Proxy is a convenient tool designed to expand user opportunities on the Internet and prevent data leakage. Since the proxy use cases are very diverse, providers have developed different server types to focus on a particular need. One server type we want to pay attention to is an SSL proxy. What is an SSL proxy? How does it work? What benefits and use cases do SSL proxies cover? Let’s drag it to light.
What is an SSL proxy? How does it work?
An SSL proxy server is a device, usually, a router or computer, that routes traffic using the SSL protocol. SSL abbreviation stands for Secure Socket Layer. It is an encrypted protocol that creates a secure connection between the client and the server. The process of constant encryption and decryption prevents proxies from being detected as intermediaries. Oftentimes this protocol is combined with the hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP). This combination helps to establish an even more secure connection when browsing the Internet. The resulting protocol is known as HTTPS – that’s why an SSL proxy is often called an HTTPS proxy. HTTPS protocol has already become standard for most online services due to the higher degree of privacy and security.
SSL proxy servers are designed mainly to emulate server certificates. These certificates allow the web browser to use the trusted certificate when testing sites for authenticity. They encrypt data to ensure communication privacy and protect its contents.
The principle of their operation includes the following:
- Detect keys for encryption and decryption acting as a client visible to a server;
- Authenticate initial server certificate and issues a new one along with a replacement key on the part of a server;
- Carry out encryption and decryption per direction with keys different for both processes.
- Direct HTTPS traffic to the intermediary to enhance the protocol performance.
Advantages of using an SSL proxy
- Higher level of security
By encrypting the connection between a client and a server, the SSL proxy certificate protects data. Even in the case of SSL interception, the attacker will never access the information. Such a level of security is vital when connecting to the bank account.
- More anonymous
Encrypted proxy provides a higher degree of anonymity adding an extra layer of encryption. It eliminates the risk of identification from intercepted data and preserves user anonymity.
- Data decryption
To get refined information about the server, this intermediary decrypts traffic. Thus, it ensures a secure data transmission between a client and a server
- Safe protocols
The intermediary recalls server certificates. Thus, the server can establish a secure connection with the website.
SSL proxy use cases
- Web scraping
The Internet is an abysmal pantry that stores loads of information with no end in sight. No doubt, the better half of this riches is incredibly valuable for stakeholders. Searching for particular information is not a great deal but we can’t say the same about collecting data on a large scale. To protect the website from data gathering, proprietors install scraping targets. They identify an IP address sending too many requests than on average. SSL proxies allow bypassing these restrictions placed on extracting data.
- Social media management
The simultaneous usage of several accounts from the same IP address is under restriction in large social media platforms. To avoid blocking, social media management platforms often use these intermediaries.
- Ad verification
The number of attacks on ad traffic has only increased over the past few years. Businesses got concerned about their promotion campaign performance. Hackers fake ad traffic so that people never see the ads bringing big losses for the business. To protect ad traffic, companies started utilizing SSL proxies for ad verification. Thus, they detect fraud, check landing pages, and improve the performance of promotion campaigns.
- Brand protection
Cyberattacks are a pain in the neck for companies that struggle to protect their property from theft. Such a threat can endanger corporate finance as well as reputation. SSL proxies can help to increase network security, filter unsolicited promotion, block emails, and more.
- Bypassing restrictions
For some reason, no matter whether it is policy or rules, the target website can deny you access to the content. Let’s say, you are from the USA and you need to get some information from local German websites you can’t access. This intermediary can help you to change your digital location. By changing your current IP address, you can access any website you like.
- Strong internet connection
It is crucial to keep data secure when doing a confidential activity. SSL proxies are the right choice for this case. They provide an additional security layer by encrypting the connection and transferring information. With this type of intermediary, your data will remain secure and inaccessible to third parties.
- Being anonymous
If you conduct activities on any restricted source, there is still a risk for your identity to be revealed. As a result, the website will put your activity on hold and block your account. To avoid undesired blocks, use this type of intermediary that will take care of your anonymity on the internet.
Types of SSL proxies
These proxies are divided into the following types according to the degree of anonymity provided:
When using a transparent proxy, the client usually does not notice the presence of an intermediary. This connection is visible only to the website or ISP. Transparent proxies provide a fast connection increased by caching data.
These proxies hide your IP address so that the website you target will see only the intermediary data but not your real IP address.
Websites can identify the usage of this intermediary but they will receive only incorrect IP instead of yours.
These proxies are anonymous. Before connecting the target website, it deletes used data. Thus, it remains invisible during the performance. The target website can neither detect the usage of a proxy nor identify the user’s IP address.
HTTPS proxies use an SSL connection which means all transferred data is encrypted. Those servers that allow connecting through port 443 are HTTPS proxies. In case this connection is not offered, you can’t visit the website that uses HTTPS protocol.
Top questions about HTTPS proxies
Is the HTTPS proxy connection secure?
Have you noticed the “lock icon” to the left of the address bar? It denotes that the connection between the user and the target site is encrypted with SSL protocol. Hence, HTTPS proxies the entire data referred to this connection. What does it mean? It means the data you upload, download, stream, enter, send, and so on, remain private. All your credit card numbers, logins, and passwords will be open only to you and the owner of the site you requested.
Do proxy services “listen” to the traffic?
No, they don’t. This is technically impossible. If you try to hack passwords to some account, the proxy provider can only guess your intentions by the number of sent requests. They can’t know for sure what you are doing there unless you use a brute force program with millions of requests per minute.
What ports do SSL proxies work on?
- HTTP – 3128, 3129, 80, 8080
- HTTPS – 443
What can HTTP proxies do?
- cache uploaded files
- filter data
- reduce connection speed
- restrict access to certain sources
- control traffic for each user
Are SSL and HTTPS proxies equal?
Perhaps, you have already noticed that SSL and HTTPS proxies are often used interchangeably. These are alternate names for the same tool, so don’t get alarmed if you suddenly see HTTPS instead of SSL. Remember that “S” at the end of HTTPS denotes “Secure”.
SSL proxies have gained the reputation of secure intermediaries. They provide additional encryption along with extra security. It is a good choice for a business that needs an all-in-all tool for various use cases and is conscious of data security and privacy.