What is a proxy server? What is it for? How does it work

Definition / Concept

A proxy server, known simply as a “proxy,” is a computer that facilitates the exchange of data between users on a network. The proxy service can exist on the same machine or on a separate server. A proxy server is basically a computer that is connected to the Internet and has its own IP address.

What is it for?

The proxy service allows a client to connect to a different server, providing easy access to services such as web pages, connections or files. In addition, a proxy server serves to filter the material that is allowed on the network, limiting which websites can be accessed by network users. For example you can filter hacking sites.

Importance

The main purpose of a proxy service is to filter requests to ensure no dangerous traffic is introduced by enforcing strict routing rules, improving system performance. A proxy server improves the speed of Internet access from a network primarily through the use of a caching system. Caching saves recently viewed websites, images, and files to a local hard drive so they don’t have to be downloaded from the web again. While your web browser may save recently viewed items to your computer, a proxy server caches anything accessed from the network.

How does a proxy server work?

A proxy service works in a simple way: When the proxy service receives a request. For example, opening a web page, this looks for the pages that are in the cache. If it finds the requested page, it returns the page from the cache to the user. If the page is not already cached, the proxy service uses its own IP address to get the page from the server to the client.

In other words, when a user sends a web request, the request goes to the proxy server first. The proxy server then makes the web request on behalf of the user, collects the response from the web server, and sends the web page data to it so that the web page can be viewed by the user’s browser.

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