an external server. Proxy servers boost internet speed. It also bypasses internet censorship. Free proxy servers are also available.
Selecting the correct proxy for your purposes and securing and private your connection is crucial. Always explore the internet securely and keep current. Online anonymity is enjoyed safely and privately with some understanding and planning. The proxy owner likely logs user data. Proxy servers let you browse social media, shop online, and access sensitive data anonymously. Finally, an ethical proxy lets you surf anonymously.
About Author- Fatema Aliasgar is an experienced B2B and SaaS content writer based in Mumbai, India. She has done her Master’s in Business Management and has written B2B content for eight years. She has a passion for writing and enjoys creating engaging content that resonates with her audience. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and playing board games with her kids.