Proxy types can be categorized according to anonymity level, traffic flow, service, or IP type. Figuring out the best option for you depends on dedicated and custom requirements. This guide will help you learn about what proxies are, for what purpose you might need one, and their types.
A Proxy Server Is…
Simply put, it is an intermediary that is in charge of adapting and integrating all traffic requests to and replies from a server or network you are trying to connect. It can be as simple as a fragment of software on your desktop and as great as a traffic-protecting appliance on a data center. Regardless of the type, using this server means that all your internet requests first go to it before redirecting you to the real website. It is a server that collects all the information you address and sends it via another IP address.
This is the key, actually. Using proxies enables your internet activity to show up as if it comes from a totally different location. A person might use them for confidentiality issues. Organizations apply them for network performance and security purposes.
How it works
For example, you want to go to Bitbucket. By typing the website’s address in the URL and hitting Enter, you send the request. If you use proxies, your request does not lead you to Bitbucket directly via your computer’s IP address, but a server intercepts your request. Afterward, it updates it and proceeds to send from its own IP address. In such a case, your identifying information can be removed entirely from the request to the Bitbucket server.
Next, the service collects necessary data from the Bitbucket server. It checks the response on any configurations like malicious scripts or any other issues of security. And finally, it sends the data back to your page loads and your computer.
How it protects computer privacy and data
Proxies supply a rather useful layer of security to your computer. You can set it up by way of a firewall or a web filter, for it could protect your computer from various internet threats.
It inspects the data that goes in and out of your network or computer. The internet is way too far from the safest place. However, hackers have no direct access to your personal data, files, or apps without your actual IP address. Instead, the service’s IP is seen by scammers on the internet.
And as for organizations, they usually pursue the following purposes:
- Enhance security;
- Protect their employees from possible snoopers on the internet;
- Regulate internet traffic to avoid crashes;
- Supervise the websites staff visits in the office;
- Preserve bandwidth via squeezing incoming traffic or caching files.
Types of Proxies:
A forward proxy is used within an internal network to collect data for users’ groups. Once a request is sent, it checks up if the request should continue to make a connection.
It is the best proxy server for single-point entries’ internal networks. Not only does it supply the network participants with the IP address safety, but it also enables explicit administrative supervision. Yet keep in mind that this type of service might restrict the ability to please the end-users needs.
Using a transparent version means almost the same as if you were using your home computer. i.e., one might be connected without being aware of it.
Therefore companies, willing to use proxies without notifying their employees about it usually opt for precisely transparent ones. The unimpeded user experience this type of proxy ensures could be considered as its advantage. While its drawback, on the other hand, could be the receptivity to specific security threats.
An anonymous proxy concentrates on the non-traceability of internet activity. It accesses the internet as a user yet conceals their computer information and identity.
This option fits the best for users pursuing complete anonymity while using the internet. Despite being underhanded sometimes resulting in discrimination or pushback, some users have reported, this type of proxy ensures one of the best protection of identity one can find.
It is an anonymous version that enhances anonymity even further. It removes your information prior to the server trying to connect to the intended site.
If an employee strives for absolute anonymity and avoids tracing back any of their activity by the organization, this type of proxy is the best choice. However, some free proxies of this kind could be traps explicitly designed to collect their personal data and information.
By changing its IP address to a false one, a distorting proxy disguises its identity yet defines itself as a proxy to a website.
It is the best proxy server for people striving to hide their location on the internet. Using a distorting server can help you pretend to browse as if from a particular country. Its advantage is in concealing your identity as well as the one of the server. i.e., your identity will be safe, even though you are related to the service. Keep in mind that many websites simply block distorting proxies. It may result in the inaccessibility of certain sites for end-users.
Another company provides these proxies via a data center and are not related to an internet service provider (ISP).
If you are looking for a cheap solution and need fast response times, data center proxies are well-suited for you. For example, you might want one while swiftly harvesting data on a specific organization. Or in the case of inexpensively gathering intelligence on a particular person. However, if you do not want to risk users’ identity or information, better consider another option. Generally, data center proxies do not suggest a sufficient level of anonymity.
A residential proxy provides you with a real IP address of a particular physical device. Thus, all requests are then directed via that device.
This option fits the best for those who need to check the ads going on their websites. It will help block cookies and competitors’ unwanted or dubious ads. Among all the options, the residential one is more credible. On the downside, it is recommended to examine thoughtfully if the investment is worth it as this type of proxy might be costly.
It is a free option available to anyone. It gives users access to its IP address yet conceals their identity.
Feel free to choose public proxies in case speed and security are of no big deal to you while a cost makes a difference. Just mind that, as long as they are bogged down with all comers, usually they are very slow. Using a public proxy also puts your private information at a higher risk.
Several users simultaneously use shared proxies. With access to an IP address shared by several people, you can browse the internet as if from a location you have chosen.
Itis is the best proxy server for people who value cost more than speed. A moderate price is actually the main advantage of this type of proxy. However, you may find yourself being blamed or even banned at a site if other users of the shared option make bad decisions.
An SSL proxy stands for a Secure Sockets Layer and supplies decryption between a client and a server. This version hides its existence from both a server and a client because the data is encrypted in all directions.
An SSL protocol discloses and stops threats. Thus these proxies fit the best for companies pursuing advanced protection. They also might be helpful with search engine ranking if connected to a website, as Google favors servers using SSL. Yet keep in mind that, when regularly visiting the same website, your experience at it might still be slow because content encrypted cannot be cached.
Each time you connect to a rotating proxy, it provides you with a different IP address. Every time users connect, the address they are given always differs from the previously interconnected device.
If you are to deal with permanent, great-volume web scraping, this type of proxy is definitely for you. With it, you can visit the same website multiple times and do so anonymously. Yet be careful as some of the rotating services contain shared or public proxies that could reveal your data.
Dissimilar to a forward option, a reverse one sits in front of web servers. i.e., it redirects requests from a browser to a web server. First, a reverse proxy captures a user’s request at the network edge of a web server. And afterward, it submits requests to and gets responses from the origin server.
It is the best option for famous websites as they have to regulate the load of multiple incoming requests. They can also help with downsizing bandwidth load. The drawback, though, is that it could disclose the architecture of the HTTP server once an assailant penetrates it. While using reverse proxies, network administrators will just have to reposition or beef up the firewall.
Benefits of usage
Using proxies does provide your business with a whole list of advantages. Here are some of the most obvious of them:
- Improved security. Proxies may operate as a firewall in between the internet and your systems. Otherwise, hackers can easily use your IP address and pervade your network or computer.
- Confidential browsing, shopping, listening, and watching. Use various servers to help you escape any collection of IP-specific information or unwanted ads.
- Accessibility of content that is location-specific. Having designated a server with an address related to another country may seem like you are there. In such a way, you are able to obtain access to content that is not available to you otherwise.
- Precluding employees from visiting distracting or inopportune websites. You can block those websites that contradict the principles of your company. Some organizations also lock resources that distract employees from work and contribute to their procrastination to eliminate time-wasting temptations.
How to get and set it up
There are software and hardware options available out there. Hardware hookup stands between the internet and your network. While software proxies usually stay in the cloud or are hosted by a provider. Thus, all you need is an application facilitating interaction with proxies to be downloaded and installed on your computer.
Some software versions are free. Others are available for a monthly fee. Consider that free options might cover several devices only and provide users with fewer addresses. Whereas paid versions will most likely meet all the requirements business organizations with many devices can have.
Starting using this server is as easy as simply configuring it in your network, device, or computer. Given that every operating system contains particular setup procedures check the requirements of your network or computer first.
However, as a rule, a setup equals applying an automatic configuration script. In case you would like to do it manually, you will be able to do it by entering your IP address and the relevant port.