Networking Basics: What is a Proxy Server and Their Benefits

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The internet is used by the majority of people today and with good reason. The internet is capable of providing access to a variety of information, services, and even forms of communication. However, people rarely take the time to think about the ins and outs of the internet along with the many dangers it holds.

The internet is a very practical place, you can ask for anything and most of the time, you will get an appropriate response. With all the benefits of the internet, one might forget to acknowledge the dangers such as hackers and personal information thieves. Just like any physical place on Earth, an area will have its attractions upfronts such as old temples and risks like pickpockets.

The internet may have the drawbacks of a physical place but it also has ways to counter these dangers. An old temple might have security guards to keep an eye out for pickpockets while keeping tourists safe. In the case of the internet, proxy servers protect internet users while standing guard for hackers and the like.

Proxy Servers 

A proxy server serves as a security measure for an internet user. This is done by the different kinds of servers out there, each with its own strengths. We’ll give you an idea of the different kinds of proxies in a bit.

Generally, a proxy server serves as an intermediary for a user and a website. Picture them as the good-willed locals making sure you don’t get scammed. Often, proxies are found to relay the request of a user to the website or server on their behalf. Some proxies do this while encrypting certain information to prevent eavesdroppers while others simply provide their information.

A Quick Overview of a Few Types of Proxies

Types of Proxies

1. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Proxies

A Secure Sockets Layer or an SSL proxy protects internet users through a mix of encryption, authentication protocols, and even monitoring procedures. This kind of transparent proxy has a good mix of practicality and security. SSL Proxies utilize SSL traffic and make sure the transaction between the user and the website goes smoothly.

SSL proxy servers are also known as HTTP (s) proxies and are commonly used by the general public. Since it doesn’t require an in-depth level of expertise to use. A feature of SSL proxy is being a transparent proxy that authenticates servers. 

A transparent proxy encrypts data for both the server and the user to prevent information leaks. At the same time, SSL proxies let a web browser validate a server making sure that data is authentic and hasn’t been tampered with.

2. Residential Proxies

If SSL proxies work as traffic enforcers to make sure a transaction goes smoothly, residential proxies work as ambassadors for the user. Like an ambassador for a country, they represent the user and essentially keep them completely anonymous. Anonymity on the internet is a very valuable attribute and shouldn’t be taken lightly.

All proxies provide a certain level of anonymity to an extent but each accomplishes this in its own way. 

Residential proxies work by hiding your IP or your Internet Protocol address. An IP is your unique address and can be compared to your physical home address. You don’t want that kind of information floating around. Best rotational Residential Proxies hide the user’s IP while offering up an IP of their own.

Residential proxies work particularly well in the area of anonymity because they replace the IP of a user with their IP that is linked to a physical address. Allowing for this proxy to work despite a higher level of security from a browser. 

3. Distortion Proxies

Residential proxies may serve as ambassadors representing the user while distortion proxies turn off the lights during a transaction. Residential proxies, as mentioned, work by offering up their IP and letting the server make use of that. Distortion proxies, on the other hand, do as their name suggests and distorts the user’s IP.

By “turning off the lights” they have the users completely anonymous and provide the server with a completely false IP. This prevents tracking and other malicious attempts from hackers and the like. Distortion proxies work particularly well when you want to appear in a different geological location.
The above-mentioned proxies are just the tip of the cybersecurity iceberg, you can read for more types of proxy servers that may suit your needs.

General Benefits of Proxies

The segment above discussed a few of the different kinds of proxies out there on the internet. Each proxy is unique in how they provide security and other bonuses. Despite having different kinds, proxies all have general benefits and reasons why you should get one now.

Benefits of Proxies

1. Security

The internet is a wonderful place but it still has its dangers. It’s a group of people with malicious intent that you need to watch out for. Proxies prevent these kinds of people from getting to you. Acting as security guards so that you are free to explore the internet as you please.

Security is no laughing matter when it comes to the internet, especially when you have funds in an online bank or other valuable resources. You don’t want to end up being the next victim for a hacker.

Proxies are a simple solution to make sure that everything you have online is kept under lock and key. When it comes to the age we live in, is it even possible to be “too safe”?

2. Anonymity

As mentioned, proxies provide security through a variety of methods. Proxies make sure you are free to roam the internet world without having to check if you are being followed. Whether proxies protect you by standing in front of you or hiding you you can never be too secure.

Anonymity is very important when it comes to appearing online because a little bit of personal information may lead to a whole mess of problems. You don’t want to know what a hacker can find out with a little bit of information that you wished you kept hidden from the public.

3. Additional Access

Certain bits of information found online can only be accessed from a specific part of the globe. Proxies allow you to get location-specific access by making your IP appear from a different area. 

With this, you can get access to other Netflix shows that aren’t released in your country or maybe key features for other programs that your country simply hasn’t permitted yet. They can make sure you get a full pass to every bit of the internet that you are looking for.

4. Monitoring Usage

You might be in a family or a business and have multiple people using the internet. In that case, proxies can monitor their usage for you. Letting you know if they are accessing sites they shouldn’t be or if they have too much screen time. This feature can also allow you to monitor your internet usage.

The ability to monitor internet traffic is a very valuable tool that you can use for whatever reason you may have. Making sure your children are safe or maybe checking if your employees are indeed working. 

5. Bandwidth Control

As mentioned, some proxies monitor the traffic and save certain bits of data. An example might be a request for a website that you constantly go back to. Proxies can help with loading times and saving bandwidth by remembering the answers to these requests. If a proxy recognizes the request then it can give the response quickly.

Faster loading times and a more efficient internet experience is a nice quality of life feature. Meaning, that it may not be necessary for you to use the internet but it makes the experience more enjoyable and smoother.

6. Advertisement Blocking

You know how annoying a random pop-up ad can be, especially with so many fake buttons baiting you into installing malware. Proxies protect you from these unwanted ads and can make sure you never have to see them again. 

Stopping ads will make your internet experience smoother but it may also protect you from malware and other malicious sites. Proxies let you stay unbothered and safe at the same time.

Key Takeaway

The internet is a wonderful place full of opportunity but it is also full of traps. Proxy servers provide you with a multitude of benefits that make the internet a better place. 

  1. Security
  2. Anonymity
  3. Additional Access
  4. Monitoring Usage
  5. Bandwidth Control
  6. Advertisement Blocking

Proxies come in all shapes and forms but all are here to help. With all the kinds of proxies out there there is surely one that will fit all of your needs. Get your bodyguard so that you can roam the attractions of the internet at peace.